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Child Support License Suspensions


The Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR), has discovered that for many people the worst punishment they can receive (short of incarceration) is the loss of a driver’s license. Consequently, the DOR can mandate that the Registry impose Child Support License Suspensions. The inability to drive impacts every aspect of life – such as working,  shopping, attending school, and socializing with friends and family. The DOR has taken advantage of this and regularly issues notices threatening Child Support License Suspensions to parents who owe past-due support and who are not making regular payments. That parent’s failure to pay the support debt in full or to begin making regular payments will result in a Child Support License Suspension.  These suspensions are allowed by G.L. c. 119A, § 16(b). Absolutely no hardship license is available for a Child Support License Suspension and there are no exceptions.  

If you receive a notice from DOR indicating that DOR intends to instruct the Registry to suspend your license for non-payment of child support, you may request, within 30 days of the date of such notice, a hearing before DOR regarding the suspension, revocation, non-issuance or non-renewal of your license. This is the sole administrative remedy for you to contest a final determination of delinquency and the action to be taken against your license. Once DOR instructs the Registry of Motor Vehicles to suspend your license, the Registry has no discretion and must take the requested action. The only way to avoid a suspension is to satisfy your financial obligation, obtain a court order reinstating your license, or request a hearing and convince the DOR to not suspend your license. Contact an attorney regarding your DOR License issue.

If your license has been suspended, revoked or prohibited from being issued and you pay your child support arrearage in full, or comply with a payment plan DOR will notify the RMV and it is required to reinstate, issue or renew your license if you are otherwise in good standing. You must obtain a release from the MA DOR Child Support Enforcement Unit to reinstate.

The Board of Appeal will not hear DOR License Suspension Appeals and states that License Suspensions arising out of Department of Revenue support proceedings should be appealed to the court where the child support order was issued or registered. A Registry Lawyer cannot help you in these situations. Instead, you should contact a divorce lawyer.

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