Lost Your License Because Of A Drug Conviction in Massachusetts?

A GREAT MOVE by the Governor by allowing those convicted of certain drug offenses to obtain a driver’s license. Read below to see if you qualify. If you have questions or need help, please call OberhauserLaw.com at 978-452-1116 to discuss what you need to do next.

The Massachusetts 94C Controlled Substance Act

On March 30, 2016, Governor Baker signed into law “An Act Relative to Motor Vehicle License Suspension” making operators with certain prior drug convictions eligible for immediate license reinstatement. For more information on how you may begin the license reinstatement process, please see the suspensions section of MassRMV.com. Customers seeking reinstatement must visit a branch and see a hearings officer. In addition, the RMV is preparing to mail individualized letters to certain impacted customers on their specific reinstatement steps and requirements. All persons who believe they are eligible for relief under this new law should update their address with the RMV immediately.

Since the late 1980s, the law called for the RMV to impose an automatic license suspension for convictions under Mass General Law Chapter 94C. The new legislation eliminates suspensions for all drug offenses except for trafficking in a controlled substance. The steps for license reinstatement will vary depending upon each individual’s record. An individual with any active, non-drug related suspensions may not be eligible for reinstatement. In order to be reinstated, customers must visit an RMV Branch offering suspension hearings and meet with a hearings officer. Hearings are held on a walk-in, first come serve basis in the following locations, please note that service hours vary by location. (see the list below)

The legislation waives reinstatement fees only. Customers seeking reinstatement will be required to pay permit and road test fees, if the customer has been suspended for more than two years. As a matter of public safety, and accordance with existing Registry policy, all operators who have been suspended for more than two-years or have had an expired licenses for more than four-years, are required to take the written permit test at a branch location as well as a road test. License duplicate or license renewal fees also apply to all customers seeking reinstatement.

The following forms of payment are accepted for all the transactions listed below: Cash, check (payable to MassDOT), money order, or credit/debit card.

  • Permit/Written Test $30
  • Road Test $35
  • Class D/Passenger Duplicate License $25
  • Class D/Passenger License Renewal $50 (customers may renew up to one year in advance of expiration)

The legislation does not provide for reimbursement, or a refund, of reinstatement fees previously paid on 94C offenses.

The legislation requires the RMV to shield from public release any drug offenses, expect for those convicted of trafficking in a controlled substance, as well as any expired warrants or expired child support obligations. The legislation provides the RMV with 6 months to complete this technical phase of the project. If you wish to obtain a shielded record, it will not be available until October of 2016. Any driving record ordered prior to October 2016 will contain drug offenses and both historical and current warrant and child support obligation information.

Customers also must address any outstanding financial obligations such as any state or excise taxes, child support payments, parking tickets, or E-ZPass violations.

Branches with Hearing Hours:

  • Boston, Monday through Friday, 9am to 5pm
  • Braintree, Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday/Friday from 9am to 5pm, Thursdays 10am to 5pm
  • Fall River, Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday/Friday from 9am to 5pm, Thursdays 10am to 5pm
  • Lawrence, Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday/Friday from 9am to 5pm, Thursdays 10am to 5pm
  • Pittsfield, Wednesdays, 9am to 4pm
  • South Yarmouth, Monday & Tuesday, 9am to 5pm
  • Springfield, Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday/Friday from 9am to 5pm, Thursdays 10am to 5pm
  • Wilmington, Monday & Tuesday, 9am to 5pm
  • Worcester, Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday/Friday from 9am to 5pm, Thursdays 10am to 5pm

Hearing Officers


94C offenders seeking relief will join the hearings queue as any other customer

Hearing Officer will correct off (TRE) any 94C suspensions, trafficking not included. The correction (TRE) will automatically eliminate the reinstatement fee associated with the 94C violation.

Hearing officer will enter uniform file note:
94C legislation – suspension cleared

Hearing officer will advise customer of their individual next steps. Example of next steps:

  • Order duplicate
  • Take permit test, road test
  • Advise hardship customers they may receive a 24/7 license by paying duplicate fee
  • Advise customer the 94C reinstatement fee is waived, but they owe $___ for any other expired suspensions
  • Advise customer they have additional active suspensions preventing reinstatement at this time

As is done today, the Hearing Officer will provide print-outs to customer for branch staff on related fees owed and transactions the customer is now eligible to/required to perform

Hearing Officer will direct customers to Green Line if eligible for additional transactions today.

Do not send the DMLO request to Lucy; this action is unnecessary due to future shielding component of this legislation

Anyone seeking a shielded driving record– please tell them this will not be available until October. The legislation requires shielding of all drug offenses (except trafficking), all expired warrants and all expired child support obligations. We have 6 months to implement.

CSRs


94C offenders seeking relief will join the hearings queue as any other customer

Customer will have hearing

Customer will return to Green Line and join established queue

Customer will present to CSR with information on any fee owed and their desired transaction

Branch will process according to policy. The only change is that you will NOT collect a 94C reinstatement fee

To allow for uniform data collection and tracking, please enter the following into override log:

94C legislation-suspension fee waived

Quick reminders:

The customer is required to pay a duplicate license fee or renewal fee

The customer is required to pay the permit fee and road test fee

Customers who previously paid a 94C reinstatement fee are NOT eligible for a refund. The legislation does not provide for this.

Customers needing a road test will schedule using the established procedure.

Anyone seeking a shielded driving record– please tell them this will not be available until October. The legislation requires shielding of all drug offenses (except trafficking), all expired warrants and all expired child support obligations. We have 6 months to implement.

Please contact Sara Lavoie with any issues, trends, questions, ideas for improving process.

We will alert Branch Operations when direct customer communication may result in any change to this process.

Attorney Gregory Oberhauser

This post was written by .

Gregory Oberhauser is the ONLY attorney in Massachusetts to be distinguished as an ACS-CHAL Forensic Lawyer-Scientist by the American Chemical Society!

Published .

Posted in: criminal