Operating an uninsured motor vehicle in Massachusetts, or allowing an uninsured vehicle to remain on any Massachusetts roadway, either public or private, is a criminal offense pursuant to the Massachusetts Automobile Insurance Law. Whenever someone pleads guilty to or is convicted of no liability policy, the Mass. RMV will automatically suspend that person’s license for 60 days for a first offense and for 1 year for a 2nd no liability policy offense. The Registry of Motor Vehicles will not issue any hardship license for no liability policy suspensions and requests for hardship licenses must be filed with the Massachusetts Division of Insurance Board of Appeal.
A conviction for operating without automobile insurance in Massachusetts will also count against a driver under the Massachusetts 7 surchargable event suspension law and the Mass. Habitual Traffic Offender Law. These suspensions will be imposed in addition to the 60 day or 1 year no liability policy license suspension. Lawyers should be aware of these consequences when representing clients who are charged with violating G.L. c. 90 § 34J.
Charges of operating an unregistered motor vehicle or operating after revocation of the vehicle’s registration often accompany no liability policy charges. This happens because the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles will automatically revoke the registration of a vehicle which does not have a liability policy in effect. This automatic revocation occurs when the insurance company electronically notifies the Registry that the coverage on a vehicle has lapsed, usually due to non-payment of the insurance premium.
Automobile insurance is compulsory in Massachusetts and failure to maintain a liability policy can result in severe consequences such as the revocation of your vehicle’s registration and the loss of your driver’s license or right to drive in Massachusetts. Also, violating G.L. c. 90 § 34J is a criminal offense carries a minimum fine of $500.00 up to $5,000.00 and a sentence of up to one year of incarceration in a house of correction. Because of these stiff penalties, if you have been charged with or cited for operating an uninsured motor vehicle in Massachusetts, you should contact a lawyer for assistance.