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McGonagle, Ryan and DiDomenico testify on behalf of bill concerning RMV fines

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Last week State Representative Joe McGonagle, along with Middlesex County District Attorney Marian Ryan and State Senator Sal DiDomenico, testified in favor of H.3377, An Act allowing for partial payment of fines relating to driver’s license suspension or revocation. If passed, this bill would create a payment plan with the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) where those with suspended licenses who have completed all other necessary requirements but face a financial barrier would be able to obtain a temporary license so long as they make payments. The bill sits before the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Transportation.

“I think this bill is so important because so many people rely on driving themselves to get to work,” said McGonagle. “If they can’t get to work, how are they supposed to pay off their fines, much less support themselves or their families? This bill doesn’t cut slack in penalties. It helps to ensure that drivers are legally licensed, which makes our roads safer for all. I’m grateful to District Attorney Ryan for her leadership and Senator DiDomenico for his partnership on this issue.”

“This commonsense bill will increase the amount of fine payments the state takes in and promote public safety and economic mobility at the same time,” said Senator DiDomenico, who is Assistant Majority Leader of the Massachusetts Senate. “When people lose their license, it doesn’t stop them from driving because they still need to go to work, pick up their kids from school, and see their doctor. If passed, our proposal will allow people to get back on the road legally and give them an easier opportunity to start paying back fines. I look forward to continued collaboration with District Attorney Marian Ryan and Representative Joe McGonagle to get this bill over the finish line.”

“This bill would create a common sense solution which would help get those who have had their license suspense because of an inability to pay fines, increase public safety and bring funds to the Commonwealth. Presently, the RMV cannot accept partial payment of any fines or administrative fees which are owed. For many individuals, paying those amounts in full upfront can be impossible. The ripple effect can lead to unemployment, an inability to get children to school and leave people stuck in a cycle where fines continue to build while they have no ability to pay and may well encourage them to drive less safely,” said District Attorney Ryan. “Allowing the creation of a payment plan will allow these individuals to get their license reinstated and the RMV can begin receiving money which is now not being collected. I am grateful for the partnership of Representative McGonagle and Senator DiDomenico who have joined me in filing an effective solution to this problem.”

H.3377 allows those who are otherwise qualified to be granted a license except for outstanding fines to enter into payment plan with the RMV. With a minimum monthly payment of $25, eligible drivers will be granted a conditional license, which can be revoked for lack of payment or disqualifying actions. Upon repayment of total balance, drivers will have their full license reinstated.

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