Law Office of Richard A. Mulhearn, P.C.

Worcester Hardship Licenses Lawyer

Hardship licenses are obtained from the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) and are provided for by statute. The Registry can be a very rigid place and they expect you to follow their rules and requirements. There is no guarantee that you will obtain a hardship license and the Registry will not just issue you one because you are a nice person. Fortunately, the RMV website sets forth the requirements for a hardship license. If you follow them, you should have no problems.

Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles Attorney

The Impact of Melanie's Law on Hardship Licenses

Melanie's Law significantly changed the rules on the ability to get a hardship license following an OUI arrest or conviction. There is no hardship license during the period of suspension for refusing to take a breathalyzer test or blood test (chemical test refusal). This means that you will have to wait the full period of the chemical test refusal suspension before being eligible for a hardship license as set forth below. The only exception to this is for the first offender disposition under Section 24D. In addition, if you are found not guilty, the chemical test refusal suspension can be vacated.

First Offense

Eligible for a 12-hour work/education hardship license within three business days of disposition if (a) enrolled in an alcohol education course, even information classes have not yet commenced and (b) demonstrates to the Registry of Motor Vehicle that not having one presents a hardship. Once the disposition is made, this hardship license is also good for use during the loss of license period imposed by a first offender's breath test refusal.

Second Offense

Eligible for 12-hour work/education hardship license after one year with ignition interlock device. General hardship license may be requested after 18 months with ignition interlock device. In the case of a second offender who, because the first offense was more than 10 years earlier, was permitted to take the 24D first offenders program this time, there is still a requirement for the ignition interlock device during any period of a hardship license.

Third Offense

Eligible for work/education hardship license after two years with ignition interlock device. General hardship license may be requested after four years with ignition interlock device.

Fourth Offense

Eligible for work/education hardship license after five years with ignition interlock device. General hardship may be requested after eight years with ignition interlock device.

Fifth Offense

No hardship license available.

NCDD National College for DUI Defense: Richard A. Mulhearn


At the Law Office of Richard A. Mulhearn, P.C., in Worcester, we represent individuals throughout Worcester County and the state of Massachusetts who have been charged with drinking and driving, including Shrewsbury, Westborough, Northborough, Grafton, Auburn, Holden, West Boylston, Sterling, Fitchburg, Leominster, Rutland, Webster, Spencer, Marlborough, Hudson, Oxford, Sutton, Douglas, Whitinsville, Milford, Hopedale, Uxbridge, Northbridge, Southborough, East Brookfield, Princeton, Paxton, Hubbardston and Worcester.