A weekly column by Police Chief Steven Wojnar of the Dudley Police Department
Week of August 2, 2020
Modern technology has been used to falsify several documents including money, driver’s licenses, and vehicle inspection stickers. I was recently asked to discuss penalties for making or possessing these false vehicle documents. Even in this age of COVID-19, with extensions being in place to allow for the continuation of many of these items, some people may attempt to falsify them. This is a serious matter for you to keep in mind.
Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 90 section 24B is the section for false driver’s licenses, permits, inspection stickers, handicapped placards, etc. It covers the violations of making, stealing, altering, forging, and counterfeiting numerous items issued by the Registry. It also addresses procuring or assisting another person to do the same. In addition, this section prohibits copying the signature of the Registrar without proper authorization.
Penalties for driving without a license generally carry a fine and are considered misdemeanors. A failure to have your vehicle inspected is also a civil infraction with only monetary penalties. Many people believe having a false license, registration, placard, or sticker would call for similar punishments. It is quite the contrary. A violation of this law is a felony. It calls for a fine up to five hundred dollars or a prison sentence for up to five years. It is also arrestable. A conviction is reported to the Registry and a person’s right to operate can be suspended for at least one year.
Anyone engaging in this activity is assuming a huge risk. The potential penalties should encourage people to comply with the proper procedures for motor vehicle use. At this time with a state of emergency, you may have additional time to take care of things properly. Please look for the information to address your concern. Do not take a chance when it comes to these violations. It is better do things the right way than risk the serious potential consequences.
In addition to the Corona Virus Pandemic, there is a great deal of turmoil taking place in our state and around the country. We continue to serve the people of Dudley and work with the community to improve the quality of life for everyone. With so much discussion around police reform taking place, there are several documents posted on our Facebook page which can serve as a source of information for people. I continue to thank the men and women from my department for their continued dedicated service to the Town of Dudley during these trying times. Thanks also go out to the many Police Officers, Fire and Emergency Services members, public works, government and all other “essential” personnel for their continued hard work and service. We greatly appreciate the support we receive from our community.
Thanks again for your questions and comments. Please send them to me at the Dudley Police Department 71 West Main St., Dudley, Ma. 01571 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Opinions expressed in this weekly column are those of Chief Wojnar only and unless clearly noted, do not reflect the ideas or opinions of any other organization or citizen.