Be Careful When Lending Your Car

owner_vehicle_mass_rmvMassachusetts car owners often lend their vehicles to friends and family members. In most cases, this does not present a problem. However, when there is an accident, police pursuit, motor vehicle incident, or when the driver has an ignition interlock device restricted license, or a suspended driver’s license, the owner may be held responsible.

In Massachusetts , because of Melanie’s Law, it is a crime to knowingly lend your car to someone who has a suspended license and the Mass. RMV may suspend or revoke your license or the car’s registration for doing this. Also, it is a crime to allow someone who is required to use an ignition interlock device, because of prior OUI convictions, to drive a vehicle which does not have an interlock device installed. These crime carries a sentenced of up to 1 year in the house of correction; and a fine of up to $500 fine. Also, the Mass. RMV may suspend the owner’s driver’s license or the vehicle’s registration or both for up to one year.

Where a car is involved in a personal injury accident, the registered owner is presumptively responsible for the injuries and the car’s registered owner has the burden to prove that he or she was not legally responsible for the injuries caused.

The registered owner of a vehicle is responsible for all fast lane violations, excise tax payments, and any parking tickets issued to his or her car. Non-payment of these financial obligations will cause the car’s registration and the registered owner’s license to be non-renewable.