Not every suspension which the Registry of Motor Vehicles imposes is valid. The RMV’s computer system, known as Atlas, generates invalid suspensions from time to time and these suspensions should be appealed to either a Registry Hearing Officer at the Driver Control Unit or the Division of Insurance, Board of Appeal.
Invalid license suspensions and revocations can result in the unsuspecting customer being arrested for Operating After Suspension and having to appear in court as a criminal defendant. These suspensions can also result in having to pay unnecessary reinstatement fees as well as not being able to legally operate a motor vehicle during the suspension period. If your license was unjustifiably suspended, you may be entitled to restitution.
In this example, the customer’s license was suspended for 3 surchargeable events. The Registry is required to suspend whenever a customer’s Massachusetts Driving Record shows a combination of any 3 at fault accidents or moving violation convictions within any rolling 24-month (2 year) lookback period.
In order to avoid the mandatory license suspension, the customer must attend and satisfactorily complete the National Safety Council Attitudinal Dynamics of Driving (ADD) course well enough in advance of the commencement of the indefinite revocation, so that it the course completion can be posted to the customer’s Massachusetts Driving Record.
The addition of the course completion to the customer’s record will prevent the indefinite license revocation from going into effect.
If the indefinite 3 surchargeable events revocation has commenced, the customer must complete the course and pay a mandatory $100.00 reinstatement fee. The Registry will not grant a hardship license for this type of revocation. However, if your license has been suspended for 7 surchargeable events, you can be considered for a hardship license by going before the Board of Appeal.
In this particular case, a Registry Hearing Officer agreed that the indefinite revocation was legally invalid and she promptly corrected it.
If you have received a suspension or revocation notice from the Registry, and you suspect that the license loss might be invalid, you should consult with a lawyer or see a Registry Hearing Officer to find out what your rights are.