The Massachusetts Legislature has enacted harsh penalties for those under 18 years of age who are cited for speeding and hardship relief is not available from the Registry of Motor Vehicles. Massachusetts has adopted a graduated license system, pursuant to which a licensed operators under the age of 18 are deemed “junior operators.” Holders of this type of license face harsh penalties for speeding violations, unauthorized passengers, and driving during restricted hours.
For example, under Massachusetts law, the holder of a Junior Operator’s License who is found responsible for speeding with automatically have his or her driver’s license suspended for 90 days for a first speeding offense and 1 year for a second offense.
The RMV imposes stringent reinstatement requirements for these suspensions. Unless the Board of Appeal rules otherwise, to reinstate you must complete the “Attitude Retraining Program,” pay a $500.00 Driver’s License Reinstatement Fee, and re-take both written and road tests. You must also attend and successfully complete the State Courts Against Road Rage (SCARR) program.
Hearings at the Registry on these license suspensions are limited only to the accuracy of the customer’s driving record. All other issues must be appealed to the Division of Insurance, Board of Appeal, which has the legal authority to afford relief in the form of elimination of the reinstatement requirements, shortening the suspension, or granting a 12 hour hardship driver’s license.
In JOL speeding cases, the Board of Appeal uses its powers sparingly. In order to convince the Board to grant you relief, you must have a very compelling case. The Board members generally agree with the Registry’s position that young drivers should learn early on about the consequences of bad driving, so that they will be responsible drivers. Also, JOL holders may have difficulty establishing that they have a hardship which is sufficient enough to obtain relief from the Registry’s Appellate Board. A lawyer may be able to help convince the Board to render a favorable decision.