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operating w/ a suspended out of state license

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Junior Member
What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)?


A few months ago while I was driving a friend back to his hotel, I was pulled over for a red light violation, and then after running my license and plates, the officer informs me that my license is suspended. This came as a total shock to me, as I never received any kind of correspondence from the DMV saying that my license was in danger of being, or had been, suspended. The officer was kind enough to let my friend drive the rest of the way and not arrest me or tow my car, but I was given a hearing date that I have to go to.

I understand that operating with a suspended license is a pretty serious traffic offense, but I live in Boston, and I never transferred my license from Arizona after I moved two years ago, because I lived in the dorms up until a year and a half ago and didn't think I was considered an official Mass resident. I had my car shipped here in May, but my 21st birthday was coming up and I thought it would be better to wait until after my birthday to get a new MA license, instead of going through the trouble and $$$ of transferring my AZ one and then having to turn around and pay another fee to be issued a new license after my birthday.
I'm currently working on having my Arizona license reinstated before my court date, which is November 17. Turns out it was suspended for an unpaid defective headlight ticket which I totally forgot about.

So here's my question: Because they can't revoke my license, it being out of state and all, what kind of penalty can I expect from the state of Massachusetts? I'm expecting a hefty fine, but is there anything else? Probation, for example? A period of time during which I will be unable to transfer to a Mass license? Will they take away my MA registration? Also, how much of a fine can I expect?

Should I just get a lawyer for all of this?

I'm very worried, as I was really looking forward to finally having a Mass license and feeling like a real person in this state! Thank you in advance!
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Senior Member
Driving without a license is $500-$5000 and a year in jail at the worst. It can also mean a further "suspension of driving privs" which can mess up your attempts to get a license in Mass (and even have your license suspended again in Az). I'd consult with a lawyer. Showing reinstatement of your AZ license prior to the court date will most likely help.


Junior Member
Is there any chance of them being more lenient because my license was suspended for something as small as the headlight ticket, and not a more dangerous violation?

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