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What are the consequences of letting someone drive your car who doesn't have a license in Massachusetts?


The penalties for letting someone drive without a license really depend upon under what section of Massachusetts law the driver and you the car owner were cited under when caught by law enforcement.

If it was a minor or adult that you let drive then likely they would have been written up under Massachusetts General Laws (MGL) Chapter 90 Section 10 which is titled operation of motor vehicle without a license.

This portion of the MGL states 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.

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. The MA driver's manual states you may face a considerable fine and/or a jail sentence if caught driving without a valid license.

The penalties for driving without a license listed in MGL Chapter 90 Section 20 says basically that any person convicted of operating a motor vehicle without having been issued a license by the registrar shall be punished by a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $1000. There are more severe penalties if the person driving had a suspended or revoked license, they could receive a fine of between $500 and $1000 and/or jail time of up to 10 day.

Section 12 of the General Laws of Massachusetts gives information on the penalties on what you asked about, if you are a car owner that allows an unlicensed driver to operate your vehicle. This section of MA law 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.

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 someone without a driver's license operate their vehicle in Massachusetts. As you can tell Massachusetts does not want unlicensed drivers on the roadway and has some harsh penalties in place to try and deter those without a valid license from operating a vehicle on the roadway and for car owner to allow an unlicensed driver to use their vehicle.

If you were cited for 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. The MA RMV may also have some information on any suspension or delay in the issuance of a license you may face due to this violation of Massachusetts law.

Allowing those that are unlicensed to drive your vehicle may also affect your car insurance. If you are cited for someone driving your car without a license then your auto insurance company may see this as risky behavior and thus their rating system may allow them to raise your rates, especially if the Commonwealth of Massachusetts suspends your license for a period of time due to this offense. Also if the unlicensed driver is in an accident your car insurance company may not cover the incident depending upon the terms of your policy.

Whether your rates go up to due to convictions on your driving record or you are just ready to shop around for better rates, let Carinsurance.com help you gain access to free auto insurance quotes.


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1 Responses to "What are the consequences of letting someone drive your car who doesn't have a license in Massachusetts?"
  1. Anonymous

    Thank you for this information. I will pass this along to my daughter.