Appealing Habitual Traffic Offender Revocations

If the Registry of Motor Vehicles has labeled you as a habitual traffic offender, you will have a 4 year license revocation in addition to any other suspensions or revocations. Fortunately, I may be able to obtain a full reinstatement of your driver’s license or get you a 12 hour hardship license by appealing your HTO revocation.

There are some recognized exceptions to the habitual traffic offender law, which you might be able to use to get your license back. For example, if you have a clean driving record, any convictions relied upon for the habitual traffic offender revocation which occurred simultaneously or within a 6 hour period must be treated as only 1 conviction. This means that if you were cited for five traffic violations at the same time, the 5 violations can only be counted as one single infraction, when determining whether your license should be revoked for 4 years.

Not all motor vehicle violations count towards habitual traffic offender revocations. Even some of the violations which count towards 7 surchargeable event suspensions cannot be legally relied upon to trigger a 4 year loss of license under the Massachusetts HTO law.

Also, although the Mass. RMV is legally entitled to treat out-of-state convictions as if they were in state convictions, it is only legal to do this if the out of state convictions is substantially similar to a corresponding Massachusetts automobile law violation which would warrant a habitual traffic offender revocation. Not all out of state violations will necessarily count towards your designation as a habitual traffic offender here in Massachusetts.

Pursuant to G.L. c. 90, § 22F, those declared habitual traffic offenders by the Registry who have served one year of the four year license loss can be considered for a part-time license if they can demonstrate a sufficient hardship. The issuance of a hardship license is not guaranteed, even if the offender has served enough time and he or she meets the hardship requirements. Registry hearing officers have considerable discretion when it comes to early reinstatements and legal representation is strongly recommended, especially when appearing before the Board of Appeal or if you have a lengthy driving record.

There can be no recent evidence of driving to qualify for a hardship license and you must have completed the National Safety Council 8 hour Attitudinal Dynamics of Driving Course within 3 years of your hardship license hearing. There are no exceptions to this safe driving course completion requirement.