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License Reinstatement

In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, your driver’s license can be suspended for a variety of major or minor traffic violations (civil), or for more serious offenses (criminal). Below are some of the reasons for why your license can be suspended, such as speeding, and what you must do to get it reinstated.

3 Speeding Tickets

If you get three speeding tickets in any 12 month period, your Massachusetts driver’s license will be suspended for 30 days. This suspension is mandatory. For you to get your driver’s license reinstated during this period, you may apply in some cases for a hardship or restricted license.

This would allow you to at least drive to and from work. Note that if you are caught driving with a hardship license, you will lose your license and will be charged with a criminal offense (driving on a suspended license).

3 Surchargable Events

This suspension of your driver’s license occurs if you accumulate three moving violations, including speeding, in any 24 month period. If you have a moving violation in another state, this event will count as one of the three events. Note that you cannot get a hardship license if your license is suspended in this case.

To keep your driver’s license from being suspended, you have to complete the state’s driving retraining program within ninety days of the date of the notification of the notice you receive from the RMV. Otherwise you will have your license suspended. You cannot have your driver’s license reinstated until you take the program and pass it.

5 Surchargable Events

This suspension of your driver’s license occurs if you accumulate five moving violations, including speeding, in any 36-month period.  If you have a moving violation in another state, this event will count as one of the three events. This is a mandatory license suspension, and you only can have it rescinded if you and your attorney are able to prove that the offense was not yours, or if you have gotten approved for a Board of Appeals hearing to challenge an accident where you were found at fault.

In this case, you license will be indefinitely suspended until complete the driver’s retraining course.

Massachusetts Habitual Traffic Offender (HTO)

A habitual traffic offender suspension happens if you have had three major moving violations, or any combination of 12 moving violations in a five year period. This period will be calculated back from the most recent date of conviction. Note that out of state tickets and convictions are included in this calculation.

If you are a Massachusetts habitual traffic offender, you will have your license suspended for four years. Also, a driver’s test is required before your license can be restored. The reinstatement fee for an habitual offender is $500; it must be paid before your license is reinstated.

Other Reasons Your License Can Be Suspended


Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs results in a driver’s license suspension. How long it will be is determined by the number of similar violations you have had and how long between the violations. A suspension from OUI or DUI can be at least 180 days for your first offense. It can be up to a lifetime ban for a serious or repeated offense.

Also, you must complete an OUI program before you can have your license reinstated. Depending upon how serious the violation is, you might be able to apply for a hardship license that lets you drive to work and school.

Not Finishing Traffic School

For a traffic violation in Massachusetts, you may need to complete a traffic school course at your expense. If you do not complete the program in the timeframe ordered by the court, your license may be suspended.

Failing To Appear

If you are issued a traffic ticket or a fine and fail to appear in court, or fail to pay the fine, your license can be suspended.

Lack of Insurance

You must have a minimum level of auto insurance to operate a motor vehicle in Massachusetts. Failure to do so can result in a license suspension.

Inadequate Vision

If you have poor vision and do not have corrective lenses, your license may be suspended. You may be able to apply for reinstatement if you can prove that you have met minimum vision standards.

CDL Suspension

If you have a commercial driver’s license, your license can be suspended for offenses committed either in your commercial vehicle or in your personal vehicle.

All states exchange data about CDL drivers. So any violations that you have will follow you in all states.

How to Reinstate Your License

To reinstate your driver’s license in Massachusetts, you have to pay a fee, which can range from $100 to $1200, depending upon the type of offense that caused the suspension.

In some cases, you will have to reapply for a new license. This means that you must repeat the road and written tests. Your driver’s license can be reinstated at any full service RMV location.

Note: If your license was suspended for any of the below reasons, you have to see a hearing officer before you can have a reinstated license:

  • Manslaughter or vehicular homicide
  • OUI
  • Habitual traffic offender, including OUI

An Expert in Massachusetts Driver’s License Reinstatements – Attorney Geoffrey Nathan

Attorney Nathan and his legal team are experts in driver’s license 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 your driver’s license reinstated, you should contact us today for a free consultation.