Driving Outside of Hours on a Hardship License

Under the Massachusetts DUI Law, the Registry of Motor Vehicles may issue a hardship license to those who have had their Massachusetts Driver’s Licenses revoked for operating under the influence, drug convictions, and being a habitual traffic offender. The Division of Insurance Board of Appeal may also authorize a hardship license for those and other reasons. A hardship license is issued for a 12 hour period, which is established at the hardship license hearing.

The Mass. Registry will revoke a hardship license for any operation outside of hours. This means that if you are caught driving outside of the 12 hour period, not only can you be charged with unlicensed operation, but the Registry will revoke the hardship license and re-suspend your right to drive for the remaining suspension period. When this happens, you will receive a letter from the Mass. Registry of Motor Vehicles which states that your license is suspended or revoked for “SUSPENSION RESUSP.” This simply means that the RMV is re-suspending your right to drive for the remainder of the time to be served.

In addition to having to serve the remainder of the original license suspension, a charge of driving without a license may trigger an additional 4 year loss of license under the Massachusetts Habitual Traffic Offender Law. If this happens, you will have a new revocation on top of the original loss of license. It is highly unlikely that the Registry of Motor Vehicles will afford any hardship relief when someone commits new violations such as unlicensed operation or driving outside of their hardship hours. Therefore, it is imperative to strictly observe your 12 hour limitation and not operate a motor vehicle outside of those hours.