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General Laws

Section 16. (a)(1) For purposes of this section, the following words shall have the following meanings:

“License”, any license, permit, certificate, registration, charter, authority or any other form of permission required by law for the operation or use of property, the conduct of an activity or the carrying on of a trade or business, including, but not limited to, any professional, trade, business, occupational, commercial, recreational or sporting license or permit, driver’s license, learner’s permit, right to operate a motor vehicle, or certificate of motor vehicle registration.

“Licensing authority”, any department, bureau, authority, division, board, commission, unit or other entity of the commonwealth, any political subdivision or agency thereof, or any city or town of the commonwealth, which issues licenses.

“Final determination of delinquency”, an administrative finding by the IV-D agency that an obligor owes a child support arrearage that is subject to a child support lien under section 6 or has failed to respond to a subpoena, warrant or summons relating to a judicial or administrative proceeding regarding paternity or child support.

(2) Every licensing authority shall collect and maintain certain information, including the name, date of birth, address and social security number, for each applicant for a license and each individual to whom a license is granted or renewed. Every licensing authority shall provide to the IV-D agency the name, date of birth, address, social security number, federal identification number and other information as the IV-D agency may request regarding an applicant for a license or an individual to whom a license has been granted, including requests by electronic data matches. The agencies or entities disclosing information to the IV-D agency under this section shall furnish such information using the method and format required by the IV-D agency. If the agency or entity making disclosure is unable to furnish the information using the method and format so required, such agency or entity shall cooperate with the IV-D agency to determine another method or format by which the information may be furnished.

(b) The IV-D agency may notify in writing an obligor who owes a child support arrearage and is subject to a child support lien pursuant to section 6 of this chapter or an obligor who has failed to comply with a subpoena, warrant or summons relating to a judicial or administrative proceeding regarding paternity or child support, that unless the obligor requests, within 30 days of the date of such notice, a hearing before the department, the IV-D agency may issue a final determination of delinquency and, if the IV-D agency issues such final determination, shall notify the licensing authority to suspend, revoke or prohibit issuance or renewal of the license of the obligor. The provisions of this section shall constitute the sole administrative remedy for an obligor to contest a final determination of delinquency and the suspension, revocation, nonissuance or nonrenewal of the obligor’s license.

(c) Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 10 and 11 of chapter 30A, the department shall provide a hearing upon request by the obligor as provided in subsection (b). If the obligor has been notified that he owes a child support arrearage, the obligor must establish at the hearing that (1) no child support arrearage exists, (2) the obligor is not the individual owing the arrearage, or (3) the obligor is complying with a payment plan approved by the IV-D agency. If the obligor has been notified that he has failed to comply with a subpoena, warrant or summons, the obligor must establish at the hearing, with respect to the subpoena, warrant or summons, that he did comply, he was not properly served, or the failure to comply was due to reasonable cause. If, after hearing, the department finds that the obligor owes a child support arrearage and is subject to a child support lien or that the obligor failed to comply with a subpoena, warrant or summons relating to a judicial or administrative proceeding regarding paternity or child support and that the obligor has failed to establish any of the defenses provided herein, the IV-D agency may issue a final determination of child support delinquency and, upon issuance of such final determination, shall notify the licensing authority to suspend, revoke or prohibit issuance or renewal of the obligor’s license.

(d) If the obligor signs a payment plan approved by the IV-D agency and thereafter fails to make payments in accordance with such plan and fails to show cause for such failure by requesting a hearing as provided by this section, the IV-D agency may issue a final determination of delinquency and, upon such issuance, shall notify the licensing authority to suspend, revoke or prohibit issuance or renewal of the obligor’s license.

(e)(1) Notwithstanding section 14 of chapter 30A, within 45 days of the date of the notice by the licensing authority to the obligor of its action to suspend, revoke or prohibit issuance or renewal of the obligor’s license, an individual who contests a final determination of delinquency by the IV-D agency, upon exhaustion of administrative remedies provided herein, may seek judicial review in the court where the child support order was issued, or which has jurisdiction to register the child support order, or which issued the subpoena, warrant or summons; provided, however, that a request for judicial review shall be made by filing a complaint against the IV-D agency and not the licensing authority and shall be accompanied by a copy of the final determination of delinquency of the IV-D agency. Upon receipt of the request for judicial review, the court shall notify the IV-D agency at least 14 days prior to any hearing. Such judicial review shall constitute the exclusive remedy for individuals who contest a final determination of delinquency as adopted or acted upon by the licensing authority under this section; provided, however, that such review shall not limit an individual’s right to appeal from the decision of the court.

(2)(A) In the case of an obligor who is subject to a determination of delinquency by the IV-D agency on the basis of a child support arrearage, if the reviewing court finds that no child support arrearage exists, or that the obligor is not the individual owing the arrearage, or that the obligor is complying with a payment plan approved by the IV-D agency, the reviewing court shall order the IV-D agency to immediately notify the licensing authority or authorities to reinstate, issue or renew the license or licenses of the obligor. The court also may order reinstatement, issuance or renewal of a license of such an obligor who is not intentionally unemployed and who is complying with an employment search supervised by the court. In the case of an obligor who is subject to a determination of delinquency by the IV-D agency on the basis of his failure to comply with a subpoena, warrant or summons, if the reviewing court finds with respect to the subpoena, warrant or summons, that the obligor (1) did comply, (2) was not properly served, or (3) failed to comply due to reasonable cause, the reviewing court shall order the IV-D agency to notify the licensing authority to reinstate, issue or renew the obligor’s license, (4) any other defenses permitted by a court necessary for adjudication.

(B) The licensing authority shall reinstate, issue or renew the license of the obligor upon receipt of notice from the reviewing court or the IV-D agency if the obligor is otherwise entitled thereto.

(f) If an obligor whose license has been suspended, revoked or prohibited from being issued or renewed thereafter pays his child support arrearage in full, or complies with a payment plan with the IV-D agency, or complies with the subpoena, warrant or summons which was the basis for the final determination of delinquency, the IV-D agency shall notify the licensing authority that it shall reinstate, issue or renew the license of the obligor if the obligor is otherwise entitled thereto.

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