General Laws

Section 22. (a) The registrar may suspend or revoke without a hearing any certificate of registration or any license issued under this chapter whenever the holder thereof has committed a violation of the motor vehicle laws of a nature which would give the registrar reason to believe that continuing operation by such holder is and will be so seriously improper as to constitute an immediate threat to the public safety. Upon such suspension or revocation, the registrar shall forthwith send written notice thereof to the licensee or registrant, as the case may be. Such notice shall specify the time and place of the violation. The registrar may order the license of such operator or the registration certificate and number plates to be delivered to him; and neither the certificate of registration nor the license shall be reissued unless, upon examination or investigation, or after a hearing, the registrar determines that the operator shall again be permitted to operate. Said operator shall be entitled to a hearing within thirty days of the suspension or revocation, and the registrar shall so advise him in his notice of suspension or revocation. The registrar, under the same conditions and for the same cause, may also suspend the right of any person to operate motor vehicles in the commonwealth under section ten until he shall have received a license from the registrar or until his right to operate has been restored by the registrar.

(b) The registrar may, after due hearing, suspend or revoke any certificate of registration or any license issued under this chapter, when he has reason to believe the holder thereof is an incompetent person to operate motor vehicles, or is operating a motor vehicle improperly. The registrar may also, after due hearing, suspend or revoke any certificate of registration issued under this chapter, when a certificate of title issued by him under chapter ninety D has been suspended or revoked. At least fourteen days prior to any such suspension or revocation, the registrar shall notify the operator in writing of his intention to suspend or revoke his license as of a specified date. Said notice shall specify the reasons for the intended suspension or revocation and shall inform the operator of his right to request in writing a hearing within fourteen days after the date of such notice on the question of whether there is just cause for such suspension or revocation. If he so requests, the registrar shall grant him a hearing, shall notify him of the date of such hearing and he shall not suspend or revoke the license or registration prior to the completion of the hearing. If, after such hearing, the registrar determines that there is just cause for suspension or revocation, he may suspend or revoke the license but, except as provided by law, or except when he finds that the operator is physically or mentally incapable of operating a motor vehicle, no suspension under this subsection shall be for a period in excess of thirty days. Failure on the part of the operator to request a hearing as aforesaid shall constitute a waiver of his right to a hearing and the registrar may thereafter suspend or revoke the license or certificate on the date originally specified.

(c) If the registrar receives official notice, in any form which the registrar deems appropriate, including electronic transmissions, that a resident of the commonwealth or any person licensed to operate a motor vehicle under the provisions of this chapter has been convicted in another state, country or jurisdiction of a motor vehicle violation, the registrar shall give the same effect to said conviction for the purposes of suspension, revocation, limitation or reinstatement of the right to operate a motor vehicle, as if said violation had occurred in the commonwealth.

As used in this section “motor vehicle violation” shall mean a violation of law, regulation, by-law, or ordinance, except a violation related to parking, the nature of which would have been reported to the registrar pursuant to chapters eighty-nine, ninety, ninety C, or one hundred and seventy-five, if said violation had occurred in the commonwealth.

If the registrar receives official notice, in any form which the registrar deems appropriate, including electronic transmissions, that a resident of the commonwealth, or any person licensed to operate a motor vehicle under the provisions of chapter ninety, or any applicant therefor has had a license or right to operate suspended or revoked in another state, country or jurisdiction, the registrar shall not issue a license to said person, and if a license has already been issued the registrar shall immediately revoke said license, without a prior hearing. However, if said license or right to operate is subsequently reinstated by such other state, country or jurisdiction, the person may apply to the registrar for reinstatement of said license in the commonwealth.

(d) Notice to any person whose license or registration certificate or right to operate is suspended or revoked under this section or notice to any person of intention to revoke or suspend his license or registration certificate under this section shall be in writing, shall be mailed by the registrar or any person authorized by him to the last address as appearing on the registrar’s records or to his last and usual place of abode and a certificate of the registrar that such notice has been mailed in accordance with this section shall be deemed prima facie evidence and shall be admissible in any court of the commonwealth as to the facts contained therein.

If during the period of any such suspension or revocation and prior to its termination by the registrar a new or duplicate learner’s permit, license or certificate of registration, or any renewal thereof, is issued, such learner’s permit, license or certificate of registration shall be void and of no effect.

(e) The registrar may, suspend the license or right to operate and the certificate of registrations of any person for up to six months, whenever the registrar, after a hearing, has reason to believe that said person has violated the provisions of section thirty-four B of chapter one hundred and thirty-eight.

Upon a conviction of said section thirty-four B, the court shall notify the registrar, who shall immediately revoke the license, right to operate or registration for one year.

(f) The registrar shall suspend, without hearing, the license or right to operate of a person who is convicted of a violation of any provision of chapter ninety-four C or adjudged a delinquent child by reason of having violated any provision of chapter ninety-four C; provided, however, that the period of such suspension shall not exceed five years; provided further, that any person so convicted who is under the age of eighteen years or who is adjudged a delinquent child by reason of having violated any provision of chapter ninety-four C, and is not licensed to operate a motor vehicle shall, at the discretion of the presiding judge, not be so licensed for a period no later than when such person reaches the age of twenty-one years.

(g) Upon receipt of notice, as specified by the registrar, from the department of revenue that a final determination of child support delinquency to suspend or prohibit issuance or renewal of a license has been issued against a resident of the commonwealth or an individual licensed to operate a motor vehicle under this chapter, after a hearing or an opportunity therefor pursuant to section 16 of chapter 119A, the registrar, without opportunity for further hearing, shall suspend or prohibit issuance or renewal of such license, learner’s permit, right to operate a motor vehicle or certificate of motor vehicle registration held by such individual and forward any notice required by paragraph (d) to such individual. Notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter, the opportunity for a hearing provided by the department of revenue pursuant to section 16 of chapter 119A shall constitute the exclusive administrative remedy to contest the existence of a child support arrearage which is the basis for action by the department of revenue to effect the suspension, nonissuance or nonrenewal of a license, learner’s permit, right to operate a motor vehicle or certificate of motor vehicle registration. The registrar shall reinstate, issue or renew such license, learner’s permit or right to operate a motor vehicle or allow the registration of a motor vehicle if the department of revenue provides to the registrar a notice, as specified by the registrar, stating that the resident or other individual is in compliance with a subpoena, warrant, summons or judgment or order for child support, including any agreement with or regulation issued by the department of revenue governing payment of arrears or upon order by the reviewing court, if the individual is otherwise entitled thereto. Notices between the department of revenue and the registrar under this subsection may be made in any form, including electronic transmission. Upon exhaustion of administrative remedies provided in section 16 of chapter 119A, an individual aggrieved by a final determination of the department of revenue, as adopted or acted upon by the registrar, may seek judicial review of the final determination issued by the department of revenue in the court where the child support order was issued, which has jurisdiction to register the order, or which issued the subpoena, warrant or summons, within 45 days of the date of the registrar’s notice to such individual that his license, learner’s permit, right to operate a motor vehicle or certificate of motor vehicle registration is subject to suspension, nonissuance or nonrenewal; provided, however, that a request for judicial review shall be by action against the department of revenue and not the registrar and shall be accompanied by a copy of the department of revenue’s final determination. Such review shall constitute the exclusive remedy for individuals aggrieved by a final determination as adopted or acted upon by the registrar under section 16 of chapter 119A; provided, however, that such review shall not limit an individual’s appellate remedies. The provisions of section 28 shall not apply.

(h) The registrar shall not issue, renew or reinstate a license to operate of any person against whom a default or arrest warrant issued by any court in the commonwealth is outstanding. Evidence of the outstanding warrant appearing in the warrant management system, established by section twenty-three A of chapter two hundred and seventy-six, shall be sufficient grounds for such action by the registrar.

(i) The registrar shall suspend the license to operate motor vehicles of a person against whom an arrest or default warrant issued by any court in the commonwealth is outstanding. Evidence of the outstanding warrant appearing in the warrant management system shall be sufficient grounds for such action by the registrar. The person shall receive notice that his license shall be suspended in 90 days due to an outstanding warrant unless such person furnishes proof to the registrar that such warrant has been recalled or does not exist. A person whose license has been suspended due to an outstanding warrant may petition for reinstatement of such license at any time if he can furnish sufficient proof as determined by the registrar that such warrant has been recalled. The registrar shall promulgate regulations to implement this section, which shall include the opportunity for a hearing to challenge the existence of the outstanding warrant. If a hearing is requested, the law enforcement agency responsible for the warrant shall be notified of the time, place, date of hearing and the subject of the warrant. An affidavit from the law enforcement agency responsible for the warrant or from the colonel of the state police may be introduced as prima facie evidence of the existence of a warrant without the need for members of that law enforcement agency to attend any hearings held under this section.

(j) Upon receipt of notice, as specified by the registrar, from the sex offender registry board, that a sex offender has failed to comply with the registration requirements of sections 178C to 178P, inclusive, of chapter 6, the registrar shall suspend or prohibit issuance or renewal of a license, learner’s permit, right to operate a motor vehicle or certificate of motor vehicle registration held by such sex offender. The sex offender shall receive notice that the registrar shall suspend or prohibit renewal of such a license, learner’s permit, right to operate a motor vehicle or certificate of motor vehicle registration in 90 days due to his failure to comply with the registration requirements of said sections 178C to 178P, inclusive, of said chapter 6, unless the sex offender furnishes proof to the registrar that he has complied with his sex offender registration requirements. A sex offender whose license, learner’s permit, right to operate a motor vehicle or certificate of motor vehicle registration has been suspended due to his failure to comply with the registration requirements of said sections 178C to 178P, inclusive of said chapter 6 may petition for reinstatement of his license, learner’s permit, right to operate a motor vehicle or certificate of motor vehicle registration at any time if he produces sufficient proof, as determined by the registrar, that he is in compliance with his sex offender registration requirements. The registrar shall promulgate regulations to implement this subsection, which shall include the opportunity for a hearing to challenge the lack of sex offender registration compliance. If a hearing is requested, the sex offender registry board shall be notified of the time, place, date of hearing and the identity of the sex offender. An affidavit from the sex offender registry board may be introduced as prima facie evidence of the lack of sex offender registration compliance and members or employees of the sex offender registry board need not attend any hearings held under this subsection.

The registrar shall reinstate, issue or renew such license, learner’s permit or right to operate a motor vehicle or the registration of a motor vehicle if the sex offender registry board provides to the registrar a notice, as specified by the registrar, stating that the sex offender is in compliance with the registration requirements of said sections 178C to 178P, inclusive, of said chapter 6 and such sex offender shall be assessed a $100 sex offender registry reinstatement fee which shall be transmitted by the registrar to the treasurer for deposit into the general fund. Notices between the sex offender registry board and the registrar under this subsection may be made in any form, including electronic transmission.