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General Laws

Section 34J. Whoever operates or permits to be operated or permits to remain on a public or private way a motor vehicle which is subject to the provisions of section one A during such time as the motor vehicle liability policy or bond or deposit required by the provisions of this chapter has not been provided and maintained in accordance therewith shall be punished by a fine of not less than five hundred nor more than five thousand dollars or by imprisonment for not more than one year in a house of correction, or both such fine and imprisonment; provided, however, that any municipality that enforces the provisions of this section shall retain such fine. This section shall not apply to a person who operates a motor vehicle leased under any system referred to in section thirty-two C without knowledge that the lessor thereof has not complied with the provisions of section thirty-two E relative to providing indemnity, protection or security for property damage.

In proceedings under this section, written certification by the registrar of motor vehicles that the registry of motor vehicles has no record of a motor vehicle liability policy or bond or deposit in effect at the time of the alleged offense as required by the provisions of this chapter for the motor vehicle alleged to have been operated in violation of this section, shall be admissible as evidence in any court of the commonwealth and shall raise a rebuttable presumption that no such motor vehicle liability policy or bond or deposit was in effect for said vehicle at the time of the alleged offense. Such presumption may be rebutted and overcome by evidence that a motor vehicle liability policy or bond or deposit was in effect for such vehicle at the time of the alleged offense.

Any person who is convicted of, or who enters a plea of guilty to a violation of this section shall be liable to the plan organized pursuant to section one hundred and thirteen H of chapter one hundred and seventy-five in the amount of the greater of five hundred dollars or one year’s premium for compulsory motor vehicle insurance for the highest rated territory and class or risk in effect at the time of the commission of the offense. Said liability shall be in addition to all other liabilities imposed on the person so convicted or so pleading whether civil or criminal. The said plan shall apply any sums collected hereunder, to defray its costs of collection and to defray in whole or in part its expenses for preventing fraud and arson. Furthermore, any person who is convicted of, or enters a plea of guilty to a violation of this section shall have his or her license or right to operate a motor vehicle suspended for sixty days by the registrar of motor vehicles upon the registrar’s receipt of notification from the clerk of any court which enters any conviction hereunder or which accepts such plea of guilty. The clerk of any court which enters any conviction hereunder or which accepts such plea shall promptly notify the registrar of motor vehicles and the Commonwealth Auto Reinsurers pursuant to section one hundred and thirteen of chapter one hundred and seventy-five or any successor thereto of such entry of acceptance of such plea. For any second or subsequent said conviction or plea of guilty within a six year period the offender’s license or right to operate a motor vehicle shall be suspended for one year by the registrar upon the registrar’s receipt of such notification by the clerk of any such court.

Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, whoever violates this section and has not been previously determined responsible for or convicted therefor, or against whom a finding of delinquency or a finding of sufficient facts to support a conviction has not previously been rendered, on a complaint charging a violation of this section shall be punished by fine of not more than $500.

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