The Enforcement Services Unit of the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles has been continuing its efforts to combat license fraud and identity theft. It is a felony in Massachusetts to provide false information to the Registry in an attempt to obtain a license, learner’s permit, or even Registry ID card and the crime is complete as soon as the false information is provided. Even if the transaction is stopped and no license, permit, or credential is generated, it is possible to prosecute the offense under G.L. c. 90 § 24B.
One of the main tools which the Registry’s Special Investigations Unit uses is facial recognition. This digital biometric technology was developed by the Digimarc Corporation of Burlington, Massachusetts.
Troopers from the Massachusetts State Police Compliance unit and RMV Enforcement Services Department use the system to compare the four to five thousand images captured at Registry Branches across Massachusetts on a daily basis with over ten million images already on file with the Mass. RMV. When a match is found it is reviewed by specialty trained employees to determine if further investigation is warranted.
The Registry sends customers a “Notice of Compromised ID” when fraud is suspected. This letter states that “our records indicate that information on your application for and/or your Massachusetts License or Identification Card may not be accurate” and it instructs the recipient to make an appointment by calling Enforcement Services.
If the “Notice of Compromised ID” letter is ignored, the customer will receive a suspension notice for “COMPLAINT FRAUDULENT LICENSE/ID.” The Registry will impose an indefinite COMPLAINT FRAUDULENT LICENSE/ID suspension until the matter is resolved to the Registry’s satisfaction. In some cases, the
Massachusetts State Police will file criminal charges against the customer for license fraud. In other cases, the Registry will handle the matter administratively.
Anyone who is accused of license fraud or who receives a Notice of Compromised ID letter should be represented by legal counsel. Also, if the Registry has imposed an indefinite COMPLAINT FRAUDULENT LICENSE/ID suspension, that case can only be resolved by going through the hearing process at Enforcement Services, which is located at 10 Park Place / 137 Stuart Street in Boston and skilled legal representation can be extremely beneficial.
No hardship licenses are available while there is a COMPLAINT FRAUDULENT LICENSE/ID suspension in effect until a hearing has been held and the Registry is satisfied as to the customer’s true identity. These suspensions cannot be appealed to the Registry, they must go before the Board of Appeal.