As a widely recognized authority on how to get a hardship license in Massachusetts, I get the same questions every day about how the system works. I decided to put this page together to answer many of those questions. If you’ve got a question that isn’t answered here, definitely give me a call at (800) 961 – 8125 and I’ll be happy to answer your questions.
Attorney Russell Matson has been interviewed and quoted in local newspapers and television, such as Channel 5 in Boston as an authority on how to get a hardship license in the state of Massachusetts.
- What is the difference between a hardship license, Cinderella license, restricted license, or a work license?
- How quickly can I get a hardship license after my Mass DUI arrest?
- Can I get a hardship license right away, while my case is still pending or I’m fighting the case?
- What time period during the day does the hardship license allow me to drive?
- Is a hardship license only available for a drunk driving case?
- Can I get a hardship license after a 2nd offense DUI?
- Where do I go to get a hardship license in Massachusetts?
- How much does it cost to get a hardship license?
- What documentation do I need to get a hardship license?
- Will an out of state DUI or license suspension affect my ability to get a hardship license in MA?
- What documentation do I need to bring to the Registry hearing to get my hardship license?
- I got an OUI in Massachusetts, but I live out of state and I am licensed in another site. Can I get a hardship license?
What is the difference between a hardship license, Cinderella license, restricted license, or a work license?
How quickly can I get a hardship license after my Mass DUI arrest?
You cannot get a hardship license while your case is pending, only after it is settled. That’s why if you know you are going to accept a
That’s why if you know you are going to accept a guilty plea, it makes sense to do so as soon as possible. If I am there at the arraignment, I can sometimes work out a deal on the spot, without having to get an extra court date for a pretrial. If you already have a pre-trial date, what I do for my clients in these cases is to move up the pre-trial court date as quickly as possible. The courts will usually allow this with a day’s notice.
Once your plea is entered, it takes at least a few days for the information to get to the Registry in time for a hearing. I typically schedule the hardship license Registry hearing about a week after the plea. If you are planning to plead your case out and are eligible for a hardship license, I’ll do everything I can to get you back on the road as quickly as possible.
Can I get a hardship license right away, while my case is still pending or I’m fighting the case?
No. Massachusetts does not allow someone to get a hardship license while you are fighting a case. They only give out hardship licenses after a case is over and the person has been found guilty (or continued without a finding).
What time period during the day does the hardship license allow me to drive?
It is dependent on your documented work hours. It can be any consecutive 12 hour period, such as 7am – 7pm, or if you work nights you could choose 4pm – 4am. The same period applies for every day of the week. A hardship license is valid 7 days a week.
Is a hardship license only available for a drunk driving case?
No, any Mass Operating Under the Influence (OUI) charge is allowed, such as Operating under the Influence of Drugs, but also in cases of Habitual Traffic Offenders, or other criminal traffic or registry offenses, you should be eligible for a hardship license.
Can I get a hardship license after a 2nd offense DUI?
No, not under any typical circumstances. The Registry mandates a license loss of at least a year before you are eligible for any reinstatement.
And even then you will have an ignition interlock device restriction on your driver’s license. Call me for a free consultation and I can advise you on the issues that relate to your specific situation.
Where do I go to get a hardship license in Massachusetts?
Registry hearings are held on a walk-basis from 9:00 A.M. to 4:30 PM Monday through Friday (except holidays) at the following Registry locations: Boston, Brockton, Lawrence, Springfield, and Worcester. I personally prefer to go to the Boston office, since they are the final authority, and I know most of the hearings officers there, so things tend to go very smoothly.
How much does it cost to get a hardship license?
The Registry will charge you $500 for the hearing and license reinstatement after a first offense OUI ($700 for a second offense, and $1000 after a 3rd offense conviction). This sounds like a lot, and it is, but they’ll charge you the $500 to reinstate your license after your suspension is up anyway, so you can’t beat the fee by waiting it out.
What documentation do I need to get a hardship license?
The documents you need include:
- Proof that you are complying with the terms of your plea in the case of an OUI, which means you need to prove that you’ve entered a state alcohol education program;
- Also, you need to show proof of employment to document the need for a hardship license. You’ll need a letter from your employer on your company’s letterhead indicating that you need to be able to drive to get to work or do your job. If you are self-employed, you’ll need to be able to document that with a copy of your business registration or incorporation.
Will an out of state DUI or license suspension affect my ability to get a hardship license in MA?
Yes, it will. If Massachusetts has been notified of the suspension, you’ll have the same suspension period, and restrictions for getting a hardship license in Massachusetts if the incident had happened here. The Mass RMV will treat your out of state DUI/DWI the same as if it happened here for drivers license purposes.
What documentation do I need to bring to the Registry hearing to get my hardship license?
You need a letter from your employer, on company letterhead, that says:
- You are an employee there, and need a license to drive to work, since there is no adequate public transportation, and/or that you need the license to work there in the regular performance of your job responsibilities;
- The letter must state your (typical) work hours.
I got a DUI in Massachusetts, but I live out of state and I am licensed in another site. Can I get a hardship license?
That absolutely depends on the other state’s RMV and has nothing to do with Massachusetts. You may need to consult with an attorney in your state to get help. For example, In VA, there is a Virginia Restricted License. In WA, there is a ORL. Some states like New Jersey don’t allow hardship licenses.
I’ll be happy to talk with you about your case specifically, and let you know if I think you are eligible for a hardship license from the MA registry.
If you hire me to represent you in an OUI case, I will be there to work through the hardship license process with you. Call me to discuss the details of your case. You have nothing to lose by calling – the least I’ll give you is some free advice from someone who handles these cases all the time. Call me now.
Call for a Hardship license consultation. (800) 961 – 8125