Massachusetts Driver’s License Suspensions

The Registry of Motor Vehicles will suspend your driver’s license or right to operate in Massachusetts for various reasons which have absolutely nothing to do with driving. For example, the crime of “tagging” carries an automatic 1 year license suspension upon conviction. Also, drug convictions will result in license suspensions ranging from 1 to 5 years. Theft or concealment of a motor vehicle will also result in a license suspension. All of these suspensions are reviewable by filing an appeal with the RMV Board of Appeal.

The Registry will also suspend your license indefinitely for giving the registry a “bad check,” and for non-payment of child support, taxes, property damage claims, or traffic citations. No hardship license is available in these cases and there’s nothing than be done. You will not get your license back until you pay what you owe plus any reinstatement fees. Sex offenders who fail to register as well as those who have active arrest warrants will also have their licenses indefinitely suspended. There is no hardship eligibility for these indefinite license suspensions.

Unpaid parking tickets and excise taxes will not result in the suspension or revocation of your driver’s license. Instead, if you have any of these outstanding obligations, your license will be non-renewable and you will have to pay what you owe when it comes time to renew your driver’s license or motor vehicle registration.  Payment must be made to the city or town where the vehicle is garaged or where the parking tickets were issued and you must supply proof of payment to the RMV.

In the vast majority of cases, license suspensions for failure to take required classes such as the National Safety Council Attitudinal Course or the State Courts Against Road Rage (SCARR) program can only be resolved by taking the required classes and hardship licenses are not granted for these suspensions. Similarly, hardship licenses are not granted for Immediate Threat Suspensions or Immediate Threat Medical suspensions. Instead, it may be possible to resolve these fully at a Registry or Board of Appeal hearing. A lawyer may be able to help you.

In conclusion, sometimes a lawyer can help you get a hardship license or full restoration of your driver’s license and in other cases, there’s nothing that even the best lawyer can do for you. In these cases, the only way to get your license back is to pay what you owe and/or satisfy the Registry’s license reinstatement requirements. In Massachusetts, as explained above, not every suspension qualifies for the issuance of a hardship or Cinderella license.