No person shall engage in the business of giving instruction for hire in the operation of a motor vehicle without being licensed for such purpose by the Registrar. Applications for a Driving School Instructor Certificate shall be filed with the Driver Licensing Section of the RMV. Each such application shall be accompanied by an application fee of $25 (public high school, vocational school, municipal or regional school committee instructors shall be exempt from all fees), which in no event shall be refunded and satisfy all licensing requirements of M.G.L. c.90 §32G and CMR 540 §23.00 and these published guidelines. If an application is approved by the Registrar a license shall be granted that shall be valid for a period of one year from the date of its issuance.
Applications for a Driving School Instructor Certificate may be downloaded from the Driving School Applications & Forms page. Applications must be completed in their entirety and submitted with the appropriate non-refundable fees. Applicants must meet the following criteria:
- Applicants shall be at least 21 years of age and have at least 24 months operating experience.
- Have a minimum of a high school diploma or equivalent.
- Criminal Record Check - Applicants shall be subject to a criminal record check, and shall be rejected if they have been convicted of the crimes or have engaged in the conduct proscribed by M.G.L. c. 90, §32G. Applicants residing out-of-state or who have relocated to Massachusetts from another state or country must provide a criminal record check from their home state or previous state or country that is not older than 30 days.
- Driving Record Check - Applicants shall be subject to a check of their driving record. No instructor's certificate shall be issued or allowed to remain in effect if an applicant's or certificate holder's license or right to operate a motor vehicle is suspended or revoked. No instructor's certificate shall be issued or allowed to remain in effect if an applicant has an unsatisfactory driving record for at least two consecutive years prior to application, including but not limited to any mandatory license suspension activity, or revocation of licensing or driving privileges within the preceding two years based on a moving violation; or any conviction under the provisions of M.G.L. c. 90, § 24, within the preceding five year period of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, or of marijuana, narcotic drugs, depressants or stimulant substances, as defined in M.G.L. c. 94C, § 1 or the vapors of glue. Any person who consents to have any such case disposed of under the provisions of § 24D shall for the purpose of this section be deemed to be convicted. Once the license or right to operate has been reinstated the applicant may apply for an instructor's certificate, which may be issued if, after a review of the nature and circumstances of the information contained in the applicant's driving record, the Registrar determines it appropriate. Applicants residing out-of-state or who have relocated to Massachusetts from another state or country must provide a driving record from their home state or previous state or country that is not older than 30 days.
- Applicants shall have satisfactorily completed and submit a certificate of completion of a 65-hour Driving Instructor Training Course (DITC), given by an approved driving school whose DITC curriculum is approved and on file with the RMV (see Driving Instructor Training Course). This course is required for new instructor applicants and those whose certifications have lapsed for more than four (4) years.
- Applicants shall successfully pass an exam administered by the RMV comprised of 100-questions selected from the most current edition of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Driver's Manual with a passing grade of at least 90%.
- Applicants for a PDI Exam are limited to three (3) failures in a six (6) month period. An applicant who does not successfully pass after three (3) attempts may be subject to retraining.
Additional Required Documentation
All initial applications for a Driving School Instructor Certificate must be accompanied by the following required documentation:
- All applicants for a driving instructor certificate must provide a Driver Instructor Training Course (DITC) Certificate of Completion issued by a licensed professional driving school authorized to provide instructor training.
- Applicants residing out-of-state must provide a copy of their driver's license.
If you are a Public School Driver Education Instructor, please provide:
- Applicants must submit documentation on school or district letterhead showing proof of active employment by the public high school, vocational school, municipal or regional school committee.
If you are a Commercial Motor Vehicle Instructor (CDL), please provide:
- Have 24 months full-time service as a class A vehicle operator.
- Documented authorization from the Department of Education.
Completed applications should be forwarded to the following address:
Registry of Motor Vehicles
Driver Licensing Section
P.O. Box 55889
Boston, MA 02205-5889
Professional Driver Instructor's (PDI) Exam
Applicants for a Driving School Instructor Certificate must successfully pass the PDI Exam administered by the RMV comprised of 100-questions selected from the most current edition of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Driver's Manual. Applicants must obtain a passing grade of at least 90%. Note: Applicants should not submit an application for an instructor's certificate if they are not prepared to take the instructor's exam.
Applicants will take their required exam electronically on the Automated Testing System at approved full-service Registry branches.
To be eligible for the PDI Exam, an applicant must complete the Driving Instructor Training Course with an accredited school, file a Driving Instructor Certification Application with, and be approved by, the Driver Licensing Section section of the RMV.
Applicants who are approved by the Driver Licensing Section will receive a PDI Exam Authorization letter.
Exams are conducted on a walk-in basis, Monday through Friday at approved full-service RMV branch locations. An applicant who wishes to take the PDI Exam must provide the following documentation upon visiting an RMV branch:
- A PDI Exam Authorization letter issued by VSCS
- A valid driver’s license
PDI Exam Details
Number of Questions
The PDI exam consists of 100 questions. To pass the exam, an applicant must answer 90 questions correctly. Applicants who answer 11 questions incorrectly will automatically fail the exam.
Applicants will be given 2-hours to complete the exam.
To take the PDI exam, applicants must arrive at the RMV branch at least 2-hours prior to closing time, or they will not be permitted to take the exam.
The initial exam fee is prepaid to the RMV as part of the $25 application and licensing fee. Subsequent exams will require an additional $25 fee payable at the branch location prior to re-testing.
Note: High School Instructors are exempt (by statute) from paying the $25 fee, regardless of how many times they take the PDI exam.
Exam Cutoff Time
The PDI Exam Authorization letter will provide applicants with a list of all full-service RMV branches offering the PDI Exam and their operating hours. Applicants must arrive at the branch location a least 2-hours prior to closing time or they will not be allowed to take the exam.
Out-of-state residents may obtain a Driver Education Instructor Certificate if they file with VSCS, meet the requirements, and pass the PDI Exam.
Out-of-state applicant will be required to have their image and signature captured at the branch location in order to take the PDI Exam.
Applicants who pass the PDI Exam should receive their Driver Education Instructor Certificate by mail no later than 7-10 days from the exam date. Applicants are not eligible to provide instruction until they receive their certificate in the mail. Applicants who do not receive their certificate within 7-10 days from the date of their exam should contact the Driver Licensing Section directly at 857-368-8810.
Applicants who do not pass the PDI Exam may re-take the exam at any time. However, applicants are limited to only two attempts every seven (7) days (i.e., a customer who fails the exam for the second time within 7 days on a Tuesday must wait until the next Wednesday before he or she can take the exam again). Any attempt to take the exam a third time within a 7-day period will be automatically blocked. All re-tests require an additional $25 fee payable at the branch location prior to testing.
Renewal of Certification
To renew a Professional Driving School Instructor's Certificate an individual must submit a renewal application to the Driving School Section with the appropriate non-refundable $25 fee. With each annual renewal, the RMV shall conduct a criminal history background check and driving record check. Applicants who reside out-of-state must provide a criminal history/background check and driving record from their home state that is not older than 30 days and a copy of their out-of-state driver's license. Renewals are valid for a period of one-year from the original issuance date. Please allow 7-10 business days for renewal processing.
Public School Driver Education Instructors - All applicants for renewal shall submit documentation on school or district letterhead showing proof of employment as a driver's education instructor.
Instructors renewing their certification after a 48-month interval of non-certification shall be required to successfully repeat the Driving Instructor Training Course and pass the 100-question instructor's examination.
Driving school instructors shall conduct themselves in a professional manner and shall assume responsibility for their students well being and safety at all times while in their care. At no time shall a student be left unattended while in the care of a driving instructor
Instructors shall refrain from the use of cell phones, or any other distracting behavior or activity while conducting instruction.