Out of state suspensions and revocations

Each state in the U.S. is required to notify a driver's home state through the National Driver Register if a driver has committed an offense which has caused the driver's right to operate to be suspended or revoked out-of-state.

If Massachusetts receives notification that your right to operate was suspended or revoked by another state, the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) will mail you a suspension notice, giving you 30 days to resolve the out-of-state issue.

Suspension or revocation in another state

If your Massachusetts license or right to operate has been suspended or revoked due to a suspension or revocation in another state, you must be reinstated in that state before any revocation in Massachusetts can be resolved. The pending suspension will become effective on the date specified in your suspension notice and will remain in effect until the out-of-state suspension has been cleared.

If your out-of-state suspension or revocation has been resolved, you must present either a Clearance Letter or a current driving record, not more than 30 days old, from the state of suspension to an RMV Service Center. The pending suspension or revocation in Massachusetts must be removed manually by the RMV, even if the effective date has not been reached. If the Massachusetts suspension has taken effect, you will be required to pay a $100 reinstatement fee.

If your out-of-state offense is related to Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs (including Breathalyzer Refusals & Failures) or Vehicular Homicide/Manslaughter, you must see a Hearings Officer and submit both of the following:

  • A Certified Driving History (current within 30 days) from the state in which the offense occurred
  • Court Abstract(s) providing disposition information
  • A letter of reinstatement from the state of violation (current within 30 days)

Massachusetts state law requires the RMV to apply Massachusetts license suspension rules to any of these out-of-state violations. These offenses will be treated as if they occurred in the Commonwealth if you were licensed in Massachusetts at the time of the offense. The RMV will review your record and determine if the offense is similar to any existing laws in Massachusetts and apply any penalties that may be required.

Events and Penalties

Out-of-State Event Penalty in Massachusetts Massachusetts General Law
Massachusetts driver's license is suspended/revoked in another jurisdiction Suspension Period: Indefinite suspension imposed on a Massachusetts driver's license until the right to operate has been restored in the other state/ jurisdiction. Chapter 90 Section 22(c)
Massachusetts driver is convicted of a violation in another jurisdiction that is suspendable in Massachusetts Suspension Period: Suspension imposed on a Massachusetts driver's license for either the period provided for by Massachusetts General Laws or the state/ jurisdiction where the violation occurred, whichever is greater. Chapter 90 Section 22(c)

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