In this report, the Office of the State Inspector General recommends implementation of a sweeping high-technology crack-down on motor vehicle-registration fraud committed by Massachusetts citizens and businesses. The report recommends the implementation of tough new measures to detect and penalize motor vehicle owners who cheat their fellow motorists by dodging the payment of taxes, fees and insurance premiums by illegally registering their vehicles out of state or out of town. Vehicle registration fraud costs the state and its cities and towns millions of dollars each year.

For many years, tens of thousands of Massachusetts motor vehicle owners have gotten away with this illegal activity despite the conscientious efforts of law enforcement officials to stem the tide. In some cases, violators simply do so by Iying to law enforcement officials and the Registry of Motor Vehicles about their principal residence. In most cases, however, these same violators have already told other agencies of government that their principal residency is located in Massachusetts. Apparently with little or no fear of detection, these violators tell two different stories to different government agencies, and generally get away with it.

The Inspector General's report demonstrates that currently available powerful computer record-matching technology, coupled with a broad array of government data sources, is capable of catching those violators who have left a record-trail demonstrating Massachusetts residency. Passage of provisions in House 147 of 1997 will provide for tighter motor vehicle registration and insurance requirements.

The report recommends an unprecedented program utilizing state-of-the-art computer technology to allow law-enforcement agencies to implement a system-wide crack-down. The new high-technology initiative is aimed at identifying violators by cross-matching all available local, state, and federal data sources with motor vehicle registration records.