There are numerous roadblocks which may prevent you from reinstating or renewing your Massachusetts driver’s license. By addressing issues in advance of your Registry hearing, you can make the reinstatement process smoother for both you and the Registry.
First, any unpaid financial obligations must be satisfied. This includes parking tickets, child support, excise tax, fast lane violations, property damage claims, traffic citations, and the like. My office does not handle cases involving these issues and they must be paid in full. There is no way to get out of these obligations and the Registry will not reinstate or renew your license unless these financial obligations have been satisfied. You should retain proof of payment, in the form of a release, and bring this to the Registry of Motor Vehicles for your license reinstatement hearing. There absolutely is no way around this requirement.
Secondly, you must address any outstanding arrest warrants. If you have an active warrant for your arrest, you must address the warrant prior to trying to get your license back. If you need assistance, please contact a lawyer such as Attorney Paul B. Watkins, for assistance with your criminal case.
Third, any out of state issues must be clear, as the Registry Hearings Officer will check your name in the National Driver Register (NDR). If you are flagged in the National Driver Register as ineligible, you must address that issue in the state where the problem originated.
Fourth, the Registry doesn’t take American Express, or any other credit card for the payment of reinstatement fees. Your license will not be reinstated unless and until you pay the mandatory reinstatement fees. These fees must be paid by cash, check, or money order. The Registry does not except credit cards for reinstatement fees, which can range between $100.00 to $1,200.00 per suspension. If you have multiple suspensions, you will be required to pay a reinstatement fee for each license suspension.
Fifth, depending on the length of your suspension or revocation, you may be required to take a written test, get a learner’s permit, schedule and pass a road test, and then get your license. The Registry hearing officer who handles your case can advise you of this. If the Registry requires a written and/or road test, there will be no exceptions made to this requirement.
Sixth, if you are not being considered for a 12 hour hardship license, you must have served all of your suspension time. The Registry will not reinstate your license “early,” without an order from a judge or the Board of Appeal. If you are in need of early reinstatement, you should contact an attorney to discuss your options. Going to the Registry without a lawyer, court order, or finding and order from the Board of Appeal will likely just be a waste of time.
Seventh, depending on the nature and length of your suspension, you may be required to take the National Safety Council Driver Re-Training Program, the Alive at 25 class, the State Courts Against Road Rage (SCARR) Program, or an alcohol program such as the G.L. c. 90 § 24D First Offender Program, the DUIL 14 day in-patient 2nd offender program, or the 90 day in-patient alcohol program for 3rd offenders. These programs may be required for hardship licensing, by court order, or as a term and condition of probation in DUI cases.
Prior to trying to get your driver’s license reinstated, you may want to download a copy of your Massachusetts Driving Record to see if there is anything on the record which needs to be addressed and to make sure that you’ve served enough time. If you have any questions regarding your record, you can contact a lawyer for a free case review and initial consultation. Following these steps will make your license reinstatement process quicker and smoother.