I get inquiries from people who have had their right to operate suspended in Massachusetts for automobile law violations such as operating under the influence, negligent operation and an accumulation of civil infractions such as speeding. They ask, “how can the Registry suspend something I don’t have?” Sometimes these inquiries involve indefinite immediate threat suspensions.
These individuals question how the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles can suspend or revoke their licenses when they’ve never been issued a Massachusetts Driver’s License. They ask, “how can the Registry suspend my license? I’ve never had a Mass. License.” The answer to this question is that the law allows the Mass. RMV to suspend your right to operate in Massachusetts. A suspension of your right to operate is exactly the same as a license suspension. It prohibits you from operating a motor vehicle in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and it will result in an indefinite AMVAA Withdrawal which means that you will be listed as “not eligible” in the National Driver Register.
Whenever you are listed as not eligible in the NDR, you home state is supposed to indefinitely revoke your driver’s license and not reinstate that license unless and until you have fully reinstated your right to operate in the state where the NDR block originated.
Suspending a violator’s right to operate makes sense. Otherwise, a person could accumulate an unlimited number of violations and escape the consequences because he or she would have no license to suspend. This would give the scofflaw immunity from penalties simply because he or she did not have a license. The system does not work that way. To address this scenario, the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles imposes suspensions of the violator’s right to operate.
Once the suspension of a person’s right to operate has been lifted and that individual has reinstated from that suspension, he or she can obtain a Massachusetts driver’s license by converting an out of state license or taking and passing the written and road tests in Massachusetts. However, you cannot get a Massachusetts license under any circumstances if your right to operate is under suspension or revocation in any other state. Likewise, you cannot get an out of state license if your right to dive has been suspended or revoked here in Massachusetts.