The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles does not operate in a vacuum, meaning that out of state convictions and license suspensions will “follow” you to Massachusetts, if you have a Massachusetts Driver’s License or if you are a Massachusetts resident. This is because there is a nationwide system in place to prevent drivers who are suspended or revoked in one state from driving or being licensed in other states.
Without this system, a driver could get a DUI while on vacation in some far away state and escape punishment by returning to his or her home state. Likewise, a driver who is facing a long-term revocation in his or her home state could avoid the loss of license by getting a driver’s license in some other state.
The nationwide suspension & revocation system is made possible by the National Driver Register, which is a central database of license information, suspensions, withdrawals, and denials. Also, may states are parties to compacts or agreements which allow for reciprocal license suspensions.
Under this system, the Suspension Department of the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles, which is located on the 3rd floor of the Boston RMV at 136 Blackstone Street in Boston, will suspend your Massachusetts license until any out of state loss of license is cleared. When your right to drive is reinstated in the other state, the Registry will require you to deliver proof of clearance to the Mass. Registry. Commonly accepted proof of clearance includes a certified driving record from the other state or a “clearance letter.” These documents cannot be more than 30 (thirty) days old.
If the out of state driving record shows a traffic or criminal offense which would trigger a loss of license if it had been committed in Massachusetts, the Registry will treat the conviction as if it had been committed here in Massachusetts and suspend your license. Basically, the Registry applies Mass. suspension rules to out of state convictions, even if the offense did not trigger a suspension in the other state.
You can clear out of state suspensions by appearing at Registry Branches during normal business hours at RMV offices located in Boston, Lawrence, Springfield, and Worcester. Hearings are conducted on a part-time basis on selected days at the South Yarmouth, Fall River, and Wilmington RMV Branches.