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Habitual Traffic Offender Hardship Licenses

The Massachusetts Habitual Traffic Offender Statute, G.L. c. 90 Sec. 22F, requires the Registry to revoke your driver's license or right to drive when you have accumulated 3 major violations, 12 minor violations, or any combination thereof, within any 5 year period.

Under the Mass. HTO Law, minor violations include speeding, failure to stop for a red light, marked lanes violations, and the like. These are civil infractions or "moving violations," which count towards Habitual Traffic Offender Revocations. Out-of-state convictions, if reported to the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles, will be counted just as if they were Massachusetts convictions.

Major violations which trigger habitual traffic offender revocations include drunk driving (any variation), driving on a suspended license, leaving the scene of an accident, operating to endanger, negligent operation, driving without a license, obtaining or attempting to obtain a false or fraudulent license, and using a motor vehicle in the commission of a felony.

If you have the misfortune of losing your license for 4 years as a habitual traffic offender, you can apply for a limited 12 hour hardship license once you have served 1 year of the 4 year revocation. Whether you have to go to the Massachusetts RMV or the Division of Insurance Board of Appeal will depend on your driving record. Individuals with particularly bad or lengthy driving records are more likely to have difficulty obtaining hardship or work licenses.

At the end of your 4 year HTO revocation, or if you get early relief in the form of a Cinderella license, you will have to pay a $530.00 reinstatement fee. You will also be required to take and pass a written test, obtain a learner's permit, and pass a road test. The Registry requires re-testing when a driver has been suspended or revoked for 1 year or more.

Prior to getting back on the road, with either a hardship or full license, you must take and complete the National Safety Council 8 hour attitudinal dynamics of driving course. This is mandatory.

The exact procedures to follow to get a hardship license on a 4 year habitual traffic offender revocation will depend on your driving record. For example, any evidence of driving will disqualify you from appealing to the Registry and it will force you to appeal to the Board of Appeal. Likewise, if you have multiple habitual traffic offender revocations, you must also go to the Board of Appeal. Don't do this without a lawyer. Instead, contact Attorney Brian E. Simoneau for a review of your situation. Appealing too early, without a adequate legal representation, or while you have pending charges may result in a hardship license denial which will force you to serve the remainder of your 4 year revocation. 

A four Massachusetts HTO suspension which is triggered by a DUI convicton will prevent you from getting a hardship license from the RMV, but not necessarily the Board of Appeal.