What is the Process to Appeal a Suspension from the RMV in Massachusetts?

Posted by David Ellison | Dec 03, 2019 | 0 Comments

There are various steps you can take to appeal a decision from the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) in Massachusetts.

First, you have the right to a hearing with a hearing's officer at an RMV Service Center. Second, if you do not like the decision of the hearing's officer, you can appeal the decision to the RMV Board of Appeals. Lastly, if you are not satisfied with the ruling of the RMV Board of Appeals, you can appeal the matter to the Superior Court. 

RMV Hearings in Massachusetts 

The process starts when you receive a suspension or revocation of your driver's license, learner's permit or vehicle registration. You have the right to a hearing at the Registry of Motor Vehicles at certain RMV Service Centers to appeal your suspension of revocation. There are various RMV Service Centers that have hearings, including the following: Boston, Brockton, Fall River, Lawrence, Pittsfield, South Yarmouth, Springfield, Wilmington, and Worcester. The suspension hearings are done on a walk-in basis, so it is important to get there early in case there is a line. They are done on a first come, first serve basis. It is also important to hire an experienced lawyer who handles traffic offenses.

The RMV will give you an application to fill out which will signal to the RMV the decision in which you are requesting a hearing. You will drop this application into the hearings box and wait for the hearing officer to gather information about the status of your license and any paperwork they may need. 

You can appeal a suspension or revocation of the following: 

  • Alcohol or Drug Suspensions
  • Ignition Interlock Device Installation or Removal
  • Chemical Test Refusals
  • Junior Operator Suspensions
  • Accumulation of Offenses Suspensions
  • Out-of-State Suspensions
  • Public Safety Suspensions/Complaints
  • Fatal Motor Vehicle Suspensions
  • Outstanding Obligation Suspensions
  • Court-Ordered Suspensions
  • Property Damage Claims
  • Commercial Driver's License Disqualifications

Attorney David Ellison has experience handling these RMV hearings, and he has represented multiple clients who have had a hearing for various suspensions. He also has represented clients on charges in District  and Superior Court for criminal offenses that have the potential to suspend his client's license status. 

At the RMV hearing, it is important to present documentation to the hearing officer. Sometimes this can be evidence of completion of a class, evidence of a hardship or court documentation. 

If you are not satisfied with the decision of the RMV hearing officer, you have the right to appeal the decision to the RMV Board of Appeals. 

RMV Board of Appeals in Massachusetts 

The RMV Board of Appeals is formally known as the Board of Appeals on Motor Vehicle Liability, Policies, and Bond. In order to appeal a decision from the RMV, you will need to fill out the appeal form, pay a $50 fee, and appear in person in front of the Board for your appeal. There will be various wait times for your appeal date based on the length of your suspension and severity of the offense. 

The appeals are done at various location across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and Attorney Ellison has represented clients at several of these locations. The Board of Appeals is made up of a representative from the Commissioner of Insurance, a representative from the RMV and a representative from the Attorney General's Office. 

Attorney Ellison prefers to write a memorandum with documents attached as exhibits when he represents a client in front of the Board. At the hearing, a representative from the RMV will read into the record your driving record. They will talk about all of your driving history. They will explain the current status of your license and likely give the same reasoning the hearing officer gave for the RMV's decision when you appeared in front of the hearing officer. 

At this point, you are allowed to make an argument. This is why it is critical to have an experienced lawyer represent you. This is when Attorney Ellison will submit the memorandum on your behalf and argue for the appropriate relief. The Board may have questions for you personally, and Attorney Ellison will prepare you for potential questions from the Board. 

The Board of Appeals takes all matters under advisement. They can do one of the following three things: 1) uphold the registry decision 2) modify the registry decision or 3) reverse the registry decision. You should receive a decision from the Board of Appeals within a week or two. 

If the Board restores your right to drive, you cannot drive yet. You have to take the letter they send you to a hearing's officer and have your license reinstated. otherwise, your license will still be suspended and you face the possibility of being charged with the crime of Operating on a Suspended License. The Board of Appeals does not look favorably on people who have been charged with Operating on a Suspended License in the past. 

If you are not happy with the Board of Appeal's decision, you can appeal it to the Superior Court. 

If you are in need of representation due to a decision from the RMV, do not hesitate to contact David today

About the Author

David Ellison

Attorney David Ellison is the Founding Attorney of Ellison Law LLC.


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