Illegal Immigrant Motor Vehicle Reforms Become State Law

Anyone that registers a car in Mass. must now hold a license, social security number, or other proof of legal residence. This comes about a month after a Stoughton illegal immigrant was charged for her role in a fatal crash.

The Massachusetts State Senate and House overwhelmingly voted this week to override that prevents illegal immigrants from registering or operating motor vehicles.

The legislation, which was initially passed as an amendment, requires any person that registers a car in Massachusetts show a license, social security number, or other proof of legal residence.

Currently the Registry of Motor Vehicles only requires applicants to include their name, address, proof of insurance, and date of birth on the application to secure a so-called “X” registration.

This amendment to the state budget received additional attention after Auricelli Braga, a 32-year-old unlicensed illegal immigrant from Stoughton, was .

Braga, illegally here from Brazil, was charged with motor-vehicle homicide, negligent operation of a motor vehicle and driving without a license following a two-car crash on Turnpike St. in Canton on June 24 .

Even though she didn't have a license, Braga still was able to in November of 2011.

In vetoing the legislation, Governor Patrick claimed it would “force the Registry to identify and police undocumented people.”

But State Senator Robert Hedlund (R-Weymouth), who put forth this amendment, disagreed, saying that this legislation is “one of the more practical yet simple initiatives that has been passed in Beacon Hill in the last few years.

By overriding the Governor’s veto, Hedlund said the state is now a safer place because it will now be required to have a license or social security number to register a vehicle.

“This is a concrete measure that strikes at the heart of the support structure that allows illegal immigrants to register and operate motor vehicles all while avoiding prosecution for immigration violations,” Hedlund said in a written statement.

“This is a victory for motorists in Massachusetts, for police officers in Massachusetts, for immigrants who are here legally, and for the families who lost loved ones because of illegal immigrant being allowed to register cars and then driving,” he continued.

In addition to the new requirement for registering a vehicle,  the bill toughens penalties for those caught driving without a valid license, increasing the minimum fine from $100 to $500 for a first offense, and establishing a penalty of fine up to $1,000 for a second offense, and a fine of up to $2,000 for a third offense.

In addition to the tragic death of Escudero in Canton back in June, Senator Hedlund’s office has pointed out the following examples of how illegal immigrants can be dangerous on the road:

In October 2009, Richard Grossi was killed when Maria Leite, an unlicensed illegal immigrant, allegedly drove through a stop sign and a blinking red light before crashing into Grossi’s car.

In February 2011, Andrea Agosto was killed when Manuel Zaruma, an illegal immigrant, allegedly lost control of his friend’s car and spun into the opposite lane, smashing into the car in which Agosto was a passenger.

And In August 2011, Nicolas D. Guaman, who was in the country illegally, was arrested after his vehicle allegedly struck and killed 23-year old Matthew J. Denice.

“These tragedies occurred because a loophole exists that enables people without driver’s licenses and without any sort of training to register get behind the wheel of a car,”  Hedlund said.


Information from this article is from a press release from the office of Bob Hedlund. Stoughton Patch editor Jeffrey Pickette also contributed reporting.


Sharon August 04, 2012 at 02:54 PM
Kudos to those brave enough to override the veto!
jay f September 17, 2012 at 02:05 PM
It's about time!! Illegals have been going uninsured and causing our rates to escalate.
Tom M September 25, 2012 at 11:13 AM
I had to show my ID the other day to buy Sudafed @ CVS and the state of MA will let anybody drive a lethal weapon. IMO a valid US drivers license must be present to secure insurance. You would think the insurance companies would police who they insure. Kind of dumb to issue insurance to an alien risk. The RMV will not issue a registration without insurance so, the insurance companies should take charge here.
Tom M October 03, 2012 at 09:47 PM
If your caught are the majic words here. This state will continue to be lenient to illegal imigrants in many areas. 1. Skirting the payment of taxes by getting paid under the table. 2. Voting without an identification or proof of residency 3. Driving without a license, registration or insurance The state of MA will keep on raising our mandtory rates against uninsured motorists until they drive us all out of the state.


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