What Are Surchargeable Events in Massachusetts?

Most states have a point system that relates to driving infractions. If you accumulate a certain number of points your insurance will increase and you may suffer a license suspension. However, in the state of Massachusetts, they focus on surchargeable events instead of points. If you have too many surchargeable events your driver’s license will be suspended.

What is a Surchargeable Event?

A surchargeable event is an at-fault accident, comprehensive coverage claim that increases the policyholder’s premium, or traffic violation.

Here is a list of what makes an at-fault accident surchargeable:

  • If the operator of the motor vehicle is found to be more than 50 percent at fault.
  • The accident involves a claim payment that exceeds $1,000 over any deductible.
  • A claim payment issued covers damage to the other person’s property, limited collision coverage or collision.
  • It involved only private cars

Sometimes it takes your insurance company time to conclude if you are more than 50 percent at-fault so once the determination is made then your insurance company will contact you and may sustain a surchargeable event on your license.  

Suspension of Your Driver’s License

Surchargeable events are confusing for many. Here is an outline of what you can expect if you face more than one surchargeable event within a certain amount of time:

  • Three surchargeable events within one-year causes a 30-day suspension.
  • Three surchargeable events within two years results in a Mandatory Driver Retraining Course within 90 days., If you do not complete the course then you will face suspension of your driver’s license.
  • A single surchargeable event for anyone under the age of 18 will result in a 90-day suspension, a mandatory driver’s education course, varying fines, and a $500 reinstatement fee.
  • If you have seven surchargeable events in a three-year period, then your license will sustain a 60-day suspension. This is a mandatory suspension, there are no classes that you can take to prevent the suspension. However, you might be able to fight the suspension if you are able to prove that your driving record is inaccurate, or you were not found responsible or guilty of one or more of the listed seven surchargeable events.

Your Legal Right to Appeal Your Driver’s License Suspension

If you are being wrongly accused of the surchargeable events, then it is imperative that you contact a lawyer to fight your drivers license suspension. Please remember, if you have been suspended due to seven surchargeable events then you have the right to appeal to the Board of Appeal.  The RMV has no discretion in such circumstances. However, the Board can modify or annul the suspension.  

Filing for an Appeal with the Board

Hearings with the Board of Appeals are not immediately scheduled. There is usually a delay that takes place when you file the appeal. It is imperative that you contact a skilled attorney as soon as possible to effectively handle the filing and processing of your appeal. By immediately filing the necessary papers, the suspension time is minimized.

What Happens After a Hearing with the Board of Appeal?

The Board of Appeal may authorize a hardship license so you can drive to work, doctor’s appointments, etc. In some situations, the board may shorten the length of the suspension.

Driving on a Suspended License in Massachusetts

You should never drive on a suspended license in the state of Massachusetts because the ramifications can be severe. You may even face real jail time of up to 10 days. Classified as a criminal offense you will be fined $500 or more. Your license must also be suspended for an additional 60 days. If it is your second OAS conviction, then you will spend a mandatory 60 days up to a year in jail. The penalties are only for those who have not lost their driving privileges due to a DUI.

If you’re facing a DL suspension you need to contact Oberhauser Law today. Schedule a free consultation to speak with Gregory Oberhauser who is a skilled RMV attorney to discuss your surcharge events. He may be able to quickly reduce your suspension or obtain you a necessary hardship license.

Call our office 978-452-1116.


Related Information:

Hardship And Cinderella Licenses

PDF – License penalties for OUI convictions

Leaving the Scene of an Accident

Attorney Gregory Oberhauser

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

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