A hardship license in Massachusetts is also referred to as a work license or a Cinderella license. It allows the holder to legally drive during the term of a license suspension. The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles grants hardship licenses for DUI, habitual traffic offender, and drug suspensions. The RMV Appeals Board grants hardship licenses for other reasons such as 7 surchargeable events and it hears cases when the Registry had denied a hardship license.
The Massachusetts RMV and Board of Appeal have hardship license eligibility requirements and waiting periods which differ based on the type of license suspension and the driver’s prior record. For example, clean urine screens are required for drug related but not DUI liquor suspensions. Under the Massachusetts hardship eligibility requirements, it is easier to get a hardship license for a first offense DUI, as compared to a second offense DUI, which requires proof of completion of the DUIL Program as well as required aftercare. In fact, if you have a relatively clean record, a Massachusetts Driver’s License, and your first offense DUI occurred here in Massachusetts, you probably do not need a lawyer to get a hardship license and you can probably get one directly from the RMV at a walk-in hearing.
Items commonly required for hardship license hearings include a work letter, letter from your probation officer, proof of alcohol program completion, a substance abuse discharge summary showing your recidivism classification or risk of relapse, clean drug screens, proof of completion of a drug program, and documents showing that public transportation will not suffice. These are only a few of the mandatory Massachusetts hardship license requirements. To maximize chances of success, Attorney Simoneau often presents other items which he has found to be helpful, particularly at the Board of Appeal. Also, clearing an out of state DUI suspension will require additional items.
If you have more than one DUI on your record or you are trying to get a hardship license for another type of suspension or revocation, it probably makes sense to hire a lawyer who is well versed in RMV and Board of Appeal matters to represent you. Knowing what the Registry and Board of Appeal require and going into a hardship license hearing with the correct documentation is critical. The Registry has a strict set of hardship license eligibility requirements and if you fail to satisfy those requirements, your hardship license application will be rejected and you will be forced to go to the Appeals Board.
Another good reason to hire a lawyer to help get your Massachusetts hardship license hearing is that the granting of a hardship license in Massachusetts is completely discretionary. This means that the Registry can reject your hardship license appeal even if you present all of the required documentation. This happens more often than you would think, when it comes to habitual traffic offenders and those with multiple DUI convictions on their records. For example, the hearings officer might say that the blood alcohol content was too high, that the DUI offenses were too close together, that here is evidence of drinking or driving after the DUI, or that the hardship license applicant does not have a severe enough hardship. A lawyer can help address these issues at your hearing.
Attorney Brian Simoneau is recognized statewide, by clients and lawyers alike, as an expert on hardship licensing procedures and how to get a hardship license.