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What happens to my Massachusetts license if I get a DUI in New Hampshire?

August 31, 2011


My practice has been both in Massachusetts and New Hampshire for fifteen years and I maintain offices, an office in Nashua, New Hampshire and an office in Chelmsford. I spend about 50% of my time in the state of New Hampshire and their courts, and the rest of my time are in the state of Massachusetts, so I’m very familiar with what happens typically to a Massachusetts driver when they get arrested in New Hampshire. The only entity that can take away a Massachusett’s driver’s driver’s license is the Massachusetts court or the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles. When you are arrested in New Hampshire, as a Mass resident, you’re going to be asked to take a chemical test – breath, blood, urine test – after your arrest for a DUI. If you refuse that test, or if you submit to that test and you test over, your privilege to drive a motor vehicle in the state of New Hampshire will be suspended for at least 180 days and that goes into effect 30 days after your arrest. That does not mean that your Massachusetts driver’s license is suspended or revoked. There is reciprocity between the two states, and you will, if you’re suspended in New Hampshire for a chemical test refusal or testing over, and later if your convicted or you’ve plead out to a DUI, you will receive notice from the Massachusett’s registry that they know about what happened in New Hampshire, through the National Driver Registration, and through that National Driver Registry they inform you, by way of a letter from the Mass Registry, that we know you’re suspended in New Hampshire, therefore, effective fourteen days out, your Mass license will be revoked. And it’s going to be revoked for either an indefinite period of time or a set period of time based on a conviction in a court. So essentially a Massachusetts driver, if arrested in New Hampshire or any other state, still has a valid Mass license but they can expect there to be a reciprocal suspension later on of their Mass license based on the consequences in that other state.

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