You have the legal right to be represented by counsel at any Registry hearing. However, in most cases, being represented by a lawyer does not excuse your personal appearance. Unless the Registry specifically waives your appearance, you must accompany your lawyer. You and your attorney also have the right to examine all documentary evidence in the Registry’s possession to be used against you. You have the right to present evidence and witnesses and to cross-examine those testifying against you.
Unless the RMV hearings officer decides that further investigation is required, the hearings officer is required to make a decision within 10 business days after the hearing is completed. In most hardship license cases, the Registry’s decision is announced at the hearing. The Driver Control Unit conducts hearings at the Boston RMV Branch during normal business hours. Hearings are also conducted at satellite Registry Branches located in Brockton, Fall River, Lawrence, Pittsfield, South Yarmouth, Springfield, Wilmington, and Worcester. The Registry recommends that if you are seeking a hardship license, you arrive no later than 3 :00 PM, due to the extremely limited number of hearing officers as compared to the heavy customer volume.
Chemical Test Refusal and Ignition Interlock Violations are only heard at the Boston branch of the RMV, which is located at 136 Blackstone Street, 3rd Floor.
If you are denied a hardship license by the Mass. RMV, you have the legal right to appeal to the Division of Insurance Board of Appeal. This appellate board has the legal authority to review and overrule the Registry’s hardship license determination. If you are appealing a suspension to the Board, you should be represented by a lawyer who has a proven track record of winning. The Board does not automatically give out hardship licenses and hiring the right lawyer can increase your chances of winning your hardship license appeal.