Moore, Fernandes applaud registry for quick action on implementing new vehicle registration law
September 19, 2012 ... Sen. Richard T. Moore, D-Uxbridge, and Rep. John V. Fernandes, D-Milford, praised Registrar Rachael Kaprelian who recently announced that the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) intends to implement a new law authored by the lawmakers requiring that vehicles be registered only by someone with “proof of legal residence” by January.
The new provision was part of a sweeping community safety reform that Sen. Moore and Rep. Fernandes filed following the untimely and tragic deaths of Matthew Denise and Richard Grossi, both of whom were killed by drivers who were unlicensed and unlawfully present at the time of the incidents, as well as community concerns and outcry from the public-at-large throughout the region regarding the requirements for owning and operating a motor vehicle in Massachusetts.
“Thanks to the hard work of Registrar Kaprelian and the RMV, the Commonwealth can continue implementing the provisions of the new community safety law,” said Sen. Moore. “From ensuring that local communities will be able to collect motor vehicle excise taxes that are due, to cross-checking registrations with proof of insurance so that those operating motor vehicles are properly insured, and finally reducing the number of illegal drivers causing deaths like that of Matthew and Richard, having the correct, legal address will not only save lives but promote fairness in our government system,” he affirmed.
“I am grateful that Registrar Kaprelian has treated this legislation with the seriousness of purpose that it deserves,” added Rep. Fernandes. “Let’s be clear. This ‘proof of legal residency’ requirement is and always has been a public safety provision. Too many people not legally entitled to licenses were nevertheless registering cars and driving on our roads with sometimes tragic consequences because of a loophole that allowed that behavior. This law will help law enforcement stop that illegal operation by assuring that every car registered and put on our roads will be cars that belong there,” he continued.
The legislators successfully inserted the proposals into the Fiscal Year 2013 State Budget which withstood an attempt by Gov. Deval Patrick to amend the language by an overwhelming override vote in both the Senate and House.
Under the new law, anyone registering ownership of a motor vehicle at the RMV must have “proof of legal residence.” Individuals seeking to register a motor vehicle or trailer would need to provide a driver’s license, a state identification card, Social Security number or other similar proof.
The RMV maintains the authority to write exemptions for out-of-state students, military personnel, senior citizens and disabled persons.
In addition to the new vehicle registration law, Moore and Fernandes successfully included a number of other community safety provisions in the budget including: an increase in the fines for driving without a license; stronger penalties for creating, procuring, or transferring a false identification, license, or an any permit authorizing operation of a motor vehicle; and a requirement that the RMV to report on compliance issues with the implementation of the federal REAL ID Act of 2005.