If you have appealed your license suspension to the Board of Appeal and the Board has granted you a hardship license or some other relief from the suspension of your license or right to operate in Massachusetts, you cannot begin driving until MassDOT has reinstated your license or right to drive.
After your Board of Appeal hearing, the Board will send a written decision which is called a “finding and order.” The Board will mail this finding and order to either you or your lawyer. The Board will not give you a decision over the telephone, as all decisions are required to be in writing.
Upon receipt of the “finding and order,” either directly or from your attorney, you must bring the document to a Registry Hearings Officer so that the hearings officer can enter the decision into the RMV computer system. Registry clerks cannot enter Board decisions, as they must be entered by hearings officers.
Once the Board of Appeal decision is entered into the computer, you have to pay any required reinstatement fees as well as any other financial obligations such as unpaid citations. Also, you may have to take driver retraining classes, a written test and/or a road test. Both the Board and the Registry have the ability to place restrictions and requirements on license reinstatements and you cannot legally drive unless and until you have satisfied all of the requirements.
I recently obtained a full license reinstatement for a client who had his license suspended for 7 surchargeable events. Prior to going to the Registry and getting his license reinstated, he was caught driving by the police, stopped, and arrested. He was charged with operating after suspension, which is a criminal offense which will trigger a new license suspension if he is convicted. Also, the Registry notified the Board of Appeal that the client was caught operating after suspension and the Board rescinded its order reinstating the client’s license and it issued a new finding in order wherein the Board affirmed the 60 day suspension for 7 surchargeable events. This case shows how important it is to follow reinstatement and hardship licensing requirements.