Fox Boston recently reported on a controversial policy which allows illegal immigrants in Massachusetts to register their motor vehicles, even when they do not have driver’s licenses. It is a misconception that a valid license is required to register a car in Massachusetts. The Registry does not require that vehicle owners have active drivers licenses in order to register their vehicles. The RMV acknowledged that approximately three thousand vehicles are currently registered to individuals who do not have Massachusetts Driver’s Licenses.
There is nothing in the Massachusetts Motor Vehicle Laws which requires a valid license to register a car. In such cases, where the owner of a vehicle does not have a license, the Mass. RMV assigns the owner a number beginning with an “X,” commonly referred to as an “X” number. This is used in the Registry computer to identify the unlicensed vehicle owner.
Although it is possible to have a vehicle registered to someone who is unlicensed, if someone’s license is suspended or revoked, his or her vehicle registration can also be suspended or revoked. The Registry makes a distinction between “unlicensed” and “suspended.” The practice of revoking the registration and plates of someone with a suspended license is designed to prevent them from driving on a suspended license.