NH Financial Responsibility Requirements

If you have an out of state drunk driving conviction, you may be required to get an SR-22 Insurance Certificate. This document shows that you have liability insurance. The New Hampshire Department of Motor  Vehicles calls this proof of “Financial Responsibility.” New Hampshire requires this because there is no compulsory liability insurance requirement in New Hampshire as there is in Massachusetts.

Getting an SR-22 certificate will require attending a hearing at the Registry of Motor Vehicles, Driver Control Unit. A hearing s required because Massachusetts insurance companies will not issue you an insurance policy if you have a suspended license. You will need to get a temporary reinstatement in Massachusetts, so that you can get liability insurance.

Once you have proof of insurance or “financial responsibility” in the form of an SR-22 Certificate, you must present this to the Department of Motor Vehicles in the state where your DUI conviction occurred. Once acceptable proof of financial responsibility is provided to the other state, the DMV should remove the block on your license record in the National Driver Registry, so that you can fully reinstate your Massachusetts Driver’s License.

However, you should realize that if the Massachusetts Registry is notified of an out of state DUI conviction, it will be applied to your record and it may trigger an additional suspension because of the law which requires the Registry to treat out of state motor vehicle violations as if they had occurred here in Massachusetts, when the violation is committed by Massachusetts resident or the holder of a Massachusetts Driver’s License.

If you were not a Mass. resident or license holder,  the Registry does not have the legal ability to suspend or revoke your license or right to operate because of the out of state conviction. However, the Registry is required to suspend your Mass. License or right to drive if your are blocked in the NDR because of the out of state offense.

Getting a temporary 30 day license so that you can get an SR-22 insurance certificate may be difficult and confusing, depending on your driving record and the facts of your case. A hardship license attorney may be able to assist you with this process. The Registry will not issue temporary licenses without official documents from the state where the suspension originated. You will need to provide either a “catch-22” letter or a “SR-22” letter issued by the out of state motor vehicle department (DMV). This letter cannot me more than thirty (30) days old and it must be an original letter on official letterhead.  You may also need to submit a certified copy of your driving record or court records from the state where the OUI offense or other motor vehicle violation occurred.

Once the Registry grants you a temporary reinstatement, you only have thirty (30) days to get the matter resolved. If the situation remains  unresolved beyond 30 days, the Mass. Registry will automatically re-suspend your license and you will have to repeat the entire SR-22 process all over again. Contact a Lawyer for more information.