Due to the response to Covid-19 and the need for “social distancing,” getting a hardship license in Massachusetts just became more difficult.
Now, you must make an appointment via the Registry’s website to submit your required paperwork and documentation to the Registry. The RMV will send you an e-mail regarding when and where to appear to deliver the items which support your request for a hardship license. Requirements include alcohol program certificates, information regarding the lack of public transportation, and a work letter. Anything and everything that you want the hearing officer to consider should be submitted.
Once you have your appointment, you need to bring the required documentation to the designated RMV Service Center along with the e-confirmation which instructs you when and where to appear.
Unfortunately, even though you have an appointment and you appear as instructed, you will not get to see a Registry Hearing Officer. Instead, another RMV employee will take your documentation and a hearing officer will call you over the phone at his or her convenience. Your hearing will be held over the telephone and not in person.
For the foreseeable future, the Registry has eliminated in-person hearings. It is not known when the Registry will resume this practice. Until then, all hardship license hearings will be handled remotely by phone.
If the hearing outcome is favorable and the Registry authorizes the issuance of a hardship license, you will need to make another appointment to pay the required reinstatement fees and be issued a hardship license. If the hearing outcome is unfavorable, you have the right to appeal the adverse decision and you should retain legal counsel.
There are only a handful of hearing officers available to handle hearing requests across the state. There may be a considerable delay between the time that you submit your paperwork and the Hearing Officer contacts you for your telephone hearing. This is a simple function of supply and demand. Under this new system, the submission of additional documentation and follow-up hearings may be difficult. Therefore, you should make every effort to include all required information and documentation with your initial submission.