Prior to appearing before the Board of Appeal at a Hardship License Hearing, it is important to have as many “loose ends” tied up. This is especially true if your license or right to drive is suspended or revoked in another state. The Board will not override a National Driver Register (NDR) suspension or revocation. Therefore, you should, make sure that your record is clear prior to appearing before the Board. Of course, any lawyer you hire to represent you before the Board should do this automatically. If you are representing yourself, which is not recommended, you should obtain a copy of your Massachusetts driving record and be sure to address any outstanding issues such as NDR problems.
The failure to make sure that you are clear in other states will likely result in the Board denying you hardship relief. In some cases, the Board may refuse to hear your case or it may cause the Board of Appeal to rule against you and deny hardship relief. When representing clients before the Board, I try to clear up as many of these issues as possible and many clients are surprised when I tell them that their license is suspended or revoked in another state. These out of state suspensions and revocations usually also trigger corresponding Massachusetts suspensions which the Board of Appeal will not address. Instead, any decision of the Board will condition the issuance of a license upon the clearance of the NDR suspensions.
Other “loose ends” which should be cleared prior to hardship license hearings include unpaid parking tickets, excise tax, child support, warrants, payment defaults for speeding another citations, outstanding fast lane fines, unpaid property damage claims, and the like. Addressing these issues prior to the Board of Appeal hearing can increase an applicant’s chances of success, because it shows responsibility. Failing to address these issues, on the other hand, shows irresponsibility and it might suggest that the hardship license candidate is not a “good risk” for the Board or that he or she is immature and a responsible person.
It makes no sense to wait to address NDR suspensions and other related issues, because the Board will not excuse drivers from these obligations and the Registry will not reinstate a driver’s license unless and until all outstanding fines are paid, the driver is clear in the NDR, and all outstanding obligations are satisfied in full.