Framingham Police charge a couple hundred people each year with the offense of driving without a license. The fine for this offense will be doubled this year, under legislation signed this month by Gov. Deval Patrick.
The existing maximum fine for driving without a license is $250. This will be increased for a first offense to $500.
The bill creates a progressive penalty. Violators would pay up to $1,000 for a second offense, and/or 30 days in jail; and then $1,000 to $2,000 and/or 60 days in jail for a third offense. Upon third offense, the vehicle could be forfeited.
In addition, the first-time fine for allowing someone to drive a vehicle, knowing they do not possess a license, will be increased to $500.
Both proposals were introduced in a package of reforms sought by state Sen. Richard Moore (D-Uxbridge) and state Rep. John Fernandes (D-Milford). They were pulled from that bill and tacked on to the state budget article as add-ons.
The legislature approved both, and they were signed by Patrick.
The rationale for the increase is the $250 fine was not acting as a deterrant.
In Framingham last year, 355 people were arrested or summons on the charge of driving without a license, said Framingham Lt. Victor Pereira.
Through July 1, 124 people were charged with the same offense in 2012.