The Board of Appeals is a three-member panel, consisting of representatives of the Registrar of Motor Vehicles, the Attorney General and the Commissioner of Insurance. The Board conducts appeals from actions of the Registrar of Motor Vehicles. These appeals reflect license suspensions ranging in duration from thirty days to lifetime suspensions and, in certain cases, require the installation and maintenance of an alcohol-detection device in the insured's vehicle.
The Board's authority was established by Massachusetts General Law Chapter 26 section 8A. This statutory charge gives the Board jurisdiction over appeals of motor vehicle accident surcharges issued in accordance with the Massachusetts Safe Driver Insurance Plan ("SDIP"), decisions of the Registrar of Motor Vehicles and automobile insurance cancellations.
The SDIP is mandated by state law to establish classifications of risks to reflect the driving records of insureds and adjust premiums based in part on the predictive value of past driving experience. The SDIP encourages safe driving by rewarding drivers who do not cause accidents, incur traffic law violations or have property damage claims. It does so with a credit to their automobile insurance premiums. It discourages unsafe driving by requiring high-risk drivers to pay a greater share of insurance costs through surcharges for at-fault accidents and traffic law violations.