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No Hardship Licenses for Certain Suspensions

The Massachusetts Legislature has granted the Mass. Registry of Motor Vehicles broad authority when it comes to license suspensions, revocations, and reinstatements. Included with this grant of authority is the ability to indefinitely suspend or revoke driver’s licenses for events which have absolutely nothing to do with driving or even motor vehicles. For example, the failure to pay child support is grounds for an automatic indefinite suspension of your license or right to drive in Massachusetts and this will not be lifted unless and until you provide a release from the Massachusetts Department of Revenue. Likewise, the non-payment of state taxes will result in the automatic suspension of your Massachusetts Driver’s License. Sex offenders who fail to register in accordance with Megan’s Law will have their licenses indefinitely suspended as will anyone who is the subject of an active arrest warrant which is issued by any Massachusetts District, Superior, or Trial Court. Those who fail to pay traffic tickets or citations for civil motor vehicle infractions will also have their licenses indefinitely revoked until payment is made in full and the Registry receives the required reinstatement fee.

In addition to the license suspensions listed above, all of which have nothing to do with dangerous driving or operating under the influence, if you cause an automobile accident in Massachusetts which results in property damage or personal injury to another person, and you do not have adequate automobile liability insurance coverage, the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles may legally suspend your license or right to drive in Massachusetts. If the lawyer for the plaintiff obtains a court judgment against you and that judgment remains unsatisfied, the lawyer may submit a copy of the unsatisfied property damage judgment to the Registry of Motor Vehicles and the Registry is required to indefinitely revoke the defendant’s license unless and until the property damage claim is paid and a release from the plaintiff’s lawyer is obtained. 

The one thing that all of these indefinite suspensions and revocations have in common is that no hardship license is available for any of these types of license losses. Neither the Registry of Motor Vehicles Division of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation nor the RMV Appeals Board grants any  type of hardship, Cinderella, or work license for suspensions involving payment defaults, warrants, failure to register as sex offender, unpaid property damage claims, or non-payment of state taxes. The only way to clear these suspensions is to satisfy your outstanding obligations and submit a release to the Driver Control Unit of the Registry of Motor Vehicles. Unlike in DUI, habitual traffic offender, and drug cases, no hardship licenses are granted for these suspension reasons. Also, prior to being considered for hardship license, if your license is also suspended or revoked for any of the above-listed reasons, you must have that suspension cleared prior to being considered for a hardship license on another suspension.