Professional Driving School Licensing Requirements

License and ID

No person shall engage in the business of giving instruction for hire in the operation of motor vehicles without being licensed for such purpose and designated by the Registrar as a licensed Professional Driving School. All Professional Driving Schools shall maintain a main office and classroom as prescribed by the Registrar, and a separate branch license shall be secured for each such place of business (Note: driving schools need not have a separate business office for each branch classroom). Application for a license shall be filed with the Driver Licensing Section of the RMV and shall be accompanied by an application fee, which in no event shall be refunded. 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.

No license shall be issued to an individual, partnership or corporation unless all individuals listed on said application meet licensing requirements of M.G.L. c.90§32G and 540 CMR 23.00 and these published guidelines.

No license shall be issued to a person to conduct a driving school as an individual unless he/she shall have been the holder of an instructor's certificate issued by the Registrar for at least two years, nor shall such a license be issued to a partnership or corporation unless at least one partner or director have been the holder of an instructor's certificate issued by the Registrar for at least two years.

All applicants, and any officer, director stockholder, partner, employee or any other person directly or indirectly interested in the business shall be subject to a criminal record check (CORI). Applicants shall be rejected if they or any person directly or indirectly interested in the business have been convicted of crimes or have engaged in conduct prescribed by M.G.L. c.90 §32G or 540 CMR 23.00.

Main License Initial Application

Driving School applications may be downloaded from the Driving School Applications and Forms page. Applications must be completed in their entirety and submitted with the appropriate non-refundable application and license fee and following required documentation:
  • If the applicant is a corporation, limited liability company or limited liability partnership, a copy of the applicable Articles of Organization, Certificate of Organization, or Registration, including registration as a Foreign Corporation doing business in Massachusetts, required to be filed with the Secretary of State for the Commonwealth, must be submitted. If the applicant is either an individual or entity conducting business under a trade name, a copy of the business certificate issued by the municipality where the applicant conducts business or will be conducting business must be submitted.
  • Current Certificate of Occupancy (issued by local municipality) for the business office and classroom if located at a different location than the business office. If not issued by local municipality a letter on official letterhead indicating that no such certificate is issued
  • If classroom is located in a high school, a copy of a rental agreement or contract from the appropriate authority authorizing your school to teach driver education
  • Performance Bond Requirement
  • Federal tax identification number (FID/EIN).
Applicants shall have a business office, classroom and instructional vehicles that meet all licensing requirements of M.G.L. c.90 §32G and 540 CMR 23.00 and these published guidelines. All business offices, classrooms and vehicles are subject to a site assessment prior to licensing to determine compliance with all applicable statutes, regulations and these published guidelines.

Business Office Requirements

All Professional Driving Schools shall maintain a business office that shall comply with the following:
  • Be the school's principal place of business, housed in a permanent building at a fixed location with a legal business address to receive mail and deliveries.
  • Comply with all state and local zoning laws, building and occupancy requirements including the legal requirements regarding accessibility by persons with disabilities as determined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and conspicuously display a current, local occupancy permit if so issued by the municipality.
  • Be the location where all school records are maintained in a secure manner and contain floor space adequate to conduct the school's daily business, including the registration of course participants.
  • Contain a desk, chairs, telephone with answering machine, facsimile machine and computer system equipped to send and receive electronic mail, locking files for record storage and other business equipment as prescribed by the RMV.
  • Have a public entrance and be completely (visually and physically) separated from any other business, classroom or residence and be readily accessible to the general public and agents of the Registrar during regular hours.
  • Display an exterior sign, door lettering or other permanent printed identification with the office hours of operation plainly visible from the street, sidewalk or public building lobby.
  • Be located a minimum of 1,500 feet from any RMV Service Center, unless otherwise waived by the Registrar.
  • Display the school license and instructor licenses in a prominent and conspicuous location within the office.

Classroom Facility Requirements

All licensed driving schools shall maintain at least one classroom facility which may be adjacent to the business office or in a separate location and shall:
  • Be housed in a permanent building at a fixed location with a legal business address and be completely (visually and physically) separated from any other business, office or residence and be readily accessible by a separate public entrance so that a classroom session is not disturbed. If the classroom and office are adjacent, they must have floor to ceiling partitions with operational doors to separate them.
  • Comply with all state and local zoning laws, building and occupancy requirements including the legal requirements regarding accessibility by persons with disabilities as determined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and conspicuously display a current, local occupancy permit if so issued by the municipality.
  • Be clean and suitable for conducting classes, be readily accessible to the general public and have convenient access to restroom facilities.
  • Be located a minimum of 1,500 feet from any RMV Service Center, unless otherwise waived by the Registrar.
  • Display a sign, door lettering or other permanent printed identification, plainly visible from the street, sidewalk or a public building lobby (unless it is located in a public high school)
  • Classrooms shall have the following required equipment:
    1. Suitable desks or tables, chairs for a minimum of 10 students.
    2. Chair, desk or podium (if practical) for the instructor.
    3. Overhead projector and screen or blackboard/whiteboard of an adequate size to supplement or emphasize various lesson plans.
    4. Color TV of ample size to be easily viewed by all students in the class.
    5. VCR and or DVD for viewing supplemental instructional videos.

Instructional Vehicle Requirements

In addition to satisfying all other requirements of law, vehicles used for instruction shall:
  • Be registered as a commercial motor vehicle in the name of the school if a corporation, or in the name of the school or owner if the school is a sole proprietorship or partnership. Be properly insured, and maintained in proper operating condition at all times.
  • Have a current Massachusetts inspection sticker.
  • Be serviced and maintained on an established, documented routine schedule.
  • Be equipped with the following:
    1. A frontal air bag system for the driver.
    2. Dual brake controls.
    3. Minimum of one driver side and one internal rear view mirror (vanity mirrors shall not be used to meet this requirement).
    4. Each vehicle used for driving instruction shall have a functional safety belt for each occupant.
    5. Signage displaying the name of the school and the school's main telephone number, in lettering at least 1.5 inches high in size with a 0.5 inch brush stroke and visible from the front and rear of the vehicle or from the sides of the vehicle. A school may, at its option, use a roof sign for this purpose
    6. Signage displaying "Student Driver" painted in lettering a minimum of 1.5 inches high with a 0.5 inch brush stroke visible from the front and rear of the vehicle

Branch License Initial Application

Application for a branch license shall be filed with the Driver Licensing Section of the RMV and shall be accompanied by the appropriate application and license fees, which in no event shall be refunded. 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.

Driving School applications may be downloaded from the Driving School Applications and Forms. No branch license shall be issued unless the location meets all licensing requirements of M.G.L. c.90 §32G and 540 CMR 23.00 and these published guidelines. Applications must be completed in their entirety and submitted with the appropriate non-refundable fees and following required documentation:

  • Business Certificate (issued by local municipality)
  • Current Certificate of Occupancy (issued by local municipality). If not issued by local municipality a letter on official letterhead indicating that no such certificate is issued
  • If a high school classroom, or off-road training site: A copy of a rental agreement or contract from the appropriate authority authorizing your school to teach driver education.
All branch license locations are subject to a site assessment prior to licensing to determine compliance with all applicable statutes, regulations and these published guidelines.

License Renewal (Main and Branch locations)

Driving School Licenses are valid for one year from the date of issuance. When the time to renew your Professional Driving School (main or branch) license approaches, the Registry of Motor Vehicles may mail you a renewal notice and application, although it is your responsibility to be aware of your license expiration date.

Applications must be completed in their entirety and submitted with the appropriate non-refundable license fee and following required documentation:

  • Current Certificate of Occupancy (issued by local municipality) for the business office and classroom if located at a different location than the business office. If not issued by local municipality a letter on official letterhead indicating that no such certificate is issued
  • If classroom is located in a high school, a copy of a rental agreement or contract from the appropriate authority authorizing your school to teach driver education
  • Performance Bond Requirement

Schedule Licensing of Fees

Main License
Initial Application Fee
$50
Initial License Fee
$100
Renewal Fee
$100
Change of Address
$50

Branch Location
Initial Application Fee
$50
Initial License Fee
$50
Renewal Fee
$50
Change of Address
$50

Application Submittal

All completed applications may be forwarded to the following address:
Registry of Motor Vehicles
Driver Licensing Section
P.O. Box 55889
Boston, MA 02205-5889