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Junior Operator License (JOL) Suspensions

The Registry of Motor Vehicles imposes harsh junior operator penalties which include substantial JOL suspensions, as well as stiff fines and reinstatement costs, even for first time offenders. The new law creates a "zero tolerance" environment for speeding or other unsafe driving by those on a Junior Operator’s License. A single speeding ticket for a Junior Operator will result in a 90-day license suspension, required completion of the State Courts Against Road Rage (SCARR) program, completion of an attitudinal retraining course, and a mandatory $500 reinstatement fee. In addition, violations in excess of 10 mph over the speed limit also include additional $10 fines for each mph over that threshold and a $50 surcharge. A second speeding ticket on a JOL will result in an automatic 1 year license suspension.

JOL Speeding, Drag Racing, and Operating to Endanger: A finding of responsible for speeding (1st offense) while on a JOL will result in a 90 day JOL suspension. A second speeding citation on a Junior Operator’s License will result in a 1 year license revocation. In either case, the Junior Operator will have to pay a $500 reinstatement fee, complete the NSC driver attitudinal retraining course, complete the State Courts Against Road Rage (SCARR) Program, and take a full written & road test. The Registry will not issue hardship licenses for these JOL suspensions. However, the Board of Appeal has the discretion to either shorten the length of the JOL suspension or authorize the issuance of a Hardship License.

JOL Passenger Restriction: A Junior Operator may not operate a motor vehicle within the first six (6) months after receiving a JOL while any passenger under 18 is in the vehicle (other than the Operator or an immediate family member [siblings]), unless the Junior Operator is accompanied by a person who is at least 21 years old, who has at least 1 year of driving experience, a valid license, and is seated beside the driver.

JOL Passenger Restriction Penalties: 60-day JOL suspension and $100 reinstatement fee for a first offense, 180-day suspension, $100 reinstatement fee, and a required driver attitudinal retraining course for a second offense, One-year suspension, $100 reinstatement fee, a required driver attitudinal retraining course, and the need to retake the knowledge and road tests for a subsequent offense.

JOL Hours Restriction: A Junior Operator may not operate a motor vehicle during the hours of 12:30 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. unless accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

JOL Hours Restriction Penalties: A violator of the JOL Time Restriction is considered to be unlicensed. It is a criminal offense and the Junior Operator may be arrested and punished by a fine and the license may be suspended. The minimum penalties for this violation are the same as the penalties for the passenger restriction.

MASSACHUSETTS JOL PENALTY OVERVIEW

Change or Addition

Current Law Comparison

Junior Operator Passenger Restriction/Penalties
No passengers during first 6 months of licensure, other than immediate family members Current restriction, increased penalties
1st offense: 60-day license suspension Currently 30-day suspension
2nd offense: 180-day license suspension and required attitudinal retraining Currently 60-day suspension
Subsequent offenses: 1-year license suspension and required attitudinal retraining Currently 90-day suspension
Junior Operator Night Driving Restriction/Penalties
Restricts driving from 12:30 AM-5:00 AM for duration of junior operator licensure, unless accompanied by parent/guardian.  Primary enforcement 1:00 AM-4:00 AM. Currently restriction begins at 12:00am
 1st offense: 60-day license suspension New penalty
2nd offense: 180-day license suspension and required attitudinal retraining New penalty
Subsequent offenses: 1-year license suspension and required attitudinal retraining New penalty
Fine for unlicensed operation: $100 and $1000 Currently between $100 and $200
Learner’s Permit Driving Unaccompanied Restrictions/Penalties
Restricts driving under a permit unless accompanied by a licensed driver 21 or older with 1 year or more driving experience. Current law, new penalties
1st offense: 60-day permit suspension New penalty
2nd offense: 180-day permit suspension  and completion of driver attitudinal retraining New penalty
Subsequent offenses: 1-year permit suspension New penalty
Fine for unlicensed operation: $100 and $1000 Currently between $100 and $200
Learner’s Permit Night Driving Restrictions/Penalties
Restricts driving from 12:00 AM-5:00 AM for duration of junior operator licensure, unless accompanied by parent/guardian.  Primary enforcement 1 AM-4 AM Current law, new penalties
1st offense: 60-day permit suspension New penalty
2nd offense: 180-day permit suspension and completion of driver attitudinal retraining New penalty
Subsequent offenses: 1-year permit suspension New penalty
Fine for unlicensed operation: $100 and $1000 Currently between $100 and $200
Driving Negligently or Recklessly as a Junior Operator
Increases the minimum 1st offense license suspension for junior operators who drive negligently or recklessly to 180 days Currently up to 60 day revocation upon conviction
Subsequent conviction within 3-years: 1-year suspension Currently up to 1-year suspension
Junior Operator and Learner’s Permit Drag Racing Penalty
1st offense: 1-year license or learner's permit suspension and $250 fine and $500 license or learner's permit reinstatement fee Currently 30-day suspension and fine between $100 and $500
2nd or subsequent offense: 3-year license or learner's permit suspension and $500 fine and $1000 license or learner's permit reinstatement fee Currently 180-day suspension and fine between $200 and $1000 with a 3rd offense penalty of 1-year suspension and fine between $200 and $1000
Requires completion of SCARR program, driver attitudinal retraining course, and 2nd road test for license reinstatement for JOL offenders New penalty
Requires completion of SCARR program, driver attitudinal retraining course and reapplication for a learner’s permit before offender may apply for licensure. New penalty
Operating a Motor Vehicle Without Having Been Issued a License
Increases maximum fine for operating a motor vehicle without being duly licensed to $1000 Currently between $100 and $200
Learner’s Permit Speeding/Penalties
1st offense: 90-day permit suspension, minimum $50 fine, plus additional $10 for each mph in excess of 10 mph over posted speed limit, plus $50 surcharge Current penalty is a fine
2nd or subsequent offense: 1-year permit suspension, minimum $50 fine, plus additional $10 for each mph in excess of 10 mph over posted speed limit, plus $50 surcharge Current law for 3rd or subsequent offense within a 12-month period is 30-day permit suspension and fine
Drag Racing Technical Change
Strikes penalties from c. 90, section 20 and establishes them in c. 90, section 17  
Junior Operator Speeding/Penalties
1st offense: 90-day license suspension, $50 fine, plus additional $10 fine for each mph exceeding 10 mph over speed limit, plus $50 surcharge, completion of SCARR program and completion of an attitudinal retraining course Current penalty is a fine
2nd and subsequent offenses: 1 year license suspension, $50 fine, plus additional $10 fine for each mph exceeding 10 mph over speed limit, plus $50 surcharge, completion of SCARR program and completion of an attitudinal retraining course Current penalty is 180-day license suspension and fine
Requires a $500 reinstatement fee and 2nd road test for license reinstatement Currently $100 reinstatement fee