If the Registry of Motor Vehicles has denied you a hardship or work license, you have the right to appeal that denial by going before the Mass. Division of Insurance Board of Appeal. This quasi-judicial board has the legal authority to overrule the Registry’s hardship license denial and it can order the Registry to reinstate your driver’s license.
Unlike informal RMV hearings, Board of Appeal hearings must be scheduled in advance and they are formal administrative proceedings which are governed by the Massachusetts Standard Adjudicatory Rules of Administrative Practice Procedure as well as the Board’s own internal practices. Legal representation is recommended and hiring the right lawyer can make the difference between getting a license or being denied and having to serve your suspension. The RMV will be represented by a skilled lawyer and going up against him without any attorney usually results in a denial.
The Appeals Board hears cases involving a wide variety of Registry actions including DUI, Habitual Traffic Offender, Surchargeable Event, license fraud, and Indefinite Immediate Threat revocations. The Board of Appeal will not grant hardship relief for revocations triggered by non-payment of citations, child support, state taxes, or other financial responsibilities. However, the law grants the Board the legal power and authority to reverse any decision of the Registry, even those involving mandatory revocations. The Board derives its oversight authority from G.L. c. 90 § 28. This statute gives the Board of Appeal on Motor Vehicle Liability Policies and Bonds the power to hear and decide hardship license and other appeals, even if the Registry has ruled against the Appellant.
In order to succeed at a Board of Appeal hearing, you must present a convincing and compelling case. When it comes to Cinderella licenses, Appellants must demonstrate that restoring driving privileges will not endanger public safety and that he or she has a legitimate and demonstrable need to drive for school, work, or medical reasons. Appellants must be prepared to effectively address the contents of their driving and criminal records, which the Registry’s attorney will present to the Board.
Anyone denied relief by the Board of Appeals on Motor Vehicle Liability Policies and Bonds has the right to appeal to Superior Court pursuant to G.L. c. 30A. However, the scope of these Superior Court Appeals is extremely limited and the Superior Court has never ordered the Board of Appeal to grant a hardship license, which is considered extraordinary relief. Instead, the Superior Court will defer to the Board’s judgment and expertise in this specialized area of law.
Please contact my office if you have been denied a hardship license. I have helped countless clients get back on the road legally with either a 12 hour hardship license or an early reinstatement of the client’s full-time driver’s license.