The Mass. Uninsured Motor Vehicle Law

Pursuant to G.L. c. 90 § 34J, automobile insurance is mandatory in Massachusetts and it is illegal to drive an uninsured motor vehicle or allow an uninsured motor vehicle to remain on a public or even private way. The goal of the Massachusetts compulsory insurance law is to insure that drivers and passengers involved in accidents will have an opportunity to receive financial compensation for personal injuries and property damage. The Massachusetts Insurance Law applies to drivers and “all persons who own or control such vehicles as owners.” Unbeknownst to most, a conviction for having an uninsured motor vehicle in Massachusetts can have serious consequences.An uninsured motor vehicle violation is a criminal offense and it will result in an automatic license suspension ranging from 60 days in length for the first offense and 1 year for a second offense. These license suspensions are mandatory and the Mass. RMV will not grant a hardship license. The only way to get hardship relief is to apply to the RMV Board of Appeal. However, effective plea negotiations or other legal tactics which challenge the sufficiency of the evidence can often be used to avoid being convicted of this offense in court. 

Uninsured charges will appear on a Massachusetts Driving Record as “No Liability Policy.” In addition to a mandatory license suspension of either 60 days or 1 year, a conviction carries a sentence of not more than 1 year in the house of correction and a fine of not less than $500.00 and not more than $5,000.00. There is no way to simply pay a citation for “no liability policy.” If you are cited for this, you will have to appear in court as a criminal defendant and you are entitled to be represented by a lawyer.