Mass. Hardship License Questions and Answers, Part 1 of many…

A Massachusetts resident lost her Mass. license because of an aggravated DWI conviction in New Hampshire in December of 2008.  She has appealed the DWI conviction and is awaiting a jury trial. She asks about her chances of getting a Massachusetts Hardship License.

Answer: Neither the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles nor the Board of Appeal will issue a hardship license during an out of state license suspension. If your license is suspended in the NDR, you must clear the out of state revocation before getting any license from the Massachusetts RMV. Unfortunately, this woman cannot get a hardship license.

A gentleman from Western Massachusetts writes that he lost his license because of failure to pay child support and asks of he can get a hardship license.

Answer: Unfortunately, the answer is no. Neither the Board of Appeal nor the RMV will issue a hardship license for a non-payment of child support license suspension. The only way to address this is to get a release from the Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR).

Numerous people have questioned the Registry’s requirement that they install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle. Given the false positive rate and costs associated with ignition interlock devices, I cannot blame them for looking for ways around having the device installed. However, there is no way around the RMV’s ignition interlock requirement. If you have 2 or more DWI convicitons on your record, and you are coming off of a hardship license, reinstating your license from a DUI suspension, or moving into Massachusetts from another state and getting a Mass License, you will be required to have the interlock device for at least two years. If you move out of state and agree never to drive in Massachusetts, you may be able to get around interlock. Other than that narrow exception, if you are legally required to have interlock, there is absolutely no way around it.

Incidentally, if you have the misfortune of being accused by the RMV of violating the ignition interlock law or regulations, please contact me at 508-881-1119 or via e-mail. I can probably help you avoid a 10 year or lifetime license suspension.