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License Suspension

The Registrar of Motor Vehicles may suspend/revoke your driver’s license under Massachusetts law, or where the Registrar believes that you are a threat to the safety of the public.

Some violations will mandate that your driver’s license be suspended or revoked. Also, you may lose your license by having too many traffic violations in a limited period of time, or for being at fault in too many accidents.

The Difference Between Revoked and Suspended

A revocation of your license means that your license has been cancelled. You will need to submit to a DMV investigation to get another driver’s license.

A suspension means that you may not drive for a certain time period, but you can get your license back at a later date, if certain conditions are met.

Why Your Massachusetts Driver’s License May Be Suspended

The law in this state mandates that the Registrar must suspend/revoke your driver’s licenses automatically in some cases. Please review the chart below for a summary of the various scenarios where the suspension is mandatory. In addition to the automatic suspension, the Registrar may suspend or revoke your license as follows:

  • Immediate threat: If the Registrar determines that by allowing you to continue driving you pose an immediate threat to public safety, the Registrar can suspend your learner’s permit or driver’s license immediately.
  • Improper operation: If it is determined at a hearing that you have operated a motor vehicle improperly, the Registrar can suspend your driving privileges.
  • False or Altered Licenses/ Identification Cards: It is against the law to use a false license or ID, to alter a license or ID, or to use another person’s license or ID. It is also against the law to use false information to obtain a license or ID. In most cases illegal use of these is a felony and serious penalties may apply.These penalties are not limited to an attempt to purchase alcohol. M.G.L.c.90,s.22(e) allows the RMV to suspend your license or right to operate in Massachusetts for 6 months. A conviction is not required. If you are convicted of this offense, your license will be suspended for 1 year.

See the table below for information on how long your suspension can be for various traffic violations in Massachusetts.

Why Suspensions and Revocations Matter

Obviously, not having a driver’s license in the US makes life difficult, in terms of working, going to school, and taking care of family. But losing your license has other consequences.

Insurance companies watch out for license revocations and suspensions. Your car insurance premiums can go up fast, and you could be tagged as a ‘high risk’ driver. Worse, insurance companies might cancel the policy. This can force you to look for car insurance for ‘high risk’ drivers. You will pay premiums that are several times higher than normal.

You also will have on your permanent record that your license was taken away. This is a situation you want to avoid if possible.

It is a good idea to speak to an experienced license suspension or revocation attorney to help you to get your license back. He or she also may be able to get your charges reduced, so you can keep your driver’s license.

Aggressive Defense for People With Suspended Licenses

Some of our clients have a Massachusetts driver’s license suspension that is years old, and have found that their new state will not give them a driver’s license because of the old matter in Massachusetts.

At Massachusetts Speeding Ticket Defense, be assured that we know:

  • The Codes of Massachusetts Regulations (CMRs)
  • National Driver Registry (NDR) Rules and Regulations
  • Policies of the Registry of Motor Vehicles

When you hire us to defend you, you are receiving counsel from legal professionals with vast experience, and who regularly negotiate with hearings officers. Our lawyers appear in front of the division of insurance often, and obtain the best result possible for our clients.

As noted earlier, we might be able to have the suspension wiped out. If the suspension cannot be avoided, our attorneys often may make a deal to reduce the suspension period. Our lawyers also are adept at handling matters for our clients with Massachusetts license problems all through the US, and our legal team have appeared in a total of 17 motor vehicle departments around the country.


Mandatory License Suspensions

Situation Explanation Suspension Period Fee to Reinstate
Three (3) SpeedingViolations Three speeding violations convictions within any one (1) year period. 30 days $50
Five (5) Surchargeable Events Any combination of moving violations and surchargeable accidents that total five surchargeable events within a three (3) year period. Must complete Driver Re-Training Program within 90 days or license will be suspended indefinitely until course is completed. $50
Seven (7) Surchargeable Events Any combination of moving violations and surchargeable accidents that total seven surchargeable events within a three (3) year period. 60 daysYou must also complete Driver Re-Training Program. $50
Habitual Traffic Offender A total of three (3) major moving violations, or any combination of twelve (12) major or minor moving violations within a five (5) year period. 4 years $300
Out-of-State Suspension Your license has been suspended or revoked in another state. Until the out-of-state suspension is resolved. $50

Driving Without a License

You may not drive in this state without a valid driver’s license. If your license is suspended/revoked, you are not allowed to drive in Massachusetts. Driving while your license is suspended or revoked is a criminal motor offense, and you will face a sizable fine and possible jail time.

Your sentence will depend upon why you lost your driving privileges and whether you have been convicted for other crimes before. For a first offense the sentence can be up to 10 days in jail, and a fine of up to $1000. For an offense after that, you could have to do 60 days to one year in jail.

If your license was revoked because you are an habitual traffic offender, you could get a fine of up to $5000, and be put in jail for two years. The most extreme cases involve a fine of up to $10,000 and imprisonment from 60 days to 2.5 years.

If your license is revoked/suspended, you are entitled to a hearing with a state hearings officer. At this hearing, you will be able to present your defense with counsel, if you so choose. If you are found guilty or are found responsible for a violation, the facts of the case are not relevant. The hearing officer does not in this case have the discretion to waive a valid suspension.

How to Reinstate Your License

You should never drive when your license has  been suspended or revoked. After the suspension or revocation period expires, you have to pay a reinstatement fee and possibly fulfill other conditions as well.

The reinstatement fee depends upon why your license was revoked or suspended:

  • In many cases, the fee will be $100.
  • Under other conditions, the fee could be $500, such as if your license was revoked because you are an habitual offender. Another situation would be a conviction for carrying a false driver’s license.
  • If your license was revoked for a charge related to alcohol, the reinstatement fee can range from $700 to $1200.

If you are dealing with a licenses suspension or revocation, please contact our law office today for a free case review.