Hardship licenses are not easily obtained, especially by repeat DUI offenders. Courts have repeatedly ruled that whether or not to authorize a hardship license is “purely discretionary” and no Massachusetts Superior Court Judge has ever overruled a hardship license denial.
Both the Registry and the Division of Insurance Board of Appeal have wide latitude and discretion when it comes to the granting of a hardship license. Even in cases where the applicant proves that he or she has a legitimate hardship, the Board of Appeal is free to deny the request as an exercise of its judgment and expertise.
In order to obtain a hardship license, you must convince the Registry or the Board of Appeal that you have a valid need to drive and that returning you to the roadways will not endanger the public safety. The burden rests with the person seeking the hardship license to prove that he or she is qualified for such a license, which courts have characterized as “extraordinary relief.”
Thus, there is absolutely no right or entitlement to a hardship license. Instead, the Board of Appeal may or may not grant such a license, as an exercise of its judgment and discretion. Hardship license denials by the Registry of Motor Vehicles can be appealed to the Board of Appeal. Denials by the Board can be appealed to Superior Court. However, the chances of reversing a hardship license denial in Superior Court are exceedingly slim.
Proper documentation is absolutely critical in any hardship license case, whether at the Registry or the RMV Appeals Board. Items commonly required include a well-written work letter, program completion certificates, discharge summaries, letters of recommendation, and alcohol or substance abuse evaluations.
An experienced lawyer such as Attorney Brian Simoneau can prepare and present your hardship license case, so that you will dramatically improve your chances of getting a hardship license. Don’t make the mistake of going before the Board of Appeal without a lawyer. It is extremely difficult to overcome hardship license denials by the Division of Insurance Board of Appeal.