Boston Measure Would Require RACs to Report Renters to RMV

Boston City Councilmember Rob Consalvo hopes to get auto rental companies involved in fighting crime, according to the council’s August meeting minutes and a separate document filed by Consalvo Aug. 24.

Consalvo is pushing forward a measure that would require car rental agencies to report their customers’ names to the city’s Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) database each time they rent a car for more than 30 days.

The law would allow police officers to quickly obtain license plate and driver information when a rented vehicle is involved. The order document from Consalvo cites that criminals use rental cars, “in part because the name of the renter of the vehicle is hard to trace quickly.”

Currently in Boston, once police obtain the license plate information of a rental vehicle involved in a crime, only the name of the rental company is immediately available. “Police officers should have the information on who rented the vehicle in real time to ensure the quickest investigation possible,” the order contends, adding that through RMV police would be able to access the information electronically, whereas current law only requires a written record which must be obtained through contact with the rental agency.

The Boston Herald reports that the city has a long history of rental car use in crimes, such as a shooting that seriously injured a man in early September.

Consalvo’s order has been referred to the city’s committee on public safety, and according to the Boston Herald, a hearing is scheduled for Sept. 26.

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