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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.

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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