On January 10, 2022, at a Virtual Hearing, Representative Joseph McGonagle and Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan testified before the Massachusetts Legislature’s Joint Committee on Transportation concerning Rep. McGonagle’s bill H.3535, An Act allowing for partial payment of fines relating to driver’s license suspension or revocation. The bill has a Senate version, S.2307, which is sponsored by Senator Sal DiDomenico.
The bill allows those whose licenses have been suspended or revoked but who have completed all other requirements to regain their license except for payment of their fines to enter into a repayment plan. Currently, the Registry of Motor Vehicles cannot accept partial payments, so residents in these situations must either pay in full or not at all. According to Ryan during yesterday’s testimony, this causes more people to drive on suspended or revoked licenses, leading to further penalties.
During his testimony, McGonagle spoke from personal experience, having former employees who faced continuous roadblocks of not having their licenses due to their owed fees. He says the breaking point came a few years ago when a constituent approached him about his issue and reached out to DA Ryan to see what could be done. “This bill just makes sense,” said McGonagle. “You can only qualify for this repayment plan if you’ve met all the other requirements for license reinstatement, but this just lessens the burden of having to pay a sizable amount all at once. Instead of paying $2,000 out of pocket, you can pay a little as $25 a month and start driving again, which is critical for many in their daily lives. The bill also safeguards against defaulters – that if you miss a payment, your license is suspended again. We are trying to give our residents the help and support they deserve. I am grateful to DA Ryan and her office for their support and also to my colleague Senator DiDomenico and his staff.”
The bill is before the Joint Committee on Transportation, which is led by House Chair William Straus and Senate Chair John Keenan.