Massachusetts law about automobiles

A compilation of laws, regulations, cases, and web sources on the law of automobiles in general, including buying, selling, and lemon laws. For more specific motor vehicle topics, see the Related links below.

Table of Contents

Massachusetts laws

MGL c.90 Motor vehicles

MGL c.90B, § 26 Minimum age is 14 to ride an ATV

MGL c.90D Certificate of title

MGL c.93K Right to repair law

Massachusetts regulations

201 CMR 11 New and used motor vehicle arbitration

540 CMR Registry of Motor Vehicles

940 CMR 5 Motor vehicle consumer regulations

Massachusetts executive orders

Executive Order 572: To promote the testing and deployment of highly automated driving technologies, October 2016.
Establishes a Special Working Group on Autonomous Vehicles to study and make recommendations for regulation of self-driving vehicles

Federal laws

Public Law 117 - 58 - Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act

Includes a section titled “Advanced Impaired Driving Technology,” which allows the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to initiate the rulemaking process for setting a new automobile safety standard. This standard mandates that all new cars be equipped with "advanced drunk and impaired driving prevention technology" by 2026.

Web sources

General information

  • AAA Digest of motor laws, AAA.
    An "online compendium of laws and rules related to driving and owning a motor vehicle in the United States and Canada." Select a topic such as window tinting, seatbelts, registration, and more, and get easy access to the laws for all 50 states.\
  • Auto warranties & routine maintenance, Federal Trade Commission.
    "Can a dealer refuse to honor the warranty that came with your new car if someone else does the routine maintenance or repairs?" The FTC says no.
  • Autos and transportation, Mass. Office of Consumer Affairs.
    Includes Lemon Laws, Buying and Selling, Auto Repair, Auto Insurance, and more.
  • Citizen's guide to the removal of motor vehicles from private property, Nantucket Police Department.
    Explains the process for private citizens to follow in removing vehicles from their property.

Buying, selling, leasing, and donating

  • Bill of Sale This is a sample bill of sale from a private webpage. The Massachusetts RMV does not have an official form.
  • Buying a used car, Mass. Legal Help
    Provides a detailed description of the steps involved in buying a used car: what to look for, how to negotiate, elements of a contract, and more.
  • Donating a car to charity, Mass. Attorney General
    Provides "tips to consider when deciding whether to donate your car to charity."
  • New and used car buying guide, Consumer Reports, 2021
    “Provides the essential information you need to choose, buy, finance, and maintain your new ride, as well as tips on what to do with your old car.”
  • Should you buy or lease your car?, Mass. Legal Help
    Helpful information on deciding if a purchase or lease is best for you.

Equipment and modifications

Lemon laws

  • A Dealer’s Guide to the Massachusetts Used Vehicle Warranty Law, Mass. Office of Consumer Affairs
    Extensive (over 50 page) guide to "ensure that new dealers coming into the marketplace are aware of their obligations under the law." Information is helpful to consumers as well.
  • Gliottone v. Ford Motor Company, 95 Mass. App. Ct. 704 (2019)
    "Expert testimony is not always required to demonstrate that a vehicle has a nonconformity. In many circumstances ... a rational juror, without an expert, can understand the facts necessary to decide whether a plaintiff has demonstrated an actionable defect or malfunction."
  • Lemon law,  Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation
    Provides basic provisions of the new, leased, used, and failed inspection lemon laws. Information about private party sales, eligibility to receive compensation and applying for arbitration as well as a sample of final opportunity to repair letter.
  • Purchasing a used car? Here’s what the lemon law means for you, Mass Consumer Affairs Blog, 2015
    Provides "tips on how you can get the right car and be protected under the Lemon Law."

 

20-25 mph Max speed of low speed vehicle

Limited use and low speed vehicles 

 

Mechanic's garage and stored vehicle (garageman's) liens

  • MGL c.255, § 25 Garage keepers lien
  • MGL c.255, § 26 Enforcement of lien
  • Involuntary transfers. Registry of Motor Vehicles.
    Provides more information on Mechanic’s garage and stored vehicle liens. "To transfer ownership, a copy of the court order is always required."

Recalls

  • Automobile recalls, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
    Provides recall information, including vehicle and equipment campaigns from 1966 to present

Print sources

Contact

Online

Law library locations and phone numbers Library locations 
Reference librarians online Chat with a law librarian 
Reference librarians via email masslawlib@gmail.com
Last updated: April 13, 2022
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