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Showstoppers & Dealbreakers at the Mass. RMV & Board of Appeal

Massachusetts Registry News

I receive a high volume of inquiries from prospective clients who are seeking relief from license suspensions which range in length from 30 day to lifetime. Some are looking for a hardship license, while others are trying to prevent, eliminate, vacate, or appeal a license suspension. Some people can be helped while others cannot. The following are the six most common situations where even the best License Suspension Lawyer generally cannot help.

First, if you are legally required to have the ignition interlock device, because of Melanie’s Law, you have to have it. In the case of Gordon v. Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles, the Massachusetts appeals court declared that the interlock law was constitutional and not “ex post facto.” If you can prove non-residency, you may be excused from having the interlock. However, you cannot drive in Massachusetts without it.

Secondly, if have any active warrants or you owe money for child support, excise tax, citations, traffic tickets, fines, fees, or property damage claims, you will not get your license back unless and until everything is paid and any outstanding warrants are cleared. This is true even if the Board of Appeal orders the RMV to issue a license. The Board’s order is contingent upon the payment of all outstanding debts and the Board of Appeal does not waive Massachusetts license reinstatement fees.

Third, if you are required to take the National Safety Council Driver Re-training program, the State Courts Against Road Rage Class, or the NSC Alive at 25 course, you must do so prior to getting your license back. The Board of Appeal does not excuse anyone from these mandatory classes. Remedial driving classes are required for certain JOL violations, such as speeding, Habitual Traffic Offender reinstatements, 5 surchargable event suspensions, and in some immediate threat or regulatory complaint cases. Again, if you are required to take these classes, there is no way around them.

Fourth, if your license is suspended or revoked under reciprocity, through the National Driver Registry (NDR,) you must clear the revocation in the state where it originated. The RMV will not grant you a hardship license on an NDR revocation or out of state suspension. You cannot convert an out of state hardship license or right to drive into any kind of Mass. license.

Fifth, most CDL suspensions and revocations are statutory and mandatory. Neither the Mass. RMV nor the Board of Appeal authorize the issuance of CDL hardship licenses. Also, the Board does not excuse drivers from mandatory CDL re-testing and re-licensing procedures.

Sixth, if you are seeking a Massachusetts Hardship License, you must have served the minimum about of suspension time and you must have a documented and legitimate hardship, such as not being able to get to work, school, or medical appointments. Both the RMV Board of Appeal and the Massachusetts RMV routinely turn down unemployed individuals who are seeking work licenses.

Hopefully, this information will help you avoid wasting your time and money by trying to get a license which may be impossible to get. If you have further questions regarding license suspensions and revocations, please contact me for a free consultation and review of your situation.

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