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If you are suspended in any state or D.C. you are suspended in Mass. due to reciprocity. See MGL C. 90 S. 30B (If I remember correctly this law was passed after a young girl was killed on the back of her fathers motorcycle in the breakdown lane of Route 93 at the NH line by a driver who was suspended in one state but operating on another state license)

When I see two different Mass. statuses I give the driver the benefit of the doubt and assume that the RMV has screwed up. When I see two statuses I run driver histories on the different OLN's, I ask the driver if they have ever been licensed in another state and run DQ's and KQ's on those and I ask the driver if they have any unpaid tickets or fines, etc...

My experience has been that this is a common RMV error. This is especially true when the driver is only from Mass. and the driver history doesn't indicate that there should be a suspension. I tell the driver to go to the RMV and get it straightened out. It's a little more work but I would never tow someone and make them go to court for a pretty common RMV error.

testtaker said:
I have gone over this a thousand times, the answer is this .... the RMV issues license or "right to operate" to a person ... although a person may have more than one number, once that "person" has the right to operate suspended/revoked, it is just that regardless if the person shows that he/she has other numbers in the system, which appear to be active.

If you are active in Mass but susp in another state, you are still active in Mass (but not for long)

If you are susp in Mass but active in another state - you are still susp.

If you are susp in another state and have no status in mass - you are driving w/o a lic.

The "A" number is assigned when a person does not have a number in the system (such as an out of state driver) Sometimes, people slip through (I know its hard to believe with the excellent RMV in mass) and get both numbers, of course they make no mention of that ticket they didn't pay (the A number) and get the "S" number so they would have both -- to bad says RMV your original susp will stick!

Does that help?

· Registered
293 Posts
You sound like a clerk at Woburn District Court.

J/K :transmet:

I will preface this by saying that I might be wrong about everything but I am a bit obsessive-compulsive when I get into these things.

If you look at 90-30B and 90-22C you should find the answers you seek on reciprocity. You can also try John Scheft's 2005 M/V law cruiser guide on 7-8 and 7-9. I have had 1 conviction for OAS (in Woburn Court no less) concerning a subject who had a suspended Maine License and active Mass. License. Of course, this was before the computer systems were improved so that it doesn't happen quite as often now.

As far as the CJIS info goes. I should have prefaced my comments with the caveat that you should always confirm everything that comes out of CJIS - good or bad. CJIS info can be pc as far as the courts go but the CJIS guidebook says that it isn't pc until the record is confirmed. That's CJIS saying that there might be mistakes in the data. A suspension by itself is probably good and there is usually very little doubt, a suspension that gets spit out with a different OLN and with an active OLN leaves some doubt and should be followed up by running R1's, DQ's and KQ's to determine the source of the discrepancy.

I have seen these multiple OLN's with suspensions many times and I know from my experience and training that they are more often errors by RMV clerks with fat fingers than they are legitimate suspensions. CJIS is not infallible - I have also had at least three cases where warrants were recalled but still in WMS and multiple times where Q1 hits came up without legitimate reasons.

As soon as an officer finds out that pc has evaporated on an arrest he or she has a duty to release the person arrested. As soon as you find out a suspended or revoked status is an error you should take similar action and undo any damage done and lessen any inconvenience.

I asked Bill Dunn about multiple statuses at a CJIS RWG meeting a few years ago and he agreed with me at that time that many are errors. I also believe that this may have been a brief topic of training at another CJIS RWG meeting.

If you have pc that someone is suspended then take action, if you have pc that its an error then you should do the right thing and let them go. You have a duty to use exculpatory information whenever you take police action in other areas such as filing for warrants or making arrests. The public would expect the same thing here. If, after a thorough investigation, you find that it is more likely an error than it is a valid suspension then you should not arrest or seize property. If you want to be lazy and just say "Hey, one of these says it's suspended and that's good enough for me." then you aren't doing the right thing.

Of course, I might be wrong so the best answers would come directly from the RMV (on the reciprocity law and on multiple statuses) and from CJIS (on multiple statuses).

Wolfman said:

Reading 90-30B, I see words to the effect of the NDR but nothing that indicates that a suspended operator in New York is suspended in Mass. What I do see is that any infractions which occur out-of-state and are reported to the home state must be acted upon by the home state as if it had occurred in the home jurisdiction. For example, a BT refusal occurring out of state would result in the operator's suspension in their home state. Please specify where your "suspended there...suspended here" ascertation is found in this section, as it looks somewhat wordy. I may be wrong but I don't think so. Someone who is suspended in NC is NOT suspended in Mass - they have committed no infraction in Mass which would justify suspension - rather, their license to operate is NOT valid in their home state and thus is not recognized in MA as being valid. Therefore they are driving without a valid license - C90S10, not C90S23.

Also, I disagree with your philosophy on assuming the RMV screwed up. Although this may well be a possibility, you have official information from an official source which indicates that the operator in question is suspended. This overrrides any active status and it is the responsibility of the operator and RMV to work this out and not your place to apply your interpretations. Your ass is covered if you assume them to be suspended; should you opine that the RMV is wrong, cut the guy loose, and the worst should happen it is YOUR head on the chopping block when someone's next of kin comes looking for a lawsuit.
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