Fortunately, when it comes to hardship license in Massachusetts, the Registry of Motor Vehicles is not your only option. The Division of Insurance, Board of Appeal, a little known state agency, has the legal authority to order the Massachusetts RMV to grant you hardship license even if the Registry has initially refused to do so.
Unlike the walk-in hearings held at the Registry, the hearings held before the Board of Appeal must be scheduled in advance. These Board of Appeal hearings are much more formal than Registry hearings and those seeking hardship licenses must produce sufficient documentary and testimonial evidence to convince the Board members to grant a hardship license or other relief.
If MassDOT has denied you a hardship license, you have the legal right to challenge that denial by filing an appeal with the Board of Appeal. You also have the right to be represented by an attorney and due to the complexities associated with Board of Appeal procedures and Massachusetts hardship licensing laws, this is strongly recommended.
Three members comprise the Board of Appeal. They are designated by the Commissioner of Insurance, Registrar of Motor Vehicles, and Massachusetts Attorney General. In order to win a Board of Appeal case, two of the three members must vote in your favor.
The Board of Appeal is located at 1000 Washington Street, Suite 810 in Boston, Massachusetts and the Board conducts hearings at its Boston Office, at the Marlborough District Court, at the Plymouth District Court, and the Springfield City Hall. You can reach the Board of Appeal by phone at (877) 563-4467 and the fax number is (617) 521-7539.
Unlike the RMV, the Board issues written decisions within approximately 10 days of the hearing. If the Board’s decision is favorable, you must take the Board’s Finding and Order to a Registry hearings officer to start the reinstatement process. The Board’s decision is only an order granting you a license it is not a driver’s license itself. In order to get an actual license you must meet all reinstatement requirements and pay any required fees.
Getting a hardship license from the Board is by no means automatic and legal representation is highly recommended. I get countless inquiries from desperate people who have made the mistake of representing themselves before the Board of Appeal only to have been denied hardship licenses. Unfortunately, when this happens, there is usually little than I can do to help.
The time to engage the services of a hardship license lawyer is prior to the Board of Appeal hearing. There is a lot of preparation work that needs to be done before you are in front of the Board and going in without the required documentation and preparation is a huge mistake. Contact me for more information regarding the Board of Appeal.