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MA License Reinstatement Fees

Mass. RMV Q&A

I recently received this inquiry regarding MA License Reinstatement Fees.

The DOT hearing officer at the Registry’s office in Lawrence had a white board describing the new consecutive reinstatement fees as of 3-26-18. The officer explained that the 6 $500 fees used to be one $500 but this has changed. Tell me I’m wrong but how can the consecutive fees apply when the offense and conviction date be prior to this implementation date of the new reinstatement fees? The Registry’s common practice was to assign one fee and now they want to retroactively assign others. Don’t the courts frown on this? In fact shouldn’t my fees be what they were then? Ex-post facto and grandfather clause should be in practice. Tell me what you think.

The answer to this question is that the Massachusetts Driver’s License Reinstatement Fees are established by statute and this law has not changed. Prior to the implementation of the Registry’s new computer system, hearing officers only charged the highest reinstatement fee and they waived others. Now, with the new ATLAS computer system, customers are required to pay all reinstatement fees. For example if you are reinstating from a 7 surchargeable event suspension, you will be charged $100.00. If the surchargeable events triggered a 4 year Habitual Traffic Offender Revocation, there will be an additional $500.00 reinstatement fee applied. If the same incident generated an indefinite immediate threat revocation there will be an additional $500.00 reinstatement fee.

The Massachusetts License Reinstatement Fees which the Registry charges are set forth in G.L. c. 90 § 33.

The Registry is now charging the reinstatement fees that the law allowed them to charge all along. The fact that the RMV previously waived fees does not mean that the requirement to pay the reinstatement fee associated with each suspension or revocation is illegal or “ex post facto.” The Registry is simply charging the reinstatement fees allowed by law.

Drivers who are attempting to reinstate from multiple suspensions and revocations can be faced with the requirement to pay thousands of dollars in fees to get their licenses back. Unfortunately, Registry Hearing Officers have absolutely no ability to reduce or waive fees. The Division of Insurance Board of Appeal will not grant any relief when it comes to reinstatement fees and any Board of Appeal order allowing reinstatement is conditioned upon the payment of any fees and monies owed in full.

Hiring a lawyer to challenge reinstatement fees will not be effective because the fees are constitutional and allowed by Massachusetts law.

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