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Fatal motor vehicle suspensions

The RMV is required to suspend or revoke your learner's permit, license, or right to operate for any convictions of vehicular homicide or manslaughter by motor vehicle.

Table of Contents

Overview

Fatal motor vehicle violations include manslaughter, homicide, and serious injuries resulting from a motor vehicle or boating accident.

The RMV must consider a customer's lifetime driving history when calculating a suspension period for a conviction of a fatal motor vehicle violation.

The RMV will consider all fatal motor vehicle convictions, including any which occur in a boat, involving or not involving alcohol or drugs, and including out-of-state convictions, when determining the number of incidents and the associated suspension period.

Suspension periods and reinstatement requirements

Note: This list is not inclusive of all fatal motor vehicle violations.

Conviction for:

1st Offense

2nd & Subsequent Offenses

Massachusetts General Law

Motor Vehicle Homicide*

Suspension Period: 15 years

Reinstatement Requirement(s): Full Exam (Learner's Permit Exam & Road Test)

Suspension Period: Lifetime

Chapter 90 Section 24G

Motor Vehicle Homicide by Negligent or Reckless Operation

Suspension Period: 15 years

Reinstatement Requirement(s): Full Exam (Learner's Permit Exam & Road Test)

Suspension Period: Lifetime

Chapter 90 Section 24G

Motor Vehicle Homicide while Operating Under the Influence*

Suspension Period: 15 years

Reinstatement Requirement(s): Full Exam (Learner's Permit Exam & Road Test)

Suspension Period: Lifetime

Chapter 90 Section 24G

Motor Vehicle Manslaughter**

Suspension Period: 15 years

Reinstatement Requirement(s): Full Exam (Learner's Permit Exam & Road Test)

Suspension Period: Lifetime

Chapter 265 Section 13

Motor Vehicle Manslaughter while Operating Under the Influence*

Suspension Period: 15 years

Reinstatement Requirement(s): Full Exam (Learner's Permit Exam & Road Test)

Suspension Period: Lifetime

Chapter 265 Section 13 ½

Boating Fatality while Operating Under the Influence

Suspension Period: 10 years

Reinstatement Requirement(s): Full Exam (Learner's Permit Exam & Road Test)

Suspension Period: Lifetime

Chapter 90B Section 8B

Boating Fatality Resulting from Negligent Operation while Operating Under the Influence

Suspension Period: 10 years

Reinstatement Requirement(s): Full Exam (Learner's Permit Exam & Road Test)

Suspension Period: Lifetime

Chapter 90B Section 8B

* If the Motor Vehicle Homicide or Motor Vehicle Manslaughter conviction involves an Operating Under the Influence, and you have a prior Operating Under the Influence conviction or a Driver Alcohol Education Program assignment, your permit, license, or right to operate will be suspended or revoked for life.

** If you were convicted of Motor Vehicle Homicide prior to October 28, 2005 (the date that Melanie's Law was enacted), the suspension or revocation period is 10 years for a first offense and lifetime for a second or subsequent offense.

Preliminary fatal accident suspensions

When notified of a fatal motor vehicle accident that is currently under investigation, the RMV issues an immediate license suspension or revocation Fatal Accident Preliminary (FAP). This is required by Massachusetts General Law Chapter 90 Section 29.

If, at the completion of the investigation, you are charged with motor vehicle homicide or manslaughter, the preliminary suspension is reversed off the record and replaced with an Immediate Threat Suspension for the charges. See the discretionary, mandatory, and public safety suspensions section for more information.

If the police file no charges, reinstatement is allowed only after review by the RMV's Driver Control Unit director.

Additional Resources

Reinstatement eligibility

To become eligible for reinstatement after a suspension/revocation for a motor vehicle fatality, you must:

1. Serve the entire suspension period.

2. Meet with a hearings officer.

Hardship License Eligibility

If you have a suspension/revocation resulting from a conviction of a motor vehicle fatality, you are not eligible to apply for a hardship license.

Additional Resources

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