Hearings FAQs

Questions that are commonly answered at the Bureau of Hearings.

How do I request a hearing?

You must request a hearing in writing. Telephone requests will not be accepted. A hearing request must be addressed to the Bureau of Hearings. Some hearing requests must be made within a specific time frame as prescribed by law. Other hearing requests have no deadline. If in doubt, you may submit your request for a hearing and you will receive a response. The Bureau does not give legal advice, but you may consult an attorney for advice at your own expense. The list below represents the types of requests and the necessary form related to that request. These forms are completed online and may be emailed directly to the Department of Safety, Bureau of Hearings or printed and sent via US Mail. We also accept requests by fax (603-271-6653). Please do not send multiple hearing requests for the same issue.

  1. (ALS) Administrative License Suspension / Implied Consent / Refusal of Test, etc. = within thirty (30) days from the date of service.
    Administrative License Suspension
  2. Uninsured Accident = within ten (10) days of receipt of the order.
    Request for a Hearing to Review Uninsured Accident Notice of Suspension
  3. Decertification from Habitual Offender Status = when the order issued allows (review your written order, issued to you at the hearing).
    Decertification from Habitual Offender Revocation
  4. Medical = No specific time frame.
    Request for a Hearing to Review the Notice of Medical Suspension
  5. Request to reopen a defaulted hearing = 15 days
    Request for a Hearing to Request Reopening the Defaulted Hearing
  6. Request for Alcohol Program Completion Hearing = 20 Days.
    Request Hearing to Contest the Alcohol Program Recommendation
  7. General Request = No specific time frame.
    Request for a Hearing

Send your requests to:

Department of Safety
Bureau of Hearings
33 Hazen Drive,
Concord NH 03305

How are hearings conducted? Is it just like court?

Hearings are conducted in an office by attorneys who serve as hearings examiners. Examiners serve a role similar to a judge in court. Unlike court, the hearings are more informal, and the rules of evidence do not apply. Hearings are audio recorded, and testimony is taken under oath. Litigants may also ask the examiner to consider documents.

How can I send documents prior to a hearing?

Litigants can provide documents via email (safety-hearings@dos.nh.gov), by mail, or by dropping the documents off at the Bureau during normal business hours.

How can I move a hearing to a different date?

If you need to continue a hearing to a different date, you must submit your request in writing to the Bureau more than five calendar days prior to the hearing using the same methods above. If there is another party involved in your hearing, you need to contact the party and get their position on your motion to continue. In your continuance request, you need to provide a future date and time that works for all parties.

Do I actually have to come to Concord for my hearing?

In person hearings are held in Concord and Dover.  You may request to appear remotely, either by telephone or WEBEX.  That request must be in writing and submitted in advance of the hearing.  If you have a hearing to be certified as a habitual offender, you must appear in person.

How many demerit points can I accumulate before I can lose my license?

Demerit point hearings are governed by Saf-C 212. For additional information, please refer to this page at the DMV: Demerit Points | NH Division of Motor Vehicles.

How can I reduce the amount of demerit points on my record?

Please refer to this page at the DMV: Driver Improvement Courses | NH Division of Motor Vehicles.

Are out of state convictions included on my record?

Yes. They are sent from the other jurisdictions and added to your New Hampshire driver history.  Demerit points will be assessed if the conviction is equivalent to a New Hampshire conviction.

What is a Habitual Offender?

A habitual offender is a driver who has accumulated a certain number of convictions for major and minor offenses as defined in RSA 259:39. Certain out of state convictions can be considered for habitual offender certification.  Please review the statute for clarification.

How does someone qualify to become a Habitual Offender?

  • Any combination of 12 convictions for speed, yellow line, operating without a license or operating without proof of financial responsibility (known as "minor violations", or
  • Three (3) major convictions (see below), or
  • One (1) major conviction and any combination of 8 minor violations, or
  • Two (2) major convictions and any combination of 4 minor violations, and
  • These convictions are based upon the date of the underlining violations and have all occurred within a five (5) year period.
  • The list of major convictions can be found here: RSA 259:39.

How can I be restored (decertified) from Habitual Offender status?

You must request a hearing in writing. You are not decertified as a habitual offender until you receive a hearing order removing that status. You are not eligible to drive until you restore your driving privileges after decertification.  Criteria for decertification is governed by Saf-C 206.06. Decertification From Habitual Offender Revocation


How do I clear a court default/unpaid fine?

Contact the Division of Motor Vehicles, Financial Responsibility, the court of jurisdiction, or both. The Court's Call Center can be reached at 855-212-1234. The call center can then direct you to the relevant court to make payment.

Please refer to this page at the DMV: Suspension and Restoration | NH Division of Motor Vehicles.


I have received a traffic violation. How do I resolve this?

Please refer to this page at the DMV: Respond to a Motor Vehicle Ticket Online | NH Division of Motor Vehicles

Is there a "work", "restricted", or "hardship" license I can apply for?

The State of New Hampshire has no form of restricted license for persons who are suspended or revoked with the sole exception of an individual who qualifies for consideration under the provisions of Section 263:57-b Limited Driving Privilege After Revocation or Suspension. (state.nh.us). Any petition for a restricted license under the provisions of RSA 263:57-b must be filed with the court where the conviction took place. Neither the Bureau of Hearings nor the DMV have authority to grant this privilege. Once the court approves the petition, the person must apply for and be issued a limited privilege license by the DMV.

What is an SR-22, how do I get one and why do I need it?

A SR-22 is a type of insurance certificate which the DMV may require for convictions related to Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), Conduct After an Accident, and a subsequent Reckless Operation. The SR-22 may also be required after a hearing. Please refer to this page at the DMV: Insurance Requirements / SR-22 | NH Division of Motor Vehicles.

What is an ignition interlock device and where can I get one?

An ignition interlock is a device that connects a breath analyzer to a motor vehicle’s ignition system. These devices may be ordered by a court or by the Bureau after a hearing. Please refer to this page at the DMV: Ignition Interlock Program | NH Division of Motor Vehicles.

What is an "under 20" hearing?

If you are under the age of 20 and are convicted of a motor vehicle offense, you will be notified to appear for a hearing at the Bureau of Hearings.  The only exceptions to this law are Section 266:5 Penalty for Failing to Obey Inspection Requirements. (state.nh.us), Section 261:40 Registration Required. (state.nh.us), Section 265:107-a Child Passenger Restraints Required. (state.nh.us) (first offense) and Section 261:59 Possession of Certificate Required. (state.nh.us).  All other motor vehicle violations result in a hearing.

At the hearing, you have the burden to show why your license should not be suspended. For a first offense under the age of 20, there is a potential 20-day loss of license.  For a second offense under the age of 20, there is a potential 45-day loss of license.  For a third or subsequent offense under the age of 20, there is a potential 90-day loss of license.  This penalty is in addition to any other penalty that could be imposed for that violation.

Prior to any suspension, you will receive a notice to appear for a hearing.  You may choose to appear at the noticed date and time and have an opportunity to present extenuating and mitigating circumstances in an attempt to avoid a license loss.  The hearings examiner considers the following criteria:

  1. Length of time held license
  2. Number of violations on the record
  3. Seriousness of the violation
  4. The impact of a suspension on the driver's education or employment

If you choose not to attend the hearing, your license will be suspended beginning at 12:01 AM on the date of the hearing for the timeframe indicated and will not be reinstated until you pay the $50 restoration fee ($100 if you are suspended for any other reason).

What does being put on probation or having a suspension held in abeyance mean?

In most cases, an examiner has the discretion to not impose all or part of a suspension. In those cases, you are placed on probation and the suspension is held in abeyance. Being placed on probation means you must follow requirements placed on you by the examiner, or you risk having the suspension imposed. Some describe this as having the suspension "being held over your head." Good behavior means no new motor vehicle violations regardless of where the violations occur.