MA Hardship License for Non-Residents

You cannot get a Massachusetts Hardship License if your are not a Massachusetts Resident. This is because in order to be issued any type of Massachusetts driver’s license, including a Cinderella or work license, you must be a resident of Massachusetts and you will be required to prove residency.

The good news is that if your right to operate has been suspended or revoked by the MA Registry of Motor Vehicles, you may be able to get “hardship relief” by going before the Board of Appeal. This appellate board has the legal authority to order the Registry of Motor Vehicles to remove the National Driver Register (NDR) block which will prevent you from being issued a driver’s license in any state. If the Board orders the Registry to remove the block, you will be able to apply for a driver’s license in your home state and your Mass. suspension or revocation will not prevent you from being granted the right to drive where you live.

If you are an out of state resident, the Board of Appeal is the only source for relief from a license suspension on the grounds of hardship. The Registry will not grant you this type of relief, under any circumstances, without a “Finding and Order” from the Appeals Board instructing the Registry to allow you to reinstate.

If you are Ignition Interlock Device (IID) required, you will need to either have the IID installed or apply for consideration for a waiver of the IID requirements based on non-residency. If you are granted a waiver by the Registry, you cannot operate a motor vehicle in Massachusetts without a certified IID. In order to get any further exemption from the IID requirement, if you are a repeat offender, the Board of Appeal must specifically state in the “Finding and Order” to “reinstate without the IID.”

The option of seeking hardship relief instead of a hardship license allows those faced with Massachusetts license suspensions to appear before the Division of Insurance Board of Appeal to be considered for relief which allows them to legally drive, so long as the motorist’s home state is willing to grant him or her a driver’s license. Hardship relief results in removal of the NDR block which is automatically applied to a driver’s record when his or her right to operate has been suspended or revoked in any state. Motor Vehicle departments are required to check the NDR prior to issuing a license. This requirement prevents individuals from obtaining a license in one state while his or her license is suspended in another state or jurisdiction. The Board’s ability to have this NDR block removed on the basis of hardship allows deserving drivers who qualify for relief a second chance.