The potential penalties for allowing an unlicensed driver to operate your vehicle or to be an unlicensed driver that is caught driving a motor vehicle in Massachusetts can be quite severe.
Section 12 of the General Laws of Massachusetts (MGL) notes in subsection (b) that whoever knowingly permits a motor vehicle owned by him or under his control to be operated by a person who is unlicensed or whose license has been suspended or revoked shall be punished by 1 year in the house of correction and a fine of not more than $500 for a first offense or, for a second or subsequent offense by a fine of not more than $1,000 or imprisonment in a house of correction for not more than 2 1/2 years, or both.
Subsection (d) adds that the registrar may suspend for not more than 1 year the motor vehicle registration of a vehicle used in the commission of a violation of this section or the license or right to operate of the person who commits a violation of this section, or both.
In Massachusetts, Chapter 90: Section 10 of the General Laws of Massachusetts discusses the operation of motor vehicle without license. Here it states in part that:
No person under sixteen years of age shall operate a motor vehicle upon any way. No other person shall so operate unless licensed by the registrar unless he possesses a receipt issued under section eight for persons licensed in another state or country or unless he possesses a valid learner's permit issued under Massachusetts law.
It continues on to say that operation of a motor vehicle in violation of this paragraph shall be subject to the same penalties as provided in section twenty-three for operation after suspension or revocation and before restoration or issuance of a new license or the restoration of the right to operate.
Section 23 of MA law states basically that a person found operating a motor vehicle without a license shall be punished for a first offense by a fine of not less than five hundred ($500) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1000) or by imprisonment for not more than ten (10) days, or both, and for any subsequent offense by imprisonment for not less than sixty (60) days nor more than one year.
So to the best of our understanding these are the penalties for a person found to be driving without a license and those for a car owner who lets an unlicensed person operate their vehicle in Massachusetts. If you were cited for being an unlicensed driver or allowing someone that was unlicensed to drive your vehicle you should contact the court listed on your ticket to find out what exact penalties may be handed to you on your court date.