What is a hardship license?
A hardship license is a regular driver’s license, albeit with a 12-hour restriction. The Massachusetts RMV issues hardship licenses to customers whose licenses are suspended for DUI or being a habitual traffic offender. It is also possible to get a hardship license for a 7 surchargeable events suspension or an ignition interlock violation. A hardship or “Cinderella license” allows the holder to drive for an identical 12-hour period each day, for example 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM. The hours are based on the holder’s work schedule.
How do I get a hardship license?
The path to a hardship license will depend on why your license was suspended. If it was suspended for DUI or habitual traffic offender, and you have served enough suspension time, you may be able to obtain a hardship license directly from the Mass. Registry of Motor Vehicles. However, no hardship licenses are available for CDL suspensions.
If your license was suspended for any other reason, such as 7 surchargeable events, immediate threat, speeding on a JOL, reckless driving, license fraud or leaving the scene of an accident, for example, you cannot get a hardship license from the Registry and going through that process is a complete waste of time. Instead, you must apply to the Board of Appeal. After a hearing, this appellate agency can order the Registry to grant you a work license.
If the Registry denies you a hardship license, for any reason, you should consult with a lawyer. The law gives you the legal right to appeal any adverse action taken by the RMV and an attorney can help you exercise that right.
In order to get a hardship license, whether from the RMV or Board of Appeal, you need documentation showing that you have a need to drive for work, medical treatment, or school. You also need documentation showing that granting you a license will not endanger the public safety. After reviewing your driving record and your situation, a lawyer can advise you regarding the specific items you will need.
If you need further guidance regarding how to get a hardship license or if you are interested in retaining a lawyer, contact Attorney Brian Simoneau.