There is absolutely no automatic right to a Massachusetts hardship license, which is also known as a work license, 7 to 7, or Cinderella license. Instead, these licenses are granted at the discretion of the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles or the Mass. RMV Board of Appeal.
If the Registry of Motor Vehicles denies you a hardship license after a Registry hearing, you have the right to appeal the denial to the Massachusetts Board of Appeal of the Division of Insurance. The Board has the power to overrule the Registry’s decision and it can order the RMV to issue you a hardship license. As compared to the Registry, the Board has much more flexibility and discretion regarding hardship license appeals. However, the Board of Appeal will not issue a license in a case where the appellant represents a risk to pubic safety.
If the Board of Appeal denies hardship relief, it is possible to file a motion for reconsideration. The motion must be filed within thirty (30) days of receipt of the Board’s adverse decision. The motion for reconsideration must identify a clerical error in the Board’s decision or significant factor in your case, which the Board may have overlooked.
Within thirty (30) days of receipt of a final decision of the Board of Appeal, it is possible to appeal to superior court. The appeal must have a legitimate legal basis and the vast majority of hardship license appeals fail at the superior court level. The court affords the Board of Appeal with wide latitude and discretion. Absent a legal error, a superior court judge will not substitute his or her judgment for the Board’s.
There is generally no ability to introduce new evidence at the superior court level. Instead, the court will rely on the evidence presented at the Board of Appeal hearing. Given the limited appellate opportunities available to those who are denied a hardship license, it is important to be represented by an experienced lawyer who specializes in Massachusetts hardship license appeals.