RMV Drivers License Suspension

Fighting RMV Drivers License Suspensions

Have you been notified that your license / right to operate has been suspended?  You have the right to appeal this suspension in Brockton, Springfield, Worchester, and Boston, and there is often good reason to do so.

What follows is a description of frequent license suspensions that can result from driving infractions and/or criminal charges.  The RMV frequently changes its administrative procedures and rules, so if you have a license suspension issue, I hope that you will find this page useful, but I would also encourage you to contact me directly to discuss the specifics of your particular license issues.

People who find their licenses suspended frequently do not know precisely why that has occurred.  You can order a complete copy of your drivers history on the RMV website.

Civil License Suspensions

See here for a list of "surchargeable events."

3 Speeding Tickets in 12 Months: 30 day suspension.

3 Surchargable Events in 24 Months: indefinite suspension until the Driver Retraining Course is completed.

5 Surchargable Events in 3 Years: Indefinite suspension until in-person National Safety Council driver retraining course is completed.

7 Surchargable Events in 3 Years: 60 day suspension.

Habitual Traffic Offender: 12 moving violations, or 3 major moving violations.  4 year revocation period, including required re-licensing.

Immediate Threat: Indefinite suspension, which can be cleared at a hearing.

Criminal License Suspensions

OUI/DUI

Breath Test Failure (Over 21)

  • No Prior OUIs - 30 Days
  • 1 Prior OUI - 3 years
  • 2 Prior OUIs - 5 Years
  • 3+ Prior OUIs - Lifetime

Breath Test Refusal (Over 21)

  • No Prior OUIs - 180 Days
  • 1 Prior OUI - 3 Years
  • 2 Prior OUIs - 5 Years
  • 3+ Prior OUIs - Lifetime

You will notice that the only difference in suspension period for failing the breathalyzer and refusing the breathalyzer is for people who have never been convicted of an OUI in the past (in any state). 

OUI Conviction

  • No Prior OUIs, With Alcohol Program - 45-90 days
  • No Prior OUIs, Without Alcohol Program - 1 year
  • 1 Prior OUI - 2 years
  • 2 prior OUIs - 8 years
  • 3 prior OUIs - 10 years
  • 4 prior OUIs - Lifetime

Other Criminal Charges

Charge

Suspension Period

Dispensing controlled substances1 year
Prescription violations1 year
Practitioners violations1 year
Possession of hypodermic needle/syringe1 year
Possession of Class A substance with intent to distribute3 years
2nd & subsequent conviction of Class A substance with intent to distribute4 years
Possession of Class B substance with intent to distribute3 years
2nd & subsequent conviction of Class B substance with intent to distribute4 years
Possession of cocaine with intent to distribute3 years
2nd & subsequent conviction of cocaine with intent to distribute4 years
Possession of Class C substance with intent to distribute3 years
2nd & subsequent conviction of Class C substance with intent to distribute4 years
Possession of Class D substance with intent to distribute2 years
2nd & subsequent conviction of Class D substance with intent to distribute3 years
Possession of Class E substance with intent to distribute2 years
2nd & subsequent conviction of Class E substance with intent to distribute3 years
Trafficking, manufacturing, distributing or dispensing Class A substance5 years
Trafficking, manufacturing, distributing or dispensing Class B substance5 years
Trafficking, manufacturing, distributing or dispensing Class C substance5 years
Manufacturing, distributing or dispensing Class A, B, or C substances to minors5 years
Sale of counterfeit substances1 year
Sale of drug paraphernalia1 year
Sale of drug paraphernalia to minors2 years
Possession with 1,000 feet of a school5 years
Inducing minor to sell controlled substances5 years
Using false registration number2 years
Uttering a false prescription2 years
Illegal possession of Class A substance1 year
Illegal possession of Class B substance1 year
Illegal possession of Class C substance1 year
Illegal possession of Class D substance1 year
Illegal possession of Class E substance1 year
Being present where heroin is kept1 year
Larceny of a controlled substance2 years
Possession of hypodermic syringe1 year
Conspiracy to violate controlled substance law1 year

Hardship Licenses

If your license was suspended based on an OUI (DUI) charge, a Drug Offense, or as a Habitual Traffic Offender, you may be eligible for a hardship license.  Eligibility begins once you have served the minimum amount of time required for the reason for the suspension:

 

Basis for SuspensionMinimum Suspension Period
Habitual Traffic Offender1 Year
Drug Offense50% of suspended period
OUI (DUI) without a finding of guiltUpon entry into "24D alcohol education program"
OUI (DUI) with a finding of guilt

1 Year Suspension - 3 months

2 Year Suspension - 1 year

8 Year Suspension - 2 years

10 Year Suspension - 5 years

If you are eligible, based on the amount of time your license has already been suspended, you will then have to meet a series of additional criteria before qualifying for a hardship license.  If you are interested in discussing the possibility of requesting a "hardship license," please contact me directly.

Commercial Drivers Licenses

Also, holders of CDL licenses should know that the rules governing license suspension and reinstatement are very different for CDL licenses and ordinary drivers licenses.  If you have a CDL license and you think your license might be suspended, contact me immediately.

Reinstatement Fees

Every time your license is reinstated -- every single time -- you will be charged a hefty reinstatement fee.  This fee changes, but most recently the RMV has been charging $500 to reinstate your license.  The RMV will frequently assess multiple reinstatement fees where only one reinstatement is being processed.  Whether, and under what conditions they can do this, is frequently contested, and is something I can help you both to anticipate and to address.