Getting a Cinderella license

A Cinderella license is also referred to as a hardship license or work license. All of these terms mean the same thing – a license issued by the Registry of Motor Vehicles directly or after an order from the Division of Insurance Board of Appeal which allows a person to legally drive during the term of a license suspension or revocation. These licenses are only granted when the applicant can show a legitimate need to drive for an important reason and that restoring his or her motor vehicle operating privileges will not endanger the safety of the motoring public. There is absolutely no automatic right to a Cinderella license, regardless of how much suspension time a person has served or the need to drive. Whether or not to grant a Cinderella license in Massachusetts is purely discretionary.

MassDOT will only issue hardship licenses for the following suspensions: DUI and Habitual Traffic Offender revocations. All other Cinderella license appeals must be filed with the Board of Appeal. Third and forth offense drunk driving Cinderella license appeals are referred to the Appeals Board.

Those who have had their license suspended for non-payment of child support or taxes are ineligible for  Cinderella licenses as are those who have out of state license suspensions. You cannot circumvent an active out of state or National Driver Register (NDR) indefinite revocation by getting a Massachusetts Cinderella license – your appeal will be denied.

It is impossible to obtain a Cinderella licenses without personally attending a hearing either at the Driver Control Unit of the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles or before a 3 member panel of the Board of Appeal, which is a quasi-judicial Board. This 3 member Board has the power under state law to grant a limited 12 hour license or a fulltime license, even if the Appellant is serving a mandatory revocation and the Registry has denied relief.

Whether the case is heard at the Registry or the Appellate Board, having the proper documentation and making a compelling presentation of the case is absolutely critical. An attorney who specializes in Cinderella licenses cases can help. This is especially important in cases which go before the Board of Appeal.