The MA Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) is authorized to give hardship or “Cinderella” licenses to drivers who have had their driving privileges suspended due to a drug offense, an OUI/DUI offense, or a Habitual Traffic Offender sanction.
The main difference in terms of a “hardship” v. a “Cinderella” license is that the latter provides for limited driving privileges for the purposes of getting to and from alcohol and medical treatments and/or regularly scheduled doctor’s appointments. This is generally reserved for MA drivers who have been suspended but are either retired or unemployed. The RMV classifies Cinderella privileges as “general hardship.”
Either way, suspended drivers are required to thoroughly document to the RMV a legitimate and recurring need for limited license restoration. Additionally, all applicants must now show sufficient evidence that public transportation is either unavailable or significantly limited to their hardship needs.
If approved, your hardship limited license will allow you to drive for predetermined 12 hour intervals every day for the remainder of your suspension period. Multiple offenders, including “second-chance 24D” diversions will be required to drive with the Ignition Interlock Device on all vehicles they operate for an additional restricted period after their initial suspension.
Eligibility Timelines for Hardship | Cinderella Applications
Massachusetts drivers who have been suspended as a result of a DUI action or conviction must wait until a specified amount of suspension time has been served before they are eligible to apply for a hardship / Cinderella license. The following table illustrates these timeframes.
Wait Times before You Can Apply for a Hardship License
|First Ever/24D | Prior DUIs||Length of Suspension||Work or Education Hardship License||General Hardship (Cinderella) License|
|First-time 24D||45 – 90 days||Almost Immediately||Same|
|First DUI–No 24D||1 year||After 3 months||After 6 months|
|Second DUI–No 24D||2 years||After 1 year||After 18 months|
|Third DUI||8 years||After 2 years||After 4 years|
|Fourth DUI||10 years||After 5 years||After 8 years|
The commonwealth has adopted an enhanced set of OUI – DUI punishments under what’s known as “Melanie’s Law.” Any driver with a second or subsequent operating under the influence offense who is eligible for a hardship license or for license reinstatement will be required to have an Ignition Interlock Device attached to any vehicle the driver owns, leases, or operates (including an employer’s vehicle) at the driver’s expense.
In addition, the enhanced penalties for DUI and alcohol related suspensions also require drivers to maintain the IID for another 2 year period after the initial suspension, known as the “Z” license restriction.
If you need answers for any MA OUI / Hardship License related matter, please call or contact our law firm for a free no-obligation consultation today.