Chapter 94C Drug Convictions

Suspensions

Pursuant to Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 90, Section 22, the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) is required to suspend/revoke your permit/license or right to operate upon receiving notification of a conviction for a drug violation from a court.

"An Act Relative to Motor Vehicle License Suspension" was signed by Governor Baker on Wednesday, March 30, 2016. The law allows for the immediate license reinstatement for operators with certain prior drug convictions.

Since the late 1980s, the law called for the RMV to impose an automatic license suspension for convictions under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 94C. The new legislation eliminates suspensions for all drug offenses except for trafficking in a controlled substance.

Reinstatement

In order to serve the customers who may now be eligible for reinstatement, the RMV intends to mail letters to provide certain impacted individuals with personalized actions steps toward license reinstatement. 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 Service Center offering suspension hearings and meet with a hearings officer. Hearings are held on a walk-in, first come first serve basis, please note that service hours vary by location.

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 Service Center 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)

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

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

Shielded Records

The legislation requires the RMV to shield from public release certain drug offenses, as well as any expired warrants or expired child support obligations. Shielded Public Driving Records are available as of October 2016.

Please see our Driving Records/Driving History Section to learn more about Public Driving Records and how to order.

Convictions and Suspension Periods

Suspension periods vary between one and five years depending on the violation. These suspension periods for the more common 94C violations are defined by 540 CMR 20.03.

Conviction for: Penalty/Suspension Period: Massachusetts General Law
Trafficking, manufacturing, distributing or dispensing Class A substance Five years Chapter 94C Section 32E
Trafficking, manufacturing, distributing or dispensing Class B substance Five years Chapter 94C Section 32E
Trafficking, manufacturing, distributing or dispensing Class C substance Five years Chapter 94C Section 32E
Trafficking, manufacturing, distributing or dispensing Class D substance Five years Chapter 94C Section 32E
Dispensing controlled substances One year Chapter 94C Section 5
Research projects One year Chapter 90C Section 8
Prescription violations One year Chapter 94C Sections 21 and 22
Practitioners violations One year Chapter 94C Sections 24a, 25, and 26
Possession of hypodermic needle/syringe One year Chapter 94C Section 27
Possession of Class A substance with intent to distribute Three years Chapter 94C Section 32(a)
2nd & subsequent conviction of Class A substance with intent to distribute Four years Chapter 94C Section 32(b)
Possession of Class B substance with intent to distribute Three years Chapter 94C Section 32A(a)
2nd & subsequent conviction of Class B substance with intent to distribute Four years Chapter 94C Section 32A(b)
Possession of cocaine with intent to distribute Three years Chapter 94C Section 32A(c)
2nd & subsequent conviction of cocaine with intent to distribute Four years Chapter 94C Section 32A(d)
Possession of Class C substance with intent to distribute Three years Chapter 94C Section 32B(a)
2nd & subsequent conviction of Class C substance with intent to distribute Four years Chapter 94C Section 32B(b)
Possession of Class D substance with intent to distribute Two years Chapter 94C Section 32C(a)
2nd & subsequent conviction of Class D substance with intent to distribute Three years Chapter 94C Section 32C(b)
Possession of Class E substance with intent to distribute Two years Chapter 94C Section 32D(a)
2nd & subsequent conviction of Class E substance with intent to distribute Three years Chapter 94C Section 32D(b)
Manufacturing, distributing or dispensing Class A, B, or C substances to minors Five years Chapter 94C Section 32F
Sale of counterfeit substances One year Chapter 94C Section 32G
Sale of drug paraphernalia One year Chapter 94C Section 32I(a)
Sale of drug paraphernalia to minors Two years Chapter 94C Section 32I(a)
Possession within 1,000 feet of a school Five years Chapter 94C Section 32I
Inducing minor to sell controlled substances Five years Chapter 94C Section 32K
Using false registration number Two years Chapter 94C Section 33(a)
Uttering a false prescription Two years Chapter 94C Section 33(b)
Illegal possession of Class A substance One year Chapter 94C Section 34
Illegal possession of Class B substance One year Chapter 94C Section 34
Illegal possession of Class C substance One year Chapter 94C Section 34
Illegal possession of Class D substance One year Chapter 94C Section 34
Illegal possession of Class E substance One year Chapter 94C Section 34
Being present where heroin is kept One year Chapter 94C Section 35
Larceny of a controlled substance Two years Chapter 94C Section 37
Conspiracy to violate controlled substance law One year Chapter 94C Section 40

Please Note: Effective January 2, 2009, possession of less than one ounce of Marijuana is no longer a criminal offense. The offense will be treated as a municipal ordinance violation and will not be reported to the RMV. Any assessed fines must be paid to the city or town where the offense occurred.