Suspensions & Hearings

A hardship license, if granted by the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV), allows a driver to operate a vehicle during specific hours for the duration of his/her suspension period. A hardship license is not a constitutional right. It is an administrative function which is carried out by the RMV with conditions deemed reasonable and appropriate relative to public safety.

Hardship licenses are only granted to Massachusetts driver’s license holders. In order to apply for a hardship license, you must attend a hearing at select RMV Hearing Sites. Please refer to the Hearing Sites and Schedules section.

A hardship license will only be considered for the following offenses:

  • First Offense (24D)
  • Multiple Offense OUI
  • Drug Offense (94C)
  • Habitual Traffic Offender

Applying for a Hardship License

To apply for a hardship license you must:

1 - Attend a hearing at select RMV Hearing Sites; please refer to the Hearing Sites and Schedules section.

2 - Bring all required documents with you when you meet with the Hearings Officer. The links below will list all the requirements that must be met in order to qualify for a hardship license.

Important Notes:

  • The RMV Hearings Officers may require additional information after reviewing your documentation before rendering a final decision.
  • If you are missing documentation, you will need to return to an RMV Hearings Officer with the appropriate documentation.
  • Although you may meet all requirements, issuance of a hardship license is only granted at the reasonable discretion of the RMV, based on the facts of the case.
  • If you are approved for a hardship license you, must surrender your physical driver’s license during the hearing (if it has not already been taken by the police or the court). You will have an H Restriction added to your driver’s license/record.

Rescinding a Hardship License

Your hardship license will be rescinded immediately if you violate the terms and conditions set forth by the Registrar.

Reinstatement after a Hardship License Expires

You must be seen by an RMV Hearings Officer on or after the day that your hardship license expires. If the RMV Hearings Officer approves your reinstatement, the H restriction will be removed and you will be required to obtain a replacement license.

Please refer to the Reinstating Your License section for more information.

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