COVID-19 Update: How We Are Serving and Protecting Our Clients

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
★★★★★
"Highly Recommended. Attorney Patrick J. Murphy absolutely helped me out in my time of need. When I met him in his Boston office he put me right at ease and explained the criminal process to me in a way I could easily understand and in a manner that gave me complete confidence. I was facing a criminal wanton destruction of property charge in Barnstable District Court. On the day of the case, he was at the courthouse waiting for me and my wife. Mr. Murphy handled the hearing in a very thorough and professional manner putting us through our testimony and making a powerful argument to the decision maker. My case was thrown out and I could not be happier with the service from Attorney Murphy. I highly recommend him to you as a skilled legal advocate!" Rob, Avvo User
★★★★★
"Excellent Criminal Defense Lawyer. From the first consultation I knew Patrick Murphy was the right choice for my criminal defense. He was knowledgeable of the laws and knew how to build up a strong defense for my case. Every phone call and email I made was promptly answered. When it came time for my hearing, Patrick was prepared and able to get the criminal complaint against me dropped without ever becoming charge! Would highly recommend this attorney to anyone seeking a top quality defense attorney to handle their case!" John, Avvo User
★★★★★
"OUI Not Guilty Verdict. Patrick Murphy provided excellent service as council on my case. He worked diligently over a long legal process that spanned over 3 years. He was able to take my case to a Jury Trial and get me a Not Guilty verdict through he expert knowledge of the law and expertise in cross examination of the prosecutions witnesses. He was very professional and available at anytime night or day to answer questions." Chris, Avvo User
★★★★★
"Highly Skilled and Professional Lawyer. Attorney Pat Murphy did a great job guiding me through an A&B charge, and most importantly getting the case dismissed in a very timely manner. He is very professional, returns call promptly, and did a great explaining his strategy and the legal process to me. I was confident throughout the whole process that I was in good hands and would receive the best possible outcome in my case. Would highly recommended Attorney Murphy." Avvo User
★★★★★
"I Felt That I was in Good Hands... and I Was! Mr. Patrick J. Murphy was very quick to respond to my needs. He was always there to answer any questions I had in a timely fashion, and he made me feel very comfortable in an extremely uncomfortable situation. Having Mr. Murphy by my side in the courtroom felt like I was at an advantage. He speaks with confidence. He doesn't stutter or pause while put on the spot. He treated me with respect. He listens. He always greeted me with a warm welcome and never wasted any time." Avvo User