In Massachusetts, the Registry of Motor Vehicles has many ways to suspend your right to operate a motor vehicle. Meaning you can lose your license or privilege to operate in Massachusetts for a large number of reasons.

While there are many ways by which the Registry may suspend a drivers license. There are just two suspensions that a Hearings Officer at the Registry of Motor Vehicles will consider issuing a hardship license.

A hardship license or cinderella license is grant a time restricted license. Meaning holders of a hardship license can only operate during a 12 hour window 7 days per week.

A Registry Hearings Officer can only consider the granting of a Hardship License:

  • If the individual's driving privileges were suspended when he was identified as a habitual traffic offender.
  • If the individual was convicted in Massachusetts for the first or second time of driving under the influence (OUI/DUI)

That is it –  If your license is suspended for any other reason, whether it is for a conviction for Leaving the Scene of an Accident, a Third Offense Operating Under the Influence, or even for refusing the breathalyzer test—just to name a few—the Registry of Motor Vehicles will simply not consider issuing a hardship license.

Is It Worth The Effort?

Whether it is worth your time and frustration going to meet with a Registry Hearings Officer depends entirely on the reason your license is suspended.

Some other questions that need to be considered are whether you have served enough of the suspension for a Hearings Officer to even consider granting a Hardship License and whether there is any evidence that you have operated a motor vehicle during the suspension.

How Much Time Do I Need To Serve?

The amount of time you must serve before applying for a hardship license through the Registry of Motor Vehicles Depends on the basis for your license suspension.

Below is a general overview of the time individuals must serve before the Registry of Motor Vehicles will even consider there hardship appeal. 

  • After a First Offense OUI whether it was a conviction or continued without a finding (CWOF), appellants can apply for a hardship license immediately, if the court imposes the standard 24D First Offender Disposition. Appellants will need to provide proof of enrollment in the driver alcohol education (DAE) program and documented proof of the need for a hardship license.
  • If after a first offense disposition your license was suspended for one year, you must serve three months of the suspension before applying.
  • A hardship can be considered by the Registry of Motor Vehicles for individuals convicted of a Second Offense OUI. Appellants must serve one year of the two year license suspension, unless you were granted a Cahill Disposition. If you refused the breathalyzer test you will not be eligible to apply for relief at the Registry until one year after the refusal suspension concludes.
  • If you are suspended as a Habitual Traffic Offender, you must serve one year of the four year suspension before applying for relief at the Registry of Motor Vehicles.

If you have already sought a hardship license and were denied you have more options!

The Other Option – The Division Of Insurance Board Of Appeals

If your license is suspended for some other reason or your hardship is denied by the Registry, your only other option is the Massachusetts Board of Appeals. 

The Board of Appeal hears Massachusetts License Suspensions and Hardship License Appeals. If you were denied at the Registry, do not lose hope. The Board of Appeals has legal authority pursuant to G.L. c. 90 § 28 to modify any decision by the Registry of Motor Vehicles. The Board has the authority and will often grant relief in situations that the Registry said no.

The Board of Appeals handled thousands of hearings a year and does not conduct walk in hearings. The hearings are scheduled on specific dates in specific locations across Massachusetts. 

If you were denied by the Registry of Motor Vehicles, the team at Gilman Law, P.C., can put you and your family in the best position to get relief from the Board of Appeals. We represent hundreds of clients per year before the Board. We know the questions to be asked, problems to foresee and concerns to resolve.

As a former Hearings Officer with the Registry of Motor Vehicles, attorney Gilman will be able to quickly understand your situation and walk you through all your options.

Contact Gilman Law, P.C., for a free consultation and start the process of getting back on the road.

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