How to Reinstate Your Suspended Drivers License in Massachusetts
A Massachusetts drivers license suspension may happen as a result of failure to obey state laws and regulations. The state Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) may revoke your driving privileges by issuing a suspended drivers license for driving-related or non-driving-related offenses.
Drivers can reinstate suspended driving licenses by fulfilling a list of requirements after the suspension period is over. The reinstatement procedure may vary depending on the type of violation or offense you have committed. For more information about how to complete an MA drivers license reinstatement process, continue reading the sections below.
Reinstating a Massachusetts Suspended License
Drivers need to reinstate suspended driving licenses in Massachusetts in order to continue legally operating motor vehicles on public roads within the state. The steps of the reinstatement process may vary depending on the severity of the violation. A suspended drivers license may be issued due to a variety of reasons, such as:
- Immediate threat.
- Improper operation of a motor vehicle.
- Falsification of documents.
- Operation Under the Influence (OUI).
- Failure to pay child support.
- Outstanding arrest.
- Failure to register as a sex offender.
- Drug trafficking.
- Failure to pay income tax.
- Wrong payment to the RMV.
In addition, driving with a suspended or revoked drivers license is a criminal violation and drivers may be subject to heavy fines, jail-time and additional penalties.
How to Reinstate a Massachusetts Suspended Drivers License
Reinstating suspended drivers licenses in Massachusetts is a procedure that motorists must complete in order to continue their driving privileges in the state. The drivers license reinstatement procedure varies depending on the type of suspension involved.
To begin the process, drivers need to visit a nearby RMV office. In certain situations, motorists may need to attend a walk-in hearing held at a specific RMV Service Center. As part of the driving license reinstatement procedure, drivers are required to pay the applicable fees.
Suspension Periods in Massachusetts
The Massachusetts drivers license suspension periods vary depending on the type of offense you have committed and on the type of permit or license you hold. The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) can suspend the driving privileges of motorists who have committed criminal offenses, for the given periods:
- 30 to 180 days: drag racing by drivers older than 18 years of age.
- 60 days to one year: operating a motor vehicle with a suspended drivers license; leaving the scene of an accident when there is a property damage; operating a motor vehicle dangerously; careless driving and injury due to mobile phone usage.
- One year: defacing property or applying graffiti.
- One to two years: leaving the scene of an accident when there is a person injured.
- One to three years: operating a motor vehicle without the owner’s authority.
- One to five years: drug trafficking conviction.
- 15 years to lifetime: committing homicide or manslaughter while operating motor vehicles.
Drivers who are Operating Under the Influence (OUI) of alcohol or drugs, will receive a drivers license suspension period of one year for first offense, two years for second offense, eight years for third offense, ten years for fourth offense and a lifetime suspended driving license will be handed down for a fifth offense.
Massachusetts Point System
Suspended drivers licenses in Massachusetts are issued as a result of accumulating demerit points on an individual’s driving record. The state Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) has created a Safe Driver Insurance Program (SDIP) in order to approve the issuance of surcharges or discounts by insurance companies.
The SDIP is a surcharge point-based system which can issue insurance surcharges. An MA drivers license suspension may be brought on by a certain number of surcharges on your driving record. The number of surcharges that you can get for a surcharge incident is the following:
- Major traffic law violation: 5 points.
- Major at-fault accident: 4 points.
- Minor at-fault accident: 3 points.
- Minor traffic law violation: 2 points.
Traffic School in Massachusetts
When facing suspended drivers licenses in Massachusetts, drivers are required to attend state-approved traffic school courses for accumulating too many driving record points, committing multiple traffic violations, or to complete a court order. The MA Driver Retraining Program is mandatory for drivers who have drivers license suspensions, or who are required by court to complete it.
Motorists may face suspended driving licenses after accumulating three or more surcharge events in a period of two years. If you want to reinstate your driving privileges, you have to enroll in the MA Driver Retraining Program, either due to a court order or on a voluntary basis.
Types of Massachusetts Drivers License Suspensions
Motorists may get suspended drivers licenses in Massachusetts due to failure to obey state laws and regulations. Your driving credential may be revoked or suspended for the following reasons:
- Committing minor or criminal traffic violations.
- Operating motor vehicle under the influence.
- Accumulating several offenses.
- Participating in an accident which was your fault.
- Failing to pay income tax.
- Committing fraud.
- Failing to pay child support.
Drivers who think that they are involved in a situation when they can get a drivers license suspension in MA, may request a copy of their driving records to check their status.
Massachusetts DUI Suspensions
Drivers may face Massachusetts drivers license suspensions for Operating Under the Influence (OUI) of alcohol or drugs. The MA Registry of Motor Vehicles imposes strict penalties for OUI-related violations.
When committing a first OUI offense, drivers may attend a court-assigned Alcohol Education Program from 45 to 90 days, or get suspended drivers licenses for one year if found guilty. Motorists who commit a second OUI offense will get two-year suspensions of their driving privileges.
A third offense will bring them a four-year suspension period, while committing a fourth offense will get them suspended driving licenses for a period of 10 years. As part of the requirements for reinstating drivers licenses in Massachusetts, every committed offense after the first one will require drivers to pass a written exam and road test, and to install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID).
Drivers who are found guilty for a fifth OUI offense will get lifetime drivers license suspensions and will not be able to reinstate their driving privileges. When operating motor vehicles under the influence of alcohol or drugs, drivers may get their period lengthened. This may happen as a result of a previous suspension, of carrying a child of 14 years of age or younger in the vehicle, or of causing serious bodily injuries to passengers.
Older Than 21
Drivers may get drivers license suspensions in Massachusetts due to an arrest for Operating Under the Influence (OUI) after determining their Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) level. Drivers who are 21 years of age or older may get suspended drivers licenses for 30 days if they are found to be driving with a BAC level of 0.08 percent or more.
Younger Than 21
Suspended driving licenses may also be issued to minor drivers who are Operating Under the Influence (OUI) of alcohol or drugs. Drivers younger than 21 years of age may get a 30-day drivers license suspension period for being found to have a BAC level of 0.02 percent or more.
Car Insurance Suspensions
Motorists who want to avoid drivers license suspensions in Massachusetts need to maintain minimum liability car insurance coverage. The minimum amounts that drivers need to purchase are $20,000 for bodily injury to one person, $40,000 for bodily injury in an accident, $8,000 for Personal Injury Protection (PIP), $20,000 for bodily injury to one person caused by an uninsured auto, $40,000 for bodily injury in an accident caused by an uninsured vehicle, and $5,000 for property damage.
Traffic Summons or Failure to Pay
Suspended drivers licenses in Massachusetts may occur as a result to unpaid traffic tickets or court fines. For instance, failure to respond to a civil citation within 20 days will make you pay late and release fees on the citation, and will waive your right to a court hearing.
Motorists may pay their civil citations online, by mail or by phone. Drivers who fail to pay the total fine within 30 days of the notice will be issued drivers license suspensions by the MA Registry of Motor Vehicles.
Massachusetts Hardship Drivers License
Drivers with suspended drivers licenses in Massachusetts are eligible to obtain hardship licenses, which will allow them to continue legally operating their motor vehicles during specific hours of their suspension period. The Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) issues hardship credentials to licensed drivers who are Habitual Traffic Offenders, or who have committed offenses, such as: first offense (24D), multiple offense (Operating Under the Influence – OUI), or drug offense (94C).
Applying for a Massachusetts Hardship License
A Massachusetts drivers license restoration process allows drivers to apply for a hardship license for driving their motor vehicles to and from specific places, such as your workplace or school. Motorists who want to obtain a hardship credential must first attend a hearing at an RMV Hearing Site and provide the required documentation.
Depending on the type of offense you have committed, the requirements for a hardship license may differ. Read the exact requirements you need to fulfill on the official RMV website, before heading to a regional Hearing Site. Whilst serving out a suspended drivers license term, drivers will get a Restriction H added to their license or driving record, if they are approved to get hardship credentials.
Note: When the hardship license expires, or the RMV approves you a drivers license reinstatement, the H restriction will be removed from your driving credential or record.
Fees to Reinstate a Massachusetts Drivers License
When reinstating suspended drivers licenses in Massachusetts, motorists are required to pay certain fees to the state Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV). The fees vary depending on the type of violation you commit, but drivers are most often required to pay a $100 reinstatement fee.
From motorists who want to reinstate drivers licenses, more serious violations require higher payments. The highest reinstatement fee is $1,200, when your driving privileges are suspended as a result of a third or fourth Operating Under the Influence (OUI) offense for both adults and minors. For a complete overview of MA drivers license reinstatement fees, check the RMV website.