The Massachusetts License Suspension Law, G.L. c. 90 § 22(c) states that if a Massachusetts resident or Mass. licensed driver is convicted in another state of a motor vehicle violation, the Mass. RMV is required to treat the conviction as if it had occurred here in Massachusetts. The Registry has interpreted this legal requirement to mean that the Florida offense of “careless driving” should be treated as a conviction for “negligent operation” in Massachusetts. This means that if a Massachusetts resident or Mass. license holder is convicted of careless driving in Florida, the Mass. Registry of Motor Vehicles will suspend the person’s driver’s license for at least 60 days. Also, the FL careless driving violation may count against the person under the Massachusetts Habitual Traffic Offender Law.
Apparently, Florida police officers routinely issue citations for careless driving. Several Massachusetts residents who were involved in Florida traffic accidents have reported that Florida police officers are required to issue careless driving tickets anytime there is a motor vehicle accident. These out of state accidents can result in automobile insurance surcharges as well as Massachusetts license revocations.
There are legal differences between the Florida Careless Driving violation and the Massachusetts Negligent Operation offense such that it may be possible to have these careless driving license suspensions overturned by the Board of Appeal of the Division of Insurance. Contact Attorney Brian E. Simoneau for more information. However, the best way to avoid a 60 day Massachusetts License Suspension for Careless Driving in Florida is to appeal your Florida traffic citation. In Florida, your personal appearance may not be required and you may be able to have a Florida Traffic Ticket Lawyer represent you in court and avoid a suspension-triggering conviction.