What is RMV?

The Registry of Motor Vehicles provides driver license, vehicle title, and registration information as well as forms and contact information. It has the authority, in accordance with the MGL (Massachusetts General laws) and CMR (Code of Massachusetts Regulations) to suspend or revoke licenses and permits to operate motor vehicles. It can also do the same for registrations thereby prohibiting a convicted individual from operating a vehicle attached to a suspended registration.


Suspensions basically terminate the rights and privilege of an individual to operate vehicles. It is coterminous with the term “revocation” pertaining to licenses.

Contrary to expected, suspensions are imposed not only for violations involving motor vehicles but also for other cases. These suspensions stain on an operator’s driving record which later may bring unpleasant consequences. The duration of suspension varies depending on statutory requirements on the violations. Some serious offenses too may necessitate lifetime suspension, that is perpetual revocation of license or permit.

The Massachusetts General Law implements suspensions for the following offenses depending on the gravity and frequency of offense:

1. Accidents involving Death/Fatalities
2. Operating under the Influence
3. Operating Under Suspension
4. Leaving the Scene of an Accident
5. Operating to Endanger (Reckless/Negligent Operation)
6. Drag Racing

Other offenses and their corresponding suspensions are as follows (take from the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles):

Operating an Uninsured Motor Vehicle 60 days One year for any second conviction or plea of guilty within a six-year period One year for any subsequent conviction or plea of guilty within a six-year period
Employing an Individual with a Suspended License as a Motor Vehicle Operator 30 days 90 days One year
Tagging & Vandalism One year One year One year
Theft or Concealment of a Motor Vehicle One year Five years Five years
Malicious Damage to a Motor Vehicle One year Five years Five years
Allowing an Unlicensed Operator to Operate a Motor Vehicle 30 days 90 days One year
Handicap Plate/Placard Violations 30 days 90 days One year
Allowing an Ignition Interlock Device Restricted Driver to Operate a Motor Vehicle Up to one year Up to one year Up to one year
Drag Racing* 30 days Six months Six months
Operating a Motor Vehicle on a Bet or Wager 60 days One year for any second conviction or plea of guilty within a three-year period One year for any second conviction or plea of guilty within a three-year period
Operating a Motor Vehicle Without Authority One year Three years Three years
Having a False License or a False License Application, or Stealing or Forging RMV documents One year One year One year

Suspensions for Refusing a Chemical Test

Drivers suspected of operating under the influences of alcohol and prohibited drugs, as well as prescription drugs which may impair the driver from driving properly are to be subjected to a chemical test. In the event that the said driver refuses to undergo a chemical test, the following suspensions are implemented:

21 years old and above None 180 days
One 3 years
Two 5 years
Three or more Lifetime
21 years old and below None 3 years
One 3 years
Two 5 years
Three or more Lifetime
All ages Prior OUI Serious Bodily Injury 10 years
Prior Vehicular Homicide Lifetime

Other offenses subject to suspensions

Commercial Driver’s License Suspension 1 year Lifetime
Railroad-Highway Grade Crossing 60 days 120 days
1 year (subsequent)
Violating Out-Of-Service Orders 90 days -1 year 1-5 years

3-5 years (subsequent)

Non-vehicle related offenses

Drug Conviction-related Suspensions 1-5 years depending on the nature of the conviction
Out-of-State suspensions and revocations Indefinite suspension imposed on a Massachusetts driver's license until the right to operate has been restored in the other state/ jurisdiction.
Non-payment of Child Support Suspension until payment of child support
Non-payment of State Taxes Suspension until payment of State Taxes
Failure to Register as a Sex Offender Suspension until payment compliance of the Law
Property Damage Claims Suspension until deposit of the amount of judgment and payment of $100 reinstatement fee
Bad Payments of Registry $15.00 fee plus $100.00 reinstatement fee and $100.00 reinstatement of registration fee

Furthermore, individuals with Criminal Warrants and Criminal Citation Defaults are also subject to license suspensions in various terms.


The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles has scheduled a hearing to address grievances as well as appeals made by vehicle operators. As the RMV Website suggests, one should prepare all the necessary documents since the Hearings work on a walk-in, first come first served basis system. Thus, bringing in a competent lawyer with credible experience as well as coming prepared and early and familiarizing oneself with the flow of the hearing process is essential for the success of any transaction.

What to do?

There are many instances a driver may be suspended from driving. Contrary to expected, it goes way beyond just simple traffic violations. It may also include offenses or records of an individual driver that may not necessarily have to do with driving. It is imperative that an individual to be subjected to suspension should hire an experienced lawyer from our firm so as to help them get through the tunnel of distress over the excessive penalties as well as curtailment of the rights and privileges to using the road.

If you or a family member has received a ticket, it is wise to contact our lawyers quickly. We can help you fight to keep your driving privileges and your insurance premiums as low as possible.

Hire an Experienced Traffic Attorney in MA

Finding the right traffic and speeding attorney in Massachusetts is crucial when facing potential legal consequences and seeking expert guidance. Our firm stands out as the premier choice for legal representation across the state. Discover how our dedicated team can meet your specific legal needs, providing you with the best possible outcome for your traffic and speeding violations. Click here for a complete list of towns where our services are available

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