Final grade: F

Exclusion Grade


Relevance Grade


Due Process Grade



  • Bans agencies from considering old and sealed criminal records.

Areas of Improvement

  • Require boards to consider evidence of rehabilitation and to use a directly related standard for all crimes.
  • Strengthen safeguards for due process by requiring a petition process and placing the burden of proof on the state.

Massachusetts has one of the worst laws in the nation for ex-offenders seeking licenses, earning an F for its final grade.

Statute: Mass. Gen. Laws. ch. 127, § 152 (2010), ch. 6, §§ 171A, 172 (2012 & 2018), ch. 276, §§ 100A, 100C (2010 & 2018)

Overarching ban on blanket bans No
Ban on considering arrest records No
Ban on considering post-conviction relief records Yes, dismissed and expunged records
Time limit 10 years for felonies, 5 years for misdemeanors
Ban on vague, discretionary character standards No
Relationship between the crime and the license sought None
Required factors for consideration
Rehabilitation No
Time elapsed since crime was committed No
Age when crime was committed No
Employment History No
Testimonials No
Due Process
Petition Process No
Burden of Proof Both unspecified
Right to appeal Yes
Written notice requirement Yes