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The 189th General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 3: Application for licensure; approval; multi-state licensing system

Section 3. The application for such license shall be in writing, shall be in a form prescribed by the commissioner and shall contain the name, residential address and the address where the business of the applicant is to be conducted, and if the applicant is a partnership, association, corporation or other form of business organization, the names and addresses of each member, director and principal officer thereof, together with such further information as the commissioner may require including, but not limited to, a description of the nature of the business to be conducted, the proposed hours of operation on a daily basis and the area intended to be served; provided, however, that if such business is to be conducted from a mobile unit, the said application shall contain the Massachusetts motor vehicle registration number or other satisfactory identification of such mobile unit and a description of the area in which the applicant seeks to utilize such mobile unit. Each application for a license shall be accompanied by an investigation fee. Investigation and license fees shall be determined annually by the commissioner of administration under the provisions of section three B of chapter seven. Upon the receipt of such application, the commissioner shall furnish the applicant a form of notice, specifying the name of the applicant, the name under which the business will be conducted and the location thereof, the name, complete address and occupation of the principals as set forth in the application and assigning a closing date for receipt by the commissioner of comments by interested parties on such application. The applicant shall publish said notice at least three weeks before such closing date or such other period as may be determined by the commissioner, in a newspaper designated by the commissioner and published in the city or town wherein such business is to be conducted; provided, however, that if there is no newspaper published in such city or town, publication shall be in the city or town wherein a newspaper is published which is nearest to the proposed location of the business.

The commissioner may, after such hearing and notice thereof as he may deem necessary, reject an application for a license if he is not satisfied that the financial responsibility, character, reputation, integrity and general fitness of the applicant, and of the members thereof if the applicant is a partnership or association, and of the directors and principal officers if the applicant is a corporation, are such as to command the confidence of the public and to warrant the belief that the business will be operated honestly, fairly, soundly and efficiently in the public interest consistent with the purposes of this chapter, or that the proposed business and the hours of operation, as specified in the application, would not be detrimental to the economy or the public safety of the area to be served, or if he finds that any of the following exist:

(a) the applicant made a false statement of a material fact in the application for a license;

(b) an officer, director or member of the applicant business has, within ten years prior to the filing of the application, been (i) convicted of or pleaded nolo contendere to a felony, or (ii) committed an act involving fraud or deceit, which act is substantially related to the qualifications, functions or duties of a person engaged in the business of a cashier of checks;

(c) the applicant violated any of the provisions of this chapter or regulations promulgated hereunder, any similar regulatory scheme of another jurisdiction, or any other law applicable to the conduct of the business sought to be licensed;

(d) a check cashing store located at the address at which the applicant intends to operate his business has lost its license to operate within six months of the date of the new application;

(e) the applicant fails to demonstrate a public need for the establishment of a check cashing business in the area specified in such application; provided, however, that in determining whether demonstration of public need has been satisfied, the commissioner shall consider, but shall not be limited to consideration of, the number of financial institutions in such area providing check cashing services, similar services provided in such area by nondepository institutions and such other factors which would indicate that the approval of the application for license would not provide a convenience to the people who would be served by the applicant or that it would be detrimental to the economy or the public safety in such area.

The commissioner shall make decision to approve or deny an application for a license within ninety days after the filing thereof; provided, however, that failure of the commissioner to act within such period shall not be deemed to be an approval of such application.

The commissioner may participate in a multi-state licensing system for the sharing of regulatory information and for the licensing and application, by electronic or other means, of entities engaged in the business of cashing checks, drafts or money orders for consideration of more than $1 per item. The commissioner may establish requirements for participation by an applicant in a multi-state licensing system which may vary from the provisions of this section and section 5. The commissioner may require a background investigation of each applicant for a license to cash checks, drafts or money orders for consideration of more than $1 per item by means of fingerprint and state and national criminal history record checks by the department of criminal justice information services pursuant to section 172 of chapter 6 and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. If the applicant is a partnership, association, corporation or other form of business organization, the commissioner may require a background investigation for each member, director and principal officer of the applicant and any individual acting as a manager of an office location. The applicant shall pay directly to the multi-state licensing system any additional fees relating to participation in the multi-state licensing system.