Suspensions & Hearings: Suspensions Triggered by an Accumulation of Offenses

Your learner's permit, license or right to operate can be suspended or revoked due to a series of major and/or minor traffic offenses (civil), as well as serious offenses (criminal). This section explains the types of suspensions and revocations caused by multiple offenses.

Three Speeding Tickets: Getting three speeding tickets within a 12 month period (not a calendar year) results in a mandatory 30 day suspension under MGL c.90, s.20. This 12 month period is determined based on the most recent finding/conviction date.

Three Surchargeable Events: This suspension is triggered by accumulating any combination of three moving violations and/or surchargeable events within a 24 month period. This period is determined based on the most recent finding/conviction date. If another state reports an event, it will be included in the calculation. The driver may appear before a hearings officer but only the accuracy of the record in and of itself is disputable. Surchargable events will not be counted if it is shown that they are presently under appeal, vacated or have been entered in error. There is no hardship license allowed by Law for this suspension.

You must complete a Driver Retraining Course within 90 days of the date of the notification you receive from the RMV to avoid suspension of your license. If you do not, your license will be suspended until you complete the course and a $100.00 reinstatement fee will be imposed. You must complete the course each time you get a third surchargeable event within two years. It does not matter if you have already taken the course.

The Registry will mail you an Intent to Suspend Notice that allows a 90 day window to complete the course before an indefinite suspension goes into effect. Once you complete and pass the course, the NSC will electronically notify the Registry. If the course is taken before the 90 days, the suspension will not go into effect. However, if the course is not completed within 90 days, the suspension will take effect. It will remain in effect indefinitely, or until the course is successfully completed. If the suspension does take effect, there will be a $100 reinstatement fee due. Reinstatement fees can be paid at a full service branch, over the phone with a major credit card, or through the mail by check to the following address:

Driver Control/ Court Records
Registry of Motor Vehicles
P.O. Box 55896
Boston, MA 02205-5896

The NSC may be contacted directly at 1-800-215-1581.

The Three Surchargeable Event violation is included in the Safe Driver Law that goes into effect on September 30, 2010.

Five Surchargeable Events: This suspension is triggered by accumulating any combination of moving violations and/or surchargeable events within a three year period. This period is calculated back from the most recent finding/conviction date. If another state reports an event, it will be included in the calculation. This is a statutory suspension and can only be rescinded at a hearing if you have documented proof that the offense is not yours, a court disposition was entered incorrectly, you have received a suspension notice for a civil citation for which you had requested a court hearing, or you have been approved for a Board of Appeals hearing to challenge an at-fault accident.

MGL c175, s113B mandates that a driver suspended for five surchargeable events complete an in-person (not online) Driver Retraining Program through the National Safety Council (NSC).

The Registry will mail you an Intent to Suspend Notice that allows a 90 day window to complete the course before an indefinite suspension goes into effect. Once you complete and pass the course, the NSC will electronically notify the Registry. If the course is taken before the 90 days, the suspension will not go into effect. However, if the course is not completed within 90 days, the suspension will take effect. It will remain in effect indefinitely, or until the course is successfully completed. If the suspension does take effect, there will be a $100 reinstatement fee due. Reinstatement fees can be paid at a full service branch, over the phone with a major credit card, or through the mail by check to the following address:

Driver Control/ Court Records
Registry of Motor Vehicles
P.O. Box 55896
Boston, MA 02205-5896

The NSC may be contacted directly at 1-800-215-1581.

The Five Surchargeable Event violation only applies to violators whose latest finding/conviction date is prior to 9/30/2010.

Seven Surchargeable Events: This suspension is triggered by an accumulation of any combination of moving violations and/or surchargeable events within a three year period. This period is calculated back from the most recent finding/conviction date. If another state reports an event, it will be included in the calculation.

MGL c.175, s113B mandates a 60 day suspension. The RMV is required by law to send a notice of suspension to the address of record. Once the suspension period is finished, a $100 reinstatement fee will be required before the license can be reinstated. Reinstatement fees can be paid at a full service branch, over the phone with a major credit card, or through the mail by check to the following address:

Driver Control/ Court Records
Registry of Motor Vehicles
P.O. Box 55896
Boston, MA 02205-5896

Habitual Traffic Offender (HTO): This suspension is triggered by an accumulation of a total of three major moving violations or any combination of 12 major or minor moving violations within a five year period. This period is calculated back from the most recent finding/conviction date. If another state reports an event, it will be included in the calculation. Surchargeable accidents are not part of HTO calculations.

MGL c.90, s22F mandates a four year revocation. The RMV is required by law to send a notice of suspension to the address of record. Once the suspension period is finished, you will be required to take a full driver's license exam ($30 for the learner's permit exam, $20 for the road test) and pay a $500 reinstatement fee. Reinstatement fees can be paid at a full service branch, over the phone with a major credit card, or through the mail by check to the following address:

Driver Control/ Court Records
Registry of Motor Vehicles
P.O. Box 55896
Boston, MA 02205-5896

However, most people pay the reinstatement fee and permit fee when they are ready to take the test at a full service RMV branch. A road test must be scheduled after the permit test is passed and a permit is issued. Road tests can be scheduled over the Internet in the Online Branch by selecting Schedule Road Test and over the phone (857-368-8000). If your HTO includes at least one OUI and you have a prior OUI on your record, Melanie's Law requires you to have an Ignition Interlock Device installed in any vehicle you drive when you are reinstated or if you are granted a hardship license. More detailed information can be found by visiting the Melanie's Law & Ignition Interlock Devices section of our website.

Suspension actions taken on Three Surchargeable Events, Five Surchargeable Events (with a findings/conviction date prior to 9/30/10), Seven Surchargeable Events, and Habitual Traffic Offenders are independent of one another. A driver will be subject to the conditions of each suspension or revocation type independent of any other suspensions or revocations that have been served or are currently active. For example, if you receive a suspension for three speeding violations and one for Seven Surchargeable Events, you will serve 30 days for the speeding suspension and an additional 60 days for the & Seven Surchargeable suspension.

Information regarding points and surchargeable events can be found on the Merit Rating Board's website at www.state.ma.us/mrb. On the main page, select Surchargeable Incidents and then either At-Fault Accidents or Traffic Law Violations.


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Massachusetts Department of Transportation

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