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Is Driving an Unregistered Vehicle Negligence?

If you've been involved in a car accident which has resulted in your injury or the injuries of others, and there was a vehicle involved which was unregistered, you are probably wondering the implications of the lack of registration on your case.

Well, if we're talking about a personal injury matter, the analysis is very much like when a driver in an accident is licensened. That does happen and, sometimes, due to simple oversight. The rule is well established and long-standing and is outlined in M.G.L.A. chapter 90, susection 9.

There, the law provides that evidene of a vehicle being unregistered is not per se negligence. Rather, it's evidence of negligence. It may be submitted to the jury to support the contention that negligence occured, but it's not conclusive on the issue. If you think about it fully, that makes sense.

It would be illogical for the simple fact that a vehicle is unregistered to be the only fact necessary to prevail in a case. If that were the case, it would mean that if you were driving an unregistered car, even if it were unknown to you, and someone vered into your lane of traffic and hit you head-on, you would be without recourse against that party.

Likewise, a driver whose vehicle was unregistered would be at fault, even if there was no breach of the driver's duty of care. Meaning, even if that driver was taking the most precaution possible and driving objectively safe, that driver would still be considered at fault, even when another driver involved was more careless.

The jury will get the evidence and will make a determination as to the appropriate weight to assign it.

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

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