Operating Without Being Licensed

In Massachusetts, a person must be authorized by the Registry of Motor Vehicles in order to have legal access to the roadways of the Commonwealth. Therefore, any individual found operating a motor vehicle while under 16 years old or being unlicensed, may be charged with Operating Without Being Licensed. M.G.L. c. 90, § 10 dictates that no person shall operate a motor vehicle upon any way unless licensed by the Registrar of Motor Vehicles (RMV), except for the seven exceptions provided for by the Commonwealth. In addition, no person shall operate a motor vehicle after his or her license to operate has been suspended or revoked, or after notice of the suspension or revocation has been issued by the registrar and received by the person or his agent, and prior to the restoration of driving privileges or the issuance to him of a new license. Furthermore, no person under the age of 16 shall operate a motor vehicle upon any Massachusetts roadway. There are seven (7) exceptions to the requirement of a Massachusetts license, which will not constitute a violation of this law. They are as follows:

  1. A person who is licensed in another state or country, has applied for a Massachusetts license but has not yet been given a drivers test, and has been issued a 60-day temporary permit by the Registry of Motor Vehicles;
  2. A person who possesses a valid Massachusetts learner’s permit;
  3. Aperson who is licensed in another state and who is accompanying a spouse who is a member of the armed forces on assignment to Massachusetts;
  4. A member of the armed forces on active duty who has a license issued by the state of his or her domicile;
  5. A member of the armed forces within 45 days of returning from active duty outside the United States who has a license issued by the armed forces in a foreign country;
  6. A nonresident who is licensed in the state or country where the vehicle is registered, but for not more than 30 days in the aggregate annually or beyond 30 days after acquiring a regular abode or place of business within Massachusetts unless Massachusetts liability insurance requirements are met; and
  7. A nonresident who is licensed in the state or country of his or her domicile.
Penalties for Convicted Offenders

As defined in M.G.L. c. 90, § 10, any individual who is found operating a motor vehicle without a valid driver’s license shall be in violation of this law. A first offense conviction shall result in the following penalties:

  • A fine ranging from $500-$1,000, or
  • Imprisonment for no more than 10 days, or
  • Both fine and imprisonment.

A conviction for a second or subsequent offense under this law shall be punishable by the following:

  • Mandatory minimum imprisonment for 60 days (no more than 1 year)
What the Prosecution Must Prove

In order to find the defendant guilty of this offense, the Commonwealth must prove three things beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. The defendant operated a motor vehicle;
  2. The defendant did so on a way; and
  3. The defendant did so without having a valid license to operate a motor vehicle, issued by the Registrar of Motor Vehicles.
Boston, Massachusetts Motor Vehicle Defense Firm

If you have been charged with the criminal offense of Operating Without Being Licensed, it is highly recommended that you seek an experienced and meticulous Boston, Massachusetts motor vehicle crimes defense attorney to defend your rights and freedoms. The Law Office of Patrick J. Murphy has been practicing criminal defense law in Massachusetts for nearly two decades, and thanks to his dedication and expertise, he has successfully acquired favorable outcomes or acquittals for his clients. For a free and confidential assessment of you case, please call (617) 367-0450 or email us directly using our online contact form. As a dedicated legal advocate, Attorney Murphy accepts and promptly responds to telephone calls and emails from clients 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Client Reviews
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