Massachusetts

Highway safety laws differ from state to state. The summary information here can be used to compare laws in specific categories. We monitor legislative changes and update this information as needed.

DUI/DWI
BAC defined as illegal per se 0.08
Administrative license suspension 1st offense? 90 days
Restore driving privileges during suspension? no
RESTRICTIONS ON CELLPHONE USE AND TEXTING
Hand-held ban no
Young drivers all cellphone ban drivers younger than 18
Texting ban all drivers
Enforcement primary
MAXIMUM POSTED SPEED LIMITS
Rural interstates (mph) 65
Urban interstates (mph) 65
Other limited access roads (mph) 65
Other roads (mph) 55
YOUNG DRIVER LICENSING SYSTEMS
To get a learners license you must:
Have a minimum age of 161
YOUNG DRIVER LICENSING SYSTEMS
Before getting a license or restricted license you must:
Have a mandatory holding period of 6 months1
Have a minimum supervised driving time of 40 hours2
Have a minimum age of 16, 6 months3
YOUNG DRIVER LICENSING SYSTEMS
Restrictions during intermediate or restricted license stage:
Nighttime restrictions 12:30 a.m.-5 a.m. (between 12:30 a.m.-1 a.m. and 4 a.m.-5 a.m. the night driving and passenger restrictions are subject to secondary enforcement; enforcement is primary at all other times)
Passenger restrictions

(family members excepted unless otherwise noted)
first 6 months—no passengers younger than 18 (between 12:30 am–1 am and 4 am–5 am the night driving and passenger restrictions are secondarily enforced; enforcement is primary at all other times)
YOUNG DRIVER LICENSING SYSTEMS
Minimum age at which restrictions may be lifted:
Nighttime restrictions 18
Passenger restrictions 17
REGULAR LICENSING RENEWAL CYCLE
Length of regular renewal cycle 5 years
OLDER DRIVER SPECIAL LICENSING PROVISIONS
Accelerated renewal none
Other provisions renewal applicants 75 and older must apply in person
CHILD RESTRAINTS
Must be in child restraint 7 years and younger and less than 57 inches
Adult safety belt permissible 8 through 12 years; children who are at least 57 inches tall
Maximum fine 1st offense $25
Seating preference law states no preference for rear seat
Children not covered all children covered
SAFETY BELT USE
Initial effective date 02/01/94
Standard enforcement? no
Who is covered? In what seats? 13+ years in all seats
Maximum fine 1st offense $254
Can nonuse decrease monetary awards for injuries in lawsuits? no
MOTORCYCLE HELMET USE
Motorcyclists covered all riders
BICYCLE HELMET USE
Covered by state law 1–16 (riding with children younger than 1 prohibited)
PICKUP TRUCKS: RESTRICTIONS ON RIDING IN CARGO AREAS
Restrictions on riding in cargo areas yes
Gaps in coverage people 12 and older; people 11 and younger if the vehicle is being driven less than 5 miles and less than 5 mph; parades; farming activities
LOW-SPEED VEHICLES
On which roads are low-speed vehicles permitted? roads with a posted speed limit of 30 mph or less
What is the top speed permissible for low-speed vehicles? 25 mph

1In Massachusetts, the night driving restriction for permit holders younger than 18 is midnight to 5 a.m., unless they are accompanied by a licensed parent or guardian.

2In Massachusetts, the requirement for supervised driving is 30 hours for applicants who have successfully completed a driver skills development program in a closed, off-road course licensed by the Registrar of Motor Vehicles.

3In Massachusetts, driver education is required of license applicants younger than 18.

4Drivers in Massachusetts may be fined $25 for violating the belt law themselves and $25 for each unrestrained passenger 12-16 years old.