Massachusetts courts will essentially be closed for in-person legal proceedings for another month and the Mass. Registry of Motor Vehicles is unlikely to return to normal operations anytime soon. The RMV has extended the expiration dates of driver’s licenses, registrations, and inspection stickers for an additional 2 months.
If you need a hardship license or license reinstatement hearing, you must follow the Registry’s new procedure, which is designed to minimize in-person contact and maintain social distancing.
The instructions on the Registry’s website regarding the need to schedule an appointment in advance prior to visiting a Registry branch do not apply to hearings conducted by the Driver Control Unit. You must appear in person and you do not need to book an appointment. Only certain RMV Services Centers, such as the Haymarket Branch located at 136 Blackstone Street in Boston are accepting hearing request forms.
You will submit the required documentation to a MassDOT official and a hearing officer will call you by phone to conduct your hearing. There will be no in-person hearing held at the Registry. So as to maintain social distance, hearing officers are working remotely. This remote hearing process will likely make getting reinstated from indefinite immediate threat revocations more complicated.
The Registry requires Class D license holders to take and pass written and road tests if the customer’s license has been suspended or revoked for 2 or more years. If this applies to you, unfortunately, you will not be able to reinstate. The Registry is not currently conducting road tests, for the safety of the road test examiners.
As always, if you are aggrieved by an adverse decision of the Registry, you have the right to appeal. However, the Board of Appeal is not currently conducting hearings and there is an enormous backlog of hearing requests at the Division of Insurance, Board of Appeal. This makes it more important than ever to try to obtain a favorable decision from the Registry and hiring a lawyer to prepare and present your case will likely increase your chances of a positive outcome.