The Board of Appeal is established by Massachusetts Law - M.G.L. c.26 § 8A . One of the responsibilities of the Board is to hear appeals of persons aggrieved by a ruling or decision of the Registrar of Motor Vehicles, - M.G.L. c.90 § 28 . After a hearing the Board may order such ruling or decision to be affirmed, modified or annulled.
The Board is made up of three members; one appointed by the Registrar of Motor Vehicles, one appointed by the Attorney General and a Chairman appointed by the Commissioner of Insurance.

FILING AN APPEAL

If the Registrar (not the courts) has sent you a notice advising you of a ruling or decision by the Registrar regarding your driving or licensing privileges in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and you wish to appeal that action, you may file an appeal with the Board of Appeal. Forms are available at the office of the Board or at Registry offices, you may also call the Board (617-351-9710 or 9221) and a form will be mailed to you. It costs $50 to file an appeal.
Hearings are scheduled in the order in which the appeals are received in accordance with the length of the suspension. You must appear in person for your hearing .

APPEALS THAT ARE NOT HEARD BY THE BOARD:

Please note that Breathalyzer Refusal/Chemical Test Refusal (CTR) revocations must be appealed through the court system, the Board does not have legal authority to hear CTR appeals.
If your license was revoked by the courts, you must appeal through the court system to have it returned. (There are times when a Judge will advise you that a license suspension will accompany your conviction. It is your responsibility to obtain clarification as to whether your suspension is a part of the Judge's order or if the Judge is merely providing information to you as to the consequences that normally follow the offense for which you are being charged.)

REQUESTING A CONTINUANCE:

If you wish to have your appeal continued so that you may have an attorney present or to obtain additional information, please advise the Board prior to your hearing and we may grant you a continuance. You/your attorney should contact the Board when you are prepared to go forward. If you decide to proceed with your hearing and then are not satisfied with the decision you will not be granted a 2nd hearing before the Board, your avenue of appeal will be to Superior Court.

IF YOU HAVE ANY COURT ACTIONS PENDING ADVISE THE BOARD BEFORE YOUR HEARING:

If you have any court actions currently pending (any unresolved tickets/violations, future court dates or matters that have been continued) it is important for you to notify the Board of this fact before you begin your presentation. Such outstanding actions may prevent the Board from making a decision until your present record is complete. If you do not advise the Board of outstanding matters, you could possibly cost yourself substantial amounts in reinstatement fees only to receive a new suspension when the matter is resolved and entered on your record.

THE HEARING

The hearing is your opportunity to present information (testimony and/or documents) that you would like the Board to consider when reviewing your appeal.
At the time of your hearing, your name will be called by the Board and you will be asked to provide some basic information for identification purposes. Then a representative of the Registrar will:
  1. Present what action(s) the Registrar has taken regarding your license privileges and
  2. support the reason for the action. This presentation almost always includes the Registry's submission of your Driving History Record as maintained by the Registry of Motor Vehicles.
After you and the Board have heard the Registry's presentation you will have the opportunity to present your information to the Board.
The Board members will ask questions. You should not ask questions of the Registry representative and the Registry representative should not ask questions of you. You do not have to respond to questions from anyone but Board members during your hearing. If you have questions you wish answered/clarified by the Registry or they have questions for you --- the proper procedure is to present the question to the Board and asked for clarification. Proper hearing procedure allows the hearing to focus on the issue at hand and prevents inappropriate comments/arguments dialogue. Respect for all participants in the hearing process, the Registry official, the Board members and most especially respect for you is expected.

AFTER THE HEARING:

At the end of the testimony and the questions by the Board, your hearing will be closed. If the Board asks you to provide additional information this must be done in written form and submitted by mail or fax. If you find there is any need to contact the Board or make any inquiries regarding your case, it must be done in writing. Board members cannot have ex-parte communication (communication outside of the formal presence of both parties) with you or the Registry about your appeal. Any communication must be in writing so that it can be made a part of the official record. This is to protect your rights and the integrity of the hearing process. The Board will answer your inquiry in writing, as there must be a formal record of all communication.

THE DECISION:

The Board members will review the testimony, documentation and laws applicable to your appeal and make a new decision. The decision of the Board will be mailed to you and a copy to the Registry approximately 7 to 10 days following your hearing, unless your case is being held open for the submission of additional information.
If your decision allows your licensing privileges to be reinstated partially or fully you must take your decision to the Registry of Motor Vehicles to complete the required formalities to become reinstated. A favorable decision is not your license; it allows you to go the Registry to become reinstated.

TO APPEAL THE BOARD'S DECISION:

If you are not satisfied with the decision of the Board the proper avenue of appeal is to the Superior Court in the county in the Commonwealth in which you reside. You may also file your appeal in Suffolk County, as that is the county in which the Boards' main office is located. The civil clerks' office will help you if you are filing pro se (for yourself/without an attorney). A second hearing before the Board will not be granted unless the decision you receive specifically states that you may re-apply to the Board.

  • Complete the Board of Appeal - Appeal Form, re: Rulings/Decisions of the Registrar of Motor Vehicles pdf format of Form for Appealing a Decision of the Registrar...

  • Return the application with a $50.00 check or money order payable to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts/Division of Insurance .

  • Appeals are scheduled in the order in which they are received and according to the length of your suspension. There are NO exceptions.

  • Use the chart below to determine approximately how soon your hearing will occur after the Board has received your application.
    30 day suspension2 weeks
    60 day suspension3 weeks
    any other suspension3 to 8 weeks
    10 year vehicular homicide6 months

  • Please notify your probation officer of any pending appeals.

  • You will be notified by mail as to the time, date and location of your appeal. The Board has several locations in which appeals are heard: Boston, Marlboro, Plymouth and Springfield.

  • If you have an attorney for your appeal, it is your responsibility to notify him/her.

  • You will receive the Board's decision in a timely manner after all paperwork has been received by the Board.

  • You may appeal an unfavorable decision to your county's Superior Court or in Boston, (Suffolk County) where the Board's home office is located .

  • YOU MAY NOT appeal Breathalyzer/Chemical Test Refusal (CTR) revocations to the Board. These appeals are handled by District Courts which have sole jurisdiction.