A Virginia man visited friends in Boston — now he must register his car here or lose his license

The Massachusetts RMV cited a law that requires motorists staying in the state for 30 days or more to register their vehicles with the state.

A Virginia man is trying to iron out a bureaucratic nightmare after a month-long visit to Boston ended with an ultimatum — register your car in Massachusetts or get your license suspended.

NBC Boston reported that Ben, who only gave his first name, visited friends in Jamaica Plain last fall. But someone reported his car’s out-of-state license plates to the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV). Now, the Virginia resident is being told that if he doesn’t register his car in the Bay State, he will face license suspension back home.

“It’s really frustrating. I think I’ve made at least 100 calls and emails,” Ben said in a WBZ news report. “I guess a nosy neighbor called the RMV tip line to say that my car was parked on the street for too long.”


However, Ben’s car insurance company informed him that he would not be able to register his car in Massachusetts because he’s not a resident and therefore is unable to get the necessary insurance policy required to register the vehicle. 

“In this case, I don’t live in Massachusetts, I don’t have an address in Massachusetts, I don’t work in Massachusetts, and yet somehow I’m in this big trouble with the RMV. It doesn’t make any sense,” Ben told WBZ.

According to NBC Boston’s report, the RMV’s enforcement services unit cited Mass Code Chapter 90, Section 3 as the reasoning behind the registration order. The section states that visitors who operate a motor vehicle for 30 days in a calendar year must register it. 

He also said he heard from an ombudsman with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation who said “there’s nothing they can do,” and he’ll have to wait and see how it plays out. 

Ben told local news outlets that his only option is to appeal the order, but he’s worried that his license will be suspended before the appeal process is complete. 

“If my license gets suspended, I honestly don’t know what I’m going to do,” he told WBZ.


The RMV said Thursday it is postponing his license suspension for 60 days while they investigate the matter.


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