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B51 – Expired / No License Suspensions

Out of State Issues

The Registry of Motor Vehicles has been suspended Massachusetts Driver’s Licenses when the license holder is convicted of unlicensed operation or operating on an expired license in another state. These B51 Unlicensed Operation suspensions are plainly invalid and should be appealed.

Notwithstanding the lack of validity of these B51 – Expired / No License suspensions, the Registry will not reverse them without appellate intervention. The Registry has taken the ridiculous position that the suspensions are lawful and valid, even when I have repeatedly reversed them on appeal.

Operating After Suspension carries a minimum 60-day loss of license but unlicensed operation & driving on an expired license does not. Nevertheless, the Registry continues to impose these penalties and insists that these B51 – Expired / No License suspensions are legal. Interestingly, the Registry only appears to impose this B51 license suspension when the offense occurs outside of Massachusetts.

It would be illogical and draconian to punish operating on an expired license, a relatively minor infraction, with the harsh consequence of a 60-day license suspension. This will undoubtedly have a disparate impact on undocumented immigrants, as many of them are unlicensed. The imposition of this license suspension would be entirely inconsistent with the recent elimination of certain license suspensions. For example, the Criminal Justice Reform Act, Chapter 69 of the Acts of 2018, eliminated suspensions triggered by active arrest warrants and vandalism convictions. Similarly, on March 30, 2016, Governor Baker signed into law “An Act Relative to Motor Vehicle License Suspensions” making operators with certain prior drug convictions eligible for immediate license reinstatements and ending the imposition of license suspensions for most drug convictions.

Until the Registry transitioned from its old computer system called ALARS to their new multi-million dollar system called ATLAS, these B51 Unlicensed Operation suspensions were unheard of. Now, they are being issued routinely.

If you are facing a license suspension for B51 – Expired / No License, please contact me. I will get the suspension reversed and removed from your driving record. Even when the Registry insists that the suspension is valid and refuses to reverse it.

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