Section 9: Operation of unregistered or improperly equipped motor vehicles, tractors, trailers, etc.
Section 9. No person shall operate, push, draw or tow any motor vehicle or trailer, and the owner or custodian of such a vehicle shall not permit the same to be operated, pushed, drawn or towed upon or to remain upon any way except as authorized by section three, unless such vehicle is registered in accordance with this chapter and carries its register number displayed as provided in section six, and, in the case of a motor vehicle, is equipped as provided in section seven. A motor vehicle which is being towed or drawn by a motor vehicle designed to draw or tow such vehicles need not be so registered if (a) the towing vehicle is properly registered and displays a valid repair plate issued pursuant to section five, (b) said towing vehicle maintains insurance which also provides coverage for the motor vehicle being towed, and (c) said towing vehicle has been issued a certificate by the department of telecommunications and energy pursuant to paragraph (b) of section three of chapter one hundred and fifty-nine B. A tractor, trailer or truck may be operated without such registration upon any way for a distance not exceeding one-half mile, if said tractor, trailer or truck is used exclusively for agricultural purposes, or between one-half mile and 10 miles if said tractor, trailer or truck is used exclusively for agricultural purposes and the owner thereof maintains in full force a policy of liability insurance which conforms to the provisions of section one hundred and thirteen A of chapter one hundred and seventy-five or for a distance not exceeding three hundred yards, if such tractor, trailer or truck is used for industrial purposes other than agricultural purposes, for the purpose of going from property owned or occupied by the owner of such tractor, trailer or truck to other property so owned or occupied. A new automobile being delivered to a dealer by means of a tractor and trailer may be unloaded on a public way and driven by the person so delivering or his agents or servants without such registration to a dealer's premises over a public way for a distance not exceeding three hundred feet provided that the person so delivering, with respect to such new automobile, shall have filed with the registrar a motor vehicle liability policy or bond in compliance with the provisions of this chapter. A motor vehicle designed for the carrying of golf clubs and not more than four persons may be operated without such registration upon any way if such motor vehicle is being used solely for the purpose of going from one part of the property of a golf course to another part of the property of said golf course, provided that the owner of such motor vehicle shall have filed with the registrar a public liability policy or bond providing for the payment of damages to any person to the amount provided by section thirty-four A due to injuries sustained as a result of the operation of such vehicle. A motor vehicle owned by a cemetery may be operated without such registration upon any way if such motor vehicle is being used solely for the purpose of going from one part of the property of a cemetery to another part of the property of said cemetery, provided that such vehicle shall not travel more than one mile on any public way and the owner of such motor vehicle shall have filed with the registrar a public liability policy or bond providing for the payment of damages to any person to the amount provided by section thirty-four A due to injuries sustained as a result of the operation of such vehicle. An earth-moving vehicle used exclusively for the building, repair and maintenance of highways which exceed the dimensions or weight limits imposed by section nineteen and the weight limits imposed by section thirty of chapter eighty-five may be operated without such registration for a distance not exceeding three hundred yards on any way adjacent to any highway or toll road being constructed, relocated or improved under contract with the commonwealth or any agency or political subdivision thereof or by a public instrumentality, provided that a permit authorizing the operation of such a vehicle in excess of the stated weight or dimension limits has been issued by the commissioner of highways or the board or officer having charge of such way, and provided that such earth-moving vehicle shall be operated under such permit only when directed by an officer authorized to direct traffic at the location where such earth-moving vehicle is being operated. The operation of such an earth-moving vehicle shall conform to any terms or conditions set forth in such permit, and any person to whom any such permit is issued shall provide indemnity for his operation by means of a motor vehicle liability policy or bond conforming to the requirements of this chapter and shall furnish a certificate conforming to the requirements of section thirty-four A with each such application for a permit. Violation of this section shall not be deemed to render the motor vehicle or trailer a nuisance or any person a trespasser upon a way and shall not constitute a defense to, or prevent a recovery in, an action of tort for injuries suffered by a person, of for the death of a person, or for damage to property, unless such violation by the person injured or killed or sustaining the damage was in fact a proximate cause of such injury, death or damage, but violation of this section shall be deemed evidence of negligence on the part of the violator. A motor vehicle or trailer shall be deemed to be registered in accordance with this chapter notwithstanding any mistake in so much of the description thereof contained in the application for registration or in the certificate required to be filed under section thirty-four B as relates to the type of such vehicle or trailer or to the identifying number or numbers required by the registrar or any mistake in the statement of residence of the applicant contained in said application or certificate. A person convicted of a violation of this section shall be punished by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars for the first offense and not more than one thousand dollars for any subsequent offense.