There is no right to a hardship license in Massachusetts, even if you have served enough suspension time and you meet all of the Registry’s hardship licensing requirements. The RMV and Appeals Board have wide latitude and broad discretion when it comes to the issuance of hardship licenses and you can be denied for arbitrary reasons such as your “general record” or not having enough of a hardship. In some cases, the Board of Appeal members may simply decide not to elect their discretion to grant a hardship license.
Common hardship license denial reasons include a history of significant drug or alcohol abuse, repeated OUI offenses, the failure to provide suitable proof of drug or alcohol counseling or treatment, the lack of evidence regarding a work, education, or medical related hardship, applying too early, not having served enough suspension time, evidence of driving on a suspended or revoked license regardless of whether a conviction resulted, having a substantial criminal or driving record, lack of appreciation of the consequences of the past violations, untreated alcoholism or drug abuse, and not having enough sober / clean time.
If you are able to manage your work, family, school and/or medical obligations with a suspended license, the Board of Appeal will uphold the Registry’s action and not grant you a hardship license. In that regard, you must present sufficient evidence that public transportation will not satisfy your basic transportation requirements.
I invite you to contact me if you are interested in applying for a hardship or work license in Massachusetts. I will conduct a detailed interview and review of your case to determine your chances of being issued a hardship license. If I don’t believe that I can help you, or if you need to serve more time, I will let you know. I screen my hardship licenses carefully and I try to only bring those clients before the RMV or Board of Appeal who I believe that I can help. Also, I will advise you if there are things that you need to do to increase your chances getting your license reinstated, such as getting an alcohol evaluation, taking a safe driving course, getting drug tested, paying outstanding tickets, and/or attending AA or other self-help meetings.
It is a misconception that the Registry is required to grant a hardship or Cinderella license if the driver meets the minimum requirements. As outlined above, there are many reasons why the Mass. RMV or Board of Appeal might refuse to grant a hardship license. Overriding a license suspension or revocation is considered “extraordinary relief” and you must present a convincing case to succeed. Fortunately, an attorney may be able help you get back on the road with either a 12 hour license or, in some instances, a full reinstatement of your driving privileges.