Massachusetts License Reinstatement Hearings

Whenever you attempt to reinstate your driver’s license from a DUI in Massachusetts, you must attend a hearing at a full service Registry of Motor Vehicles Branch, even if you have served all of your suspension time. License reinstatements are not automatic and one of the purposes of the reinstatement hearing is for the hearings officer to check your records in Massachusetts and in other states to see how many DUI offenses you have committed. Any drunk driving convictions and alcohol program assignments discovered at your hearing will be added to your Massachusetts Driving Record. The Registry is required to treat any out of state DUI incidents as if they had occurred here in Massachusetts. Under this requirement, an out of state driving under the influence conviction may increase your current DUI license suspension or add a new one to your driving record.

The Registry has access to the National Driver Register (NDR) which is a central repository of information regarding suspensions and revocations. If there is a block under your name in the NDR, the Registry will not reinstate your license and it is required to indefinitely revoke your license unless and until you are cleared in the National Driver Register.

Sometimes a Registry Hearings Officer may find an OUI that is listed in court records which does not appear in the Registrar’s records. If this happens, the Registry will add the “missing” OUI to your RMV record and that may trigger a new license suspension. Also, the addition of an OUI may trigger the requirement to use an ignition interlock device and comply with the Registry’s interlock restriction.

Some people are hesitant to apply for a hardship license because they fear that the Registry will discover a “missing” DUI incident. They should not be dissuaded from applying for hardship licenses because they will eventually have to go through the same hearing process and nationwide records check whether they apply for early relief or wait until the expiration of their license suspensions and apply for full reinstatements; the record check process is exactly the same.

If you need help interpreting your court or RMV record, you should contact a lawyer for assistance. Also, you can appeal any adverse action taken by the Registry to the Massachusetts Board of Appeal.  Contact an attorney for more information regarding your appeal options.