Section 30: Records of registrar; certified copies; destruction
Section 30. A proper record of all applications, certificates, licenses and other documents issued or received and maintained in the normal course of business by the registry of motor vehicles shall be kept by the registrar. The record shall be public, open to the inspection of any person during reasonable business hours, subject to applicable privacy laws and regulations. A proper record shall include the original of any document or copy of any original document that has been reproduced by the registrar or the registrar's authorized designee by electronic scan, photo-image, microfilm, microfiche process or by another reproduction process approved by the state secretary. The registrar shall maintain a record of all convictions of persons charged with violations of the laws relating to motor vehicles and, notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, such record shall be public, open to the inspection of any person during reasonable business hours, and subject to regulations promulgated by the registrar. The registrar may issue a certified copy of a proper record or any document contained therein, attested by the registrar or the registrar's authorized agent, or any record or document maintained in the normal course of business by the registrar, including but not limited to, a certificate of registration or a license to operate a motor vehicle which may have been lost or mutilated upon the written request of the person entitled thereto, or, where there are joint owners of a motor vehicle or trailer, the registrar may issue a certificate to each joint owner upon written request of the person entitled thereto; and such certified copy shall have the same force and effect as the original. Anyone requesting a certified copy of a license to operate a motor vehicle shall submit such evidence as to such person's identity as the registrar may require. Certified copies of such records of the registrar, attested by the registrar or the registrar's authorized agent, shall be admissible as evidence in the courts of the commonwealth to prove the facts contained therein.
The registrar may destroy applications and copies of licenses and certificates of registration issued by the registrar and all letters reporting accidents or papers relating thereto and any other documents when the registrar has determined that the storage of such documents is no longer necessary for the proper functioning of the office and the registrar has arranged for the copying and retention of any documents required by the state secretary to be maintained. The registrar may destroy or dispose of any obsolete number plates and forms which, in the registrar's opinion, are no longer of any value to the commonwealth, and may destroy examination papers or the answers given by the license applicants when the same have become of no value or when the licenses applied for have been granted. The registrar may also destroy all records of convictions of persons charged with violations of the laws relating to motor vehicles unless such convictions are final convictions under section 24, excepting those of the then current year and the 2 years next preceding.
[ Paragraph added by 2016, 64, Sec. 3 effective September 30, 2016. See 2016, 64, Sec. 8.]
Upon expiration of the term of suspension of driving privileges suspended under subsection (g), (h) or (i) of section 22 or under section 221/2, the registrar shall shield from public access all records of the suspension and the underlying offense, including records of the expiration of the suspension, any hearings or appeals related to the suspension and the reinstatement following the suspension.