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Sorry, I have no Magic Eraser

Massachusetts Registry News

My office receives a large number of inquiries from people who want to get convictions and responsible findings removed from their driving records. Unfortunately, I have no “magic eraser” and this cannot be done.

If you are arrested for Operating Under the Influence, for example, and you fail or refuse to take the breath test, you will have a 30-day Admin. Per Se suspension or a breath test refusal suspension. There is a $500.00 reinstatement fee for each of these suspensions and you will have to pay that regardless of the outcome of the criminal OUI case.

If you are found not guilty or the OUI charge is dismissed, your record will reflect the not guilty verdict or dismissal regarding the criminal case. However, a favorable outcome in the drunk driving case will not invalidate the admin. per se suspension or the chemical test refusal suspension. Those will remain on your driving record permanently.

Under the Massachusetts Safe Driver Insurance Plan, surchargeable events can be used to increase your automobile insurance premiums for up to six (6) years. Events falling outside this 6-year lookback period cannot be held against you for insurance premium calculation purposes.

Incident free years of driving will earn you credit points under the Mass. SDIP and surcharge points are assessed for at fault accidents and most automobile law violations. Minor violations such as speeding or marked lanes will result in a 2-point assessment and major violations such as Operating Under the Influence will result in a 4-point assessment. These points are used to calculate your insurance rates. There is no need to have convictions removed from your record. Under this system, once the conviction falls outside of the 6-year assessment period, it cannot be used to increase your rates. However, Massachusetts has lifetime look back for determining the length of DUI license suspensions.

It is possible to get certain criminal records sealed pursuant to G.L. c. 276 Sections 100A & B. However, your Massachusetts Driver History cannot be sealed. The sealing laws do not direct the Registry to seal its records.

Records of certain offenses which were committed prior to the defendant’s 21st birthday can be expunged if certain qualifications are satisfied. Also, records which resulted from identity theft, fraud, or mistakes by law enforcement, witnesses, or court staff can be expunged on the grounds that they are invalid records. However, other than that, there is no such thing as “expungement” in Massachusetts. The RMV is required to keep permanent records of DUI convictions and those records are generally not subject to sealing, expungement, or erasure.

Likewise, if you are convicted of a criminal automobile law violation such as reckless driving, negligent operation, or driving on a suspended license, those convictions will appear on your Massachusetts Driving Record and they cannot be removed therefrom.

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