Appealing a Hardship License Denial to the Board of Appeal

hardship_license_deniedIf you have been denied a Cinderella or hardship license by the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles, you have the right to appeal the denial to the Board of Appeal. The Board has the legal authority to order the Registry to issue a hardship license, even after a Registry hearings officer has ruled against issuance. Once the Board of Appeal issues an order granting a hardship license, the Registry must abide by the order, as written. The orders usually condition reinstatement on passing any required examinations, paying reinstatement fees, and installing the ignition interlock device for repeat DUI offenders.

However, not even the Board of Appeal can grant a hardship license if there are outstanding arrest warrants or other financial obligations. The Board will also refuse to grant hardship relief during the term of a chemical test refusal suspension for all but first offenders.

Unlike the Registry, the Board of Appeals does not hear cases on walk-in basis. Instead, you must file an application for a hearing, pay a non-refundable filing fee, and wait until your hearing is scheduled. The RMV Board of Appeal hears appeals on a first come, first served basis, in accordance with the length of the suspension, with appeals of shorter suspensions being heard before appeals of longer suspensions.  

Being represented by a lawyer who is familiar with exactly how the Board operates can substantially increase your chances of getting a hardship license. If your case was simple, the Registry would have granted you a license and you would not have to appeal to the Registry Board of Appeals. Consequently, you should seriously consider legal representation. If the Board denies hardship relief, it is generally next to impossible to prevail in superior court.