The Registry of Motor Vehicles charges reinstatement fees which have been authorized by the Massachusetts Legislature. Registry Hearing Officers have no discretion to waive these fees. They are set forth in G.L. c. 90 Sec. 33. With the implementation of the Registry’s new computer system, Hearing Officers may be charging for multiple unpaid reinstatement fees when a customer reinstates. Although this may not have been done before, this is authorized by the statute
The Registry’s new computer is apparently programmed to calculate reinstatement fees by totaling up any and all outstanding reinstatement fees for payment defaults, National Driver Register Revocations, DUI suspensions, and any other outstanding suspension or revocation from which the customer is reinstating. These reinstatement fees, which the Registry did not set, can range from $100.00 to $1,200.00. Now, customers will likely have to pay multiple reinstatement fees. Although this might be a change from how the fees were previously calculated, it is legal. These are the fees that the lawmakers established and it looks like the Registry’s new computer has been programmed to follow the law on reinstatement fees.
It is highly unlikely that individual Registry Hearing Officers will be afforded any discretion when it comes to imposing these mandatory fees as a condition of reinstatement of a driver’s license or right to operate a motor vehicle in Massachusetts. Hearing officers will likely be powerless to waive or override the required reinstatement fees, even in compelling cases.
MassDOT will only collect reinstatement fees when all of the active suspensions and/or license revocations has been served in their entirely or the customer has been granted hardship relief either directly from the RMV or the Board of Appeal. You cannot pay a reinstatement fee in advance, until all suspension / revocation time has been served and it is time to issue the license.
In addition to reinstatement fees, if the Registry has suspended your license for 3 or 7 surchargerable events, the RMV will impose a $50.00 “surcharge” at the time of reinstatement. This money is collected by the RMV and transferred to the Thomas P. Kennedy Spinal Cord Injury Trust Fund.
If you are planning on reinstating your license in the near future, you should be aware that it might be a very expensive process. Unfortunately, there is absolutely nothing that my office can do about reinstatement fees, which are mandated by law.