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Do I qualify for a hardship license?

Driving to and from work is something most Massachusetts residents take for granted. However, if you have a suspended license due to operating under the influence, getting to work may be difficult. If driving is essential to your routine, you can request a suspension hearing for a hardship license at one of the RMV hearing sites.

There are different criteria for this limited access license, depending on whether this is your first or subsequent offense.

First Offense

If the hearing officer finds that there is no evidence that you operated a vehicle since the license suspension or revocation and there are no other reasons for the suspensions to be in place, you may qualify for a hardship license. As part of the requirements, you must have a letter from your employer, on company letterhead stating the need for a hardship license and your work hours. It may also include documentation regarding the availability of public transportation. There may be further requirements, based on the date of the application.

Subsequent Offenses

In addition to the first offense criteria, there must documentation for the following:

  • Proof that you have completed a proper alcohol treatment program.
  • A Discharge Summary, stating your risk factor rate.
  • A “2nd Offender Completion Letter Needed for Hardship Consideration” from the after-care provider.

Other Criteria

If you are a business owner or need the hardship license for purposes other than work, supply documentation and proof to the hearing officer. Other purposes may include medical treatments or education. An ignition interlock device may be requested as part of the first-time offender criteria. It is always a requirement for multiple offenses.

This information is provided for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as legal advice.


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