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Hardship Driver’s License

If you have several speeding tickets in a limited period of time, such as three in any 12-month period, your driver’s license will be suspended for at least 30 days. An experienced speeding ticket attorney can help you to get a hardship license so that you at least can earn a living during the suspension period.

A hardship license is sometimes called a limited license, Cinderella license, or a day license. This will allow you to drive for 12 hours per day, usually 7 am-7 pm, so that you can work.

A hardship license is available to people who have had their license suspended for a variety of civil and criminal convictions, including multiple speeding violations.

How to Get a Hardship License

With the help of an expert attorney, you need to apply for this permit, provide all needed paperwork and other documentation and show that you are eligible for the hardship license. You also need to appear before a Registry Hearings officer.

This hearing officer has a checklist of six conditions (for speeding violations and other civil offenses) that you must meet for the state to grant you a hardship license. Your attorney should assist you to ensure that you will meet the following criteria:

Proof of employment and that you need to drive to get to/from work

Letter from your employer on company letterhead that states you must be able to drive to/from work.


If you are self-employed, you must provide proof of your business registration with the local government.

Common Questions About Hardship Licenses

Can I get a hardship licenses if I got a suspension for refusing to take a breathalyzer test?

No. You cannot get a hardship license if you declined to take a breath test. Theoretically, you can appeal the suspension to the Registry of Motor Vehicles. The law states that you have 15 days to challenge the suspension.

In reality, though, the Registry will rarely restore a license for refusing to take a breath est. After you are denied at the Registry, you could appeal to the district court judge, but again, such appeals are rarely successful. The only time that a district court judge will reinstate a license after a breath test refusal is usually where the police officer did not file legal and administrative requirements.

If your license was suspended because you declined to take a breath test, we recommend that you talk to us for a free consultation.

Can I get a hardship license right away before my DUI case is completed?

No. Current state law does not allow anyone who was charged with DUI or OUI to receive their hardship license before the final disposition of the case. The applicant has to have pled guilty first, been found guilty after the trial, or entered a plea of Continued without Finding or CWOF.

This requirement is why many defendants decide to plead guilty or CWOF, even if the facts of the case could be seen favorably by the jury. First time offenders of DUI or OUI have to wait at least three days before they apply to the RMV (Registry of Motor Vehicles) for their hearing.

Once a final plea has been entered on the docket, it takes a minimum of three business days for the court information to get to the RMV. That is where there will be a hearing set up regarding your hardship license.

Do I need an attorney at my hardship license hearing at the Registry of Motor Vehicles?

It is not required, but it is foolish to not have one. After all, you probably already have an attorney who represented you at your OUI/DUI hearing. A good Massachusetts defense attorney will be very helpful in getting you a hardship license.

What has to be proven at the RMV hearing to get a hardship license? What documents are needed?

The RMV never issues a hardship license unless the applicant clearly documents that one is needed. You will need to produce at least the following:

  • A letter from your employer on letterhead. It should state in detail why you need a motor vehicle to do your job. The letter also must provide your regular work hours.
  • Supporting documentation including maps, of how you normally drive to work. There also should be a statement from your employer about which locations you must report to, and are not accessible by bus or other public transportation.
  • Evidence that you have enrolled in a court-approved alcohol education program.
  • Any other supporting documentation can be helpful: letters from your psychologist or substance abuse counselor; statement from your parole or probation officer; letter from drug/alcohol counselor of from your doctor.

If you are self employed, you have to provide evidence that you are self employed. This could include copies of professional licenses or articles of incorporation for the business. You also will need to show that you need to access to a motor vehicle to do your duties as a self employed person.

An Expert in Massachusetts Hardship Licenses – Attorney Geoffrey Nathan

Getting your hardship driver’s license is not automatic, and there are many things that can and do go wrong. That is why you never want to attempt this important effort on your own. Attorney Nathan and his legal team are experts in driver’s license hardship and reinstatement hearings in general, and most importantly, before the Registry’s Board of Appeals.

This is a very rare specialty that few attorneys in the Commonwealth are aware of. This is another way that a skilled attorney can get you driving again, and Attorney Nathan’s team are the respected experts.

Nathan is an expert in the National Driver Registry (NDR), Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) and all Board of Appeals issues. He has successfully represented hundreds of accused speeders, including everyone from CEOs and doctors to truck drivers and software engineers.

If you need to get a hardship license after you have been convicted of speeding, you should get in touch with Attorney Nathan today.