In Massachusetts, hardship licenses allow individuals who have had their licenses suspended or revoked for DUI or various other reasons to be issued limited licenses which allow them to drive for 12 hour each day, so that they can drive for school, work, or to attend medical appointments. Although these are the reasons for the issuance of a hardship license, once the Registry grants a hardship license, it can be used for any reason, 7 days per week, so long as the driver abides by the 12-hour driving limitation.
Hardship license holders who have two or more Operating Under the Influence offense on their records may need to use an ignition interlock device in order to be able to legally operate a motor vehicle. The purpose of this device is to protect the public from drunk drivers.
There two ways to get a hardship license in Massachusetts. Those seeking hardship relief from a first offense DUI can get a hardship license directly from a Registry Hearing Officer. These officials are only located in certain Registry Branch locations, such as the Worcester, Massachusetts RMV Office and the branch located at 136 Blackstone Street, 3rd Floor, in Boston.
Second offenders who have successfully completed the 14-day in-patient DUIL program as well as all required aftercare, with a low risk of recidivism, can also be granted hardship licenses directly from a Registry Hearing Officer.
Anyone seeking a hardship license from the Registry must provide a work letter, on letterhead, no more than 30 days old, which adequately explains the customer’s work hours and need for a license. Documents showing that public transportation will not meet the customer’s needs must also be submitted. The Registry will also require proof of enrollment or completion of the appropriate alcohol or substance abuse treatment program. First offenders can provide proof of enrollment and second offenders must provide proof of program and aftercare completion.
Third and Fourth DUI offenders will generally be denied hardship licenses from the Registry and they will be referred to the Board of Appeal of the Mass. Division of Insurance. This appellate board has the ability to grant hardship licenses to those who might not meet the Registry’s stringent requirements. If you need to appear before the Board, it is advisable to hire a lawyer such as Attorney Brian Simoneau to represent you.