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Agree with New RMV Proof of Residence Law?

Starting Jan. 1, a new law will require that vehicles in Massachusetts be registered only by someone with proof of legal residence. Is this a backdoor way for immigration enforcement, or common sense?

The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) is readying to implement a new law that goes in effect Jan. 1 and would require people registering a motor vehicle or trailer to provide proof of legal residence, the Boston Herald reports.

Accepted forms of proof would include—but are not limited to—a driver's license, a state identification card or a Social Security number, the Herald reports. RMV Registrar Rachel Kaprielian would be empowered to write exemptions for some residents, such as out-of-state students, military personnel, senior citizens and disabled persons.

, Sen. Robert Hedlund (R-Weymouth), who put forth the amendment as part of the state budget, said in a written statement after the law passed, "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."

Gov. Deval Patrick vetoed Hedlund's amendment, but both chambers of the . Patrick said in his veto letter that it would force the state RMV to enforce federal immigration rules and that, according to the Herald, "The RMV is also ill-equipped and under-staffed for such an assignment."

The bill received additional attention after Auricelli Braga, a 32-year-old unlicensed illegal immigrant from Stoughton, was .

Braga, originally 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 .

 and the Boston Herald, and tell us: Is this a backdoor way for immigration enforcement, as Gov. Patrick suggests, or a common sense reform? Tell us your reaction in the comments. 

Editor's note: This article is cross-posted to multiple Patch sites.

linda September 15, 2012 at 05:05 PM
Great idea, about time. Good point from Raj, the fact that the registrar has the power to make exemptions will be providing a huge loophole for non compliance and favoritism......so it will be interesting to see just how effective this will be and IF it will in fact be enforced.
Diana September 15, 2012 at 05:43 PM
We've covered this. Repeatedly. Unconstitutional. Why do you hate the Constitution, Dan?
Meggle September 15, 2012 at 07:02 PM
Which one? Voter fraud happens most often with means that wouldn't be fixed with a voter photo ID law, a law that is difficult to enact within the confines of the constitution. To commit fraud it's easier to simply destroy or alter ballots or, in the case of e-voting machines, just reprogram the machines to count wrong.
S/O Costa September 15, 2012 at 07:05 PM
@ Gerry Like Your comment. :) As for the rest of this matter at hand, I think that we are heading very much toward BiG Brother Land. to be clear Im in favor of people having to prove who they are. I do security work, so It's just how my Mind set is. What I have an issue with is how the Infomation with the RMV is used to get into other parts of your life, say for Bill collectors. Its happened to me, after a divorce from Heck, and I dont mean for Child support an such. Law enforcement is trying to keep track of people for amny reasons. and Its just one more link in the chain of some day we will all be Chipped/lo jacked like our pets and Our cars.
Jack September 15, 2012 at 07:12 PM
The author Mr. DeMaina's opening sentence sounds a little illegal immagrant sympathetic. Common sense or immagration inforcement are both more than enough reason for this new law. No need for the " Back door inforcement" impliacation.
Kathleen Brothers September 15, 2012 at 08:51 PM
Meggie, I don't know where you are coming from with this voter fraud thing. Who would alter the ballots? Who would destroy ballots? And who would re-program the machine? At the end of the night all the people who work at the polls that is on average 6 people including the warden. All the figures must come out right between the in desk and the out desk. Then the Warden takes all these figures and fills out paperwork to see if it all balances out. And it has to or they will be there all night until it did balance out. Where are you getting your information regarding all of these statements you have made about voter fraud?
Daniel DeMaina (Editor) September 15, 2012 at 08:57 PM
Hi Jack, My opening sentence is "The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) is readying to implement a new law that goes in effect Jan. 1 and would require people registering a motor vehicle or trailer to provide proof of legal residence, the Boston Herald reports." I take it you're referring to the "Is this a backdoor way for immigration enforcement, or common sense" line in the subhead. There's no implication there, merely an attempt at a concise contrast of the debate. You'll notice the end of the article contains the same line, albeit attributed: "Is this a backdoor way for immigration enforcement, as Gov. Patrick suggests, or a common sense reform?" All we're doing here is providing both sides of the debate and letting you, our Patch users, discuss the issue. If you read the whole article above, I believe I presented both sides of the argument.
Daniel DeMaina (Editor) September 15, 2012 at 09:05 PM
If you folks want to discuss voter fraud and voter ID laws, head over to this thread on an article that ran over Labor Day weekend: http://malden.patch.com/articles/tell-us-should-massachusetts-pass-a-voter-id-bill-40fb97e3 ... much of this has already been discussed over there. This thread is about the new state law that has the RMV requiring proof of residence before registering a vehicle in Massachusetts. Gov. Deval Patrick says it'll constitute state employees enforcing federal law, and the RMV is not equipped to enforce federal law. Sen. Hedlund (and apparently most of the Legislature, which overrode Patrick's veto) says it's a concrete, common sense measure. And a cursory scan of the comments here makes it appear that most of our users so far agree with this new law.
Meggle September 15, 2012 at 09:26 PM
You can see the thread Daniel linked to for an in depth discussion of this, where I and many others already posted examples of it.
Nadine Houston Dalo September 15, 2012 at 09:28 PM
I agree that registration should be the operators responsibility so some form of identification sounds logical. As far as ID's voting? Big NO on that one. Voting fraud is not a problem anywhere that I know of - it's getting people out to vote that seems more an issue, sadly. That is our constitutional right and would be against any civil liberty we have as a voter.
Kevin N September 16, 2012 at 01:12 AM
You do not need to be a legal resident to get an ID and an ID will allow you to register a car. I doubt that NH residents are trying to register cars in MA as that fraud goes the other way. This is a publicity grabbing issue that does nothing to combat illegal immigration, fraud or any other crimes.
cindy September 16, 2012 at 12:03 PM
in 1982 i was 6. I do know my parents say how great it was in the 80's and how reagan was a great president. Only two prezs they ever talk about is reagan and clinton as being great. I dont think Clinton was a great president, I was out looking for a job during his reign and it was not good. So in my opinion being 35yrs old, I have never worked under a great president, they have all sucked in my opinion.
cindy September 16, 2012 at 12:11 PM
romney did create romney care to revise our free health care fund that this state always had for the poor. this law held employers accountable for providing healthcare. Just like anything else things get ammended. are you sure Romney had in his original bill illegals could be provided healthcare? Seems kind of a liberal minded thing to do if he did.
Jason September 16, 2012 at 12:46 PM
You do not have a right to buy a car, it's private enterprise. Additionally you do NOT have a right to drive a car in the commonwealth, it's a privilege. It can be revoked in a heart beat if you screw up.
Bruce September 16, 2012 at 02:23 PM
Looks like an attempt to give the person at the rmv counter another reason not to do their job. . .
Joe Veno September 16, 2012 at 03:38 PM
You do need to prove you are a resident of Mass to get a Mass ID card. Check it out Mass DOT.
Bob September 16, 2012 at 03:50 PM
BAV,You post is most humerous and if you knew me, or look at anything I have posted you know why. I am an unenrolled voter who has voted both D and R based on candidate not party. In one post on the Patch, I told Don Ordway that Romney was not a strong candidate and I am on the fence about the election. Unlike you who are a partisan hack, I look at job done and make decision based on that. I don't like either party and have openly called for the disbanding of both. Partisan hacks like you who will vote D if they run anyone are the issue as are those on the right who vote R regardless of candidate.
BAV September 16, 2012 at 05:28 PM
Bob - If you knew me or anything about me you'd know I am an un-enrolled who has voted both D and R (most recently for Brown in 2010). Nice try, though. I suspect in your other post which you speak of, you didn't start by referring to Romney as "Mittens" or some other such garbage insult (which I would find equally silly). If you want to raise the level of discourse, dump the insults and discuss the issues. Until then, not sure what your posts add other than preaching to your GOP base.
Daniel DeMaina (Editor) September 17, 2012 at 12:54 PM
Here's an article from Sunday that dovetails with this topic: "But Esquivel soon could get driving privileges: She is one of an estimated million eligible for a new federal program that temporarily defers deportation and grants work permits to people who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children." So people who were kids when they came to the U.S. illegally with their parents would be eligible to get driver's licenses under this program. Here's the article: http://bostonherald.com/news/national/general/view.bg?articleid=1061160617&srvc=news&position=recent
coldwaterdiver September 17, 2012 at 03:50 PM
seems like common sense to me.
coldwaterdiver September 17, 2012 at 04:04 PM
You need an ID to give blood, to get a library card, to pick up a prescription, as well as a host of other things, you dont think voter fraud exists? You must be pugging your ears, closing your eyes, and screaming "LALALALALALALALA" While getting people out to vote is an issue, there is no infringment of rights in requiring an ID to vote, again, its common sense.
Mary A September 24, 2012 at 02:17 PM
I'm going to read up on this more but immediately I'm thinking about all of the out of state plates I observed driving to work this morning. How do I know any of those individuals have a license if the car isn't registered here? How is this law going to protect us? How would this law have prevented the horrific accident that initiated it in the first place? I can't find any reference anywhere that says where the vehicle was registered that she was illegally driving.
Tom M September 25, 2012 at 10:59 AM
Think of all the out of state residents who own homes on the cape. You going to force them to register a vehicle elsewhere if the vehicle is garaged in MA? That's dumb. All residents of the US should be able to prove citizenship & pay their fair share. Illegal voting in the US should be a Felon or immediate deportation. Every resident should fill out a I9 form also. What cleaning, roofing or landscape company has all legal workers?? We wouldn't have enough workers in MA if we got rid of all the illegal workers. What would we do then???
Joe Veno September 25, 2012 at 11:52 AM
Tom I think almost all the people in the situation you mention do not register it in Mass anyways.
Steve Meuse September 25, 2012 at 12:47 PM
While I support the new law, I just thought of an annoying consequence of it. My grandfather had a summer apartment in MA and a winter home in FL. Let's say FL was his permanent address so both of his cars are registered there, but he keeps one up in MA and flies because he's too old to drive every time. Doesn't this mean that he is forced to drive the car down and back at least once a year to get an inspection sticker?
Joe September 25, 2012 at 12:56 PM
Because in-person voter fraud is such a massive problem! Give me a break. It has been widely acknowledged that it almost never happens - something like 0.00001% of votes cast since 2000. Why? Because look at the risk/reward. If you pull it off, congratulations, you have added a drop of water to the ocean. If not, depending on which state you're in, you face fines up to $10,000, up to 10 years in prison and disenfranchisement. There are people that don't need a license - they don't have a bank account, don't drive cars etc. This cause has been taken up by republican state legislatures to discourage voting, and that's the truth. Here's some nimrod in PA admitting as much - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o32tF-S6K60.
Joe Veno September 25, 2012 at 01:09 PM
Mary, You do not need to have a license to register a car in Mass.
suspendedlicensehelp.com December 31, 2012 at 03:41 PM
The Registry of Motor Vehicles has always accepted recent utility bills as proof a residential address when processing Massachusetts Driver’s License Applications. It should be no different for motor vehicle registrations, which are less secure and easier to get than driver’s licenses. Attorney Brian E. Simoneau www.hardshiplicenselawyer.com
Chris McGovern February 12, 2013 at 08:14 PM
I agree with BOB- The rmv tracks everything from unpaid tickets to whatever else you owe the govt. They can certainly handle this little change, what's the big deal if you're a MA resident you should be able to prove it and if you can't you shouldn't be allowed to register a car-period.
Lee Coytemore April 08, 2013 at 12:47 PM
This means nothing. - Illegal Aliens can still get drivers licenses, and register a MV in Mass. get ted kennedy appointed healthcare and Foodstamps, dental insurance, and Under the table Work in the Chelsea Produce center. -Come to Malden and use anyone of the Illegal half way/ flop houses throughout the city.. mail yourself a self addressed stamped envelope, and tell them you live there Jose, I mean Jesus,..I mean Ngyuen.. ?? whoopdeeedooo !

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