Apply for a hardship driver's license

Hardship licenses are only granted to Massachusetts driver’s license holders. In order to apply for a hardship license, you must attend a hearing at select RMV hearing sites.

Registry of Motor Vehicles


The Details of Apply for a hardship driver's license

What you need for Apply for a hardship driver's license

To apply for a hardship license you must:

  1. Attend a hearing at select RMV hearing sites; please refer to the hearing sites and schedules section.
  2. Bring all required documents with you when you meet with the hearings officer. The links below will list all the requirements that must be met in order to qualify for a hardship license.


How to apply Apply for a hardship driver's license

To apply, you must bring all required documentation and attend a hearing at an RMV hearing site.

Addition of restrictions

If you are approved for a hardship license, the hearings officer will add an Hours ("H") restriction to your driver's license record.

If your suspension is due to a second or subsequent Operating Under the Influence (OUI) violation, you are required to have an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) installed in any vehicle you own, lease, or operate (including an employer's vehicle) at your expense. The hearings officer will add the IID ("Z") restriction to the license record indicating an IID must be installed in the vehicle being operated.


More info about Apply for a hardship driver's license

  • The RMV hearings officers may require additional information after reviewing your documentation before rendering a final decision.

  • If you are missing documentation, you will need to return to an RMV hearings officer with the appropriate documentation.

  • Although you may meet all requirements, issuance of a hardship license is only granted at the reasonable discretion of the RMV, based on the facts of the case.

  • If you are approved for a hardship license you, must surrender your physical driver’s license during the hearing (if it has not already been taken by the police or the court). You will have an H restriction added to your driver’s license/record.

Rescinding a hardship license

Your hardship license will be rescinded immediately if you violate the terms and conditions set forth by the Registrar.

Reinstatement after a hardship license expires

You must be seen by an RMV hearings officer on or after the day that your hardship license expires. If the RMV hearings officer approves your reinstatement, the H restriction will be removed and you will be required to obtain a replacement license.



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