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Massachusetts Hardship License Waiting Periods

Massachusetts Registry News

Massachusetts Hardship Licensing Laws include “waiting periods,” which require drivers who have had their licenses suspended for DUI, drug convictions, and habitual traffic offender status to serve a certain amount of the suspension time prior to being considered for a hardship license. The Mass. Registry of Motor Vehicles will refuse to hear a hardship license appeal unless the applicant has served the required amount of time.


For a Massachusetts DUI First Offense, which was resolved pursuant to G.L. c. 90 § 24D, you can apply for a hardship license 3 days after obtaining a 24D First Offender disposition in court and enrolling in the 24D Alcohol Education Program. DUI 2nd offenders are required to serve 1 year of the 2 year revocation, DUI 3rd offenders must serve 2 years of the 8 year license suspension, and DUI 4th offenders must serve 5 years of the 10 year DUI license suspension. 2nd and subsequent DUI offenders will be ignition interlock required for the  entire term of any hardship license and for a period of 2 years after getting a full reinstatement. There is no way around the interlock requirement.

Habitual traffic offenders must serve 1 year of the 4 year revocation and must have completed the National Safety Council Driver Re-training class. Also, to get a hardship license from the RMV, there must be no evidence of driving during the 1 year suspension period.

In order to apply for a hardship license on a drug related suspension, you must serve 1/2 of the suspension time. The Registry also requries completion of a drug treatment program and 3 clean urine screens, spaced 30 days apart, covering the 3 months prior to the Registry or Board of Appeal hardship license hearing.

It is important to note that serving the required amount of time does not guarantee a hardship license. Both the Massachusetts Registry and the RMV Board of Appeals consider a variety of other factors in addition to time served. 

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