Reasons for a Drivers License Suspension in Massachusetts
A drivers license suspension in Massachusetts can be issued by the RMV for a variety of reasons. You should check your drivers license suspension status if you are unsure of where you stand. You can simply contact the RMV office or use the online system on the government website. You may receive a suspended drivers license for one or more of the following reasons:
- Civil traffic violations
- Accumulation of traffic offenses
- Criminal traffic violations
- Vehicle accidents for which you are deemed responsible
- Additional criminal violations, such as drug offenses or failing to pay income tax
A suspended Massachusetts driver license may also be issued to residents who have had their privileges suspended in other states. A drivers license suspension may also be issued to individuals who are considered a threat to others, have committed drivers license fraud, fail to pay child support or operate a vehicle improperly. You do not have to be convicted of drivers license fraud by a court to have your license suspended in MA.
When is a Massachusetts drivers license suspension mandatory?
A Massachusetts drivers license suspension is automatically issued to motorists who engage in certain behaviors. Drivers who receive a suspended drivers license due to the accumulation of traffic offenses, called “surchargeable events,” will have their license suspended for a predetermined period. Driving license suspension periods are as follows:
- Three speeding tickets within a 12-month period: 30-day suspension
- Seven traffic offenses or violations within a three-year period: 60-day suspension
- Three major traffic offenses or 12 total offenses within a five-year period: Four-year suspension or revocation
A revoked drivers license in Massachusetts lasts four years, and at the end, the offending driver must re-apply for an MA license. Suspensions can also add points against your license in most situations.
To prevent a drivers license suspension, the state requires motorists who accumulate three moving violations within a two-year (24-month) period to take a driver education course. A suspended drivers license is issued to any driver who does not complete this course within a 90-day period. Drivers under the age of 18 can have their licenses suspended for additional reasons and are usually longer. A driver license suspension may also be issued to motorists who engage in acts of road rage. These drivers may only complete drivers license reinstatement by finishing mandatory classes.
A suspended drivers license in Massachusetts is sometimes the result of alcohol-related offenses. A drivers license suspension is issued to an any driver who is convicted of operating under the influence of drugs or alcohol. A driver’s license suspension for this offense will go into effect immediately if you are an adult with a BAC (blood alcohol content) of 0.08 percent or higher, or if you refuse to take a BAC test. If you are a minor, then you will have your license suspended if your BAC is 0.02 percent or higher.
If you have a suspended driving license in MA and you do not agree with the actions of the RMV, then you have the right to a hearing. Your drivers license suspension notice should list the time of your hearing, but if it does not, you should call the RMV and schedule one. The drivers license restoration process may only be available to certain drivers after they attend a hearing.
Applying for a Provisional Drivers License in Massachusetts
If you have a suspended drivers license in Massachusetts, then you may be allowed to apply for a provisional drivers license (also called a hardship license). Motorists with a drivers license suspension may apply for this type of license, and if their application is granted, will be allowed to drive to and from certain locations, such as school, work and medical appointments. The reasons surrounding a suspension will strongly influence the RMV’s decision in issuing a hardship license. A provisional driver’s license will not be issued to all applicants. You may request a provisional Massachusetts driver license during your hearing, but the RMV evaluates each request on an individual basis and there is no guarantee your request will be granted.
Reinstating Drivers License in Massachusetts
When your drivers license suspension in Massachusetts is over, you may apply to have your license reinstated. You may reinstate drivers license credentials at any full-service RMV location. You will be required to pay any applicable fees before you can drive again. In addition, reinstating an MA drivers license may require you to retake certain tests, whether it is a road test or knowledge exam. Motorists with a suspended driver license of two years are required to take both the road test and written exam. The drivers license restoration process is different for some drivers, and those who have had their license suspended for DUIs or vehicular manslaughter/homicide will have to attend a hearing before they are allowed to reinstate their licenses. Some drivers will also need to reapply for a new license and pass the written and road tests again.
If you have a CDL drivers license suspension, then you may need to complete additional steps, as commercial drivers are held to higher standards than other drivers. You should visit the RMV website to learn about the reinstatement process for a CDL. Any DMV drivers license suspension information from other states will also be accessible to the RMV. Driving with a suspended commercial drivers license is illegal. Therefore, drivers will face a second suspension or even a revocation if they are found guilty of doing so.