Driving with a Foreign License

A visitor from one of the countries listed in Appendix A of the Driver's Manual may legally drive on Massachusetts roads on his/her own country's valid license (limited to a licensed driver who is at least 18 years old and limited to a vehicle of the type covered by the license) for up to one year from the date of arrival.


A visitor who is licensed in another country may operate his/her own private passenger vehicle if the vehicle is displaying valid license plates from his/her country (and meets insurance standards set up by the Commonwealth if operated longer than 30 days) for up to one year from the date of arrival.


Except for vehicles from Mexico and Canada, international vehicles being operated in Massachusetts must also exhibit the International Distinguishing Sign on the rear exterior of the vehicle.


A foreign visitor's year of eligibility to drive in Massachusetts begins again each time he/she lawfully re-enters the United States.


Massachusetts is legally required to honor the provisions of the Agreement Between The Parties To The North Atlantic Treaty Organization Regarding the Status of Forces (NATO SOFA), entered into by the United States of America on August 23, 1953. The Treaty accords driving privileges to active duty military members of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) forces on assignment in this country (usually for training purposes) and also to civilian components attached to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization forces. Therefore, Massachusetts accepts as valid, without a driving test or fee, the driving permit, license, or military driving permit issued by a North Atlantic Treaty Organization country to its own military personnel or to the personnel of a civilian component of the military force.