Massachusetts Car Registration - 2023 | (2023)


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Whether you’ve just moved to Massachusetts from another state or have recently purchased a new car, you’ll need to register the vehicle through the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV).

This page will provide an overview of everything you need to know about vehicle title and registration steps in Massachusetts.

In order to legally operate your vehicle on public roadways, you’ll need to make sure it is properly titled, registered, and insured.

If you don’t have a Massachusetts car insurance policy or would like to save money, you can start comparing quotes for free.

Find the details you need below to get started.

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For official registration and title information, online applications, and forms, please visit your local DMV office or the official DMV website at:

What do I need to register my car in Massachusetts?

There are a few documents you’ll generally always need to provide when registering a vehicle through the MA RMV.

To register your vehicle in Massachusetts, you should always be prepared with:

  • Application for Registration and Title (Form TTLREG100) prepared by a licensed insurance agent.
  • Proof of ownership (Certificate of Title or Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin/MCO).
  • Proof of your current Massachusetts auto insurance policy.
  • A completed Massachusetts Vehicle Registration Application.
  • Your valid driver’s license and driver’s license number.
  • Proof of your residency in the county where you are registering the vehicle.

For used vehicles, you may also need to present:

  • The signed and filled out Massachusetts Certificate of Title from the previous owner.
  • A Bill of Sale.
  • Previous registration documents.
  • An Odometer Disclosure Statement.
  • License plates, if you plan on transferring old plates to the new vehicle.

For out-of-state vehicles being registered in Massachusetts, you may also need to be prepared with:

  • A VIN Verification/VIN Inspection completed by a licensed Massachusetts VIN inspector.
  • The out-of-state Certificate of Title and/or registration documentation.

How to Register a Car in Massachusetts

The exact requirements and steps to register your car in Massachusetts will depend on how the vehicle was purchased and your residency status. The main scenarios include:

  • New residents to Massachusetts.
  • Cars purchased at a dealership.
  • Cars purchased in a private sale.

Find the situation that best applies to you below.

In any scenario, one of your first steps will be to visit a licensed MA insurance agent to purchase car insurance and have them complete the necessary portion of the Application for Registration and Title (Form TTLREG100).

Just moved to Massachusetts? Register your Out-of-State Vehicle (New Residents)

New residents will need to register their out-of-state vehicles within 30 days of establishing residency in Massachusetts.

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To do so, you’ll need to:

  • Visit a licensed Massachusetts insurance agent for them to sign and stamp the Application for Registration and Title.
  • Visit your local RMV office.
  • Submit the completed application for registration and title.
  • Submit an Affidavit in Support of Exemption from Sales or Use Tax, if applicable.
  • Provide your out-of-state Certificate of Title.
  • Pay your registration, title fees, and any applicable taxes.

Register a Car Purchased from a Dealership in MA

If you’ve purchased a new or used vehicle from a car dealership, the dealer will help you with some of the title and registration steps. You’ll also need to:

  • Visit a license insurance agent to purchase a car insurance policy and have them sign and stamp your title and registration application.
  • Submit your completed application.
  • Submit your proof of ownership (assigned title or Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin).
  • Provide the BIll of Sale.
  • Pay your registration and title fees.

Register a Car Purchased from a Private Party in MA

To register a car that you bought from a private seller, you’ll need to:

  • Purchase an auto insurance policy and have the license agent complete their portion of the Application for Registration and Title.
  • Provide the signed over title and BIll of Sale from the previous owner.
  • Make sure they’ve completed the Odometer Disclosure Statement, if applicable.
  • Pay the registration and title fees and taxes.

If you have a registration and plates on a different vehicle that you’d like to transfer to your new vehicle, you can do so at this time. There will be a transfer fee of $25 that will apply to the transaction.

Massachusetts Vehicle Inspection Requirements

Within 7 days of registering your vehicle, you’ll be required to complete a Massachusetts Vehicle Inspection.

The inspection will include both a Safety Inspection and emissions test.

Vehicle Registration Fees in Massachusetts

MA car registration fees depend on the type of vehicle and the purchase price.

Standard registration and title fees may include:

  • Title fee: $75.
  • Passenger vehicle registration: $60.
  • Motorcycle registration: $20.
  • Sales tax: 6.25% of the purchase price.

Most RMV offices accept cash, checks, and major credit cards.

Title Transfers in Massachusetts when Buying or Selling a Vehicle

If you buy or sell a vehicle in a private transaction, you’ll need to complete a title transfer as part of the transaction.

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As the seller, you’ll need to fill out and sign the portion of your title that releases your ownership. Additionally, you’ll typically need to:

  • Complete a bill of sale with the purchase price, date or sale.
  • Record the odometer reading’s current mileage and complete the odometer disclosure statement, if applicable.
  • Submit a Notice of Transfer or Release of Liability to the Massachusetts RMV.

As the buyer, you’ll need to fill out the buyer portion of the signed-over title, and bring that document with you when you visit the Massachusetts RMV to register and title the vehicle in your name within 10 days.

The signatures of both the buyer and seller should appear on the title and bill of sale.

If at any time you lose a title, you should request a duplicate or replacement title as soon as possible. To do so, complete an Application for a Duplicate Title and submit it to the Massachusetts RMV.

If there is a lien on your vehicle (i.e. you’re still making payments on it), the title will not be in your possession. Once you pay off your lien, you’ll typically receive the pink slip in the mail. You may need to pay a fee to remove the lienholder’s name from the title.

Learn more about title transfers in Massachusetts.

How to Renew Your Massachusetts Car Registration

You’ll need to renew your car registration before it expires to avoid any late penalty fees, tickets for operating an unlicensed vehicle, or possible vehicle impoundment.

Renewing your registration will get you new sticker tags for your license plates with the updated year.

Before your registration expires, the RMV will mail you a notice.

Registrations in Massachusetts are valid for either 1 or 2 years, depending on your license plate type.

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In Massachusetts, you’ll have the option of renewing your registration:

  • Online.
  • Over the phone.
  • By mail.
  • In person.

To renew your vehicle registration and get new tabs, you’ll need to:

  • Refer to your renewal notice for any necessary details.
  • Enter and confirm your vehicle and registration information.
  • Pay the renewal fees.

You should receive your updated documents within about 10 days.

Learn more about renewing your registration in Massachusetts.

Replace a Lost Registration in Massachusetts

If you lose your current registration papers or your license plate or license plate stickers become lost, stolen, or badly damaged, you can request replacements. To do so:

  • Enter your vehicle and registration information.
  • Confirm your details.
  • Pay the duplicate fee.

You can request replacement documents or stickers online, over the phone, or in person at the RMV.

Learn more about replacing a lost registration in Massachusetts.

Massachusetts RMV Mailing Address

The mailing address for your registration transactions is:

Registry of Motor Vehicles

P.O.Box 55891

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Boston, MA 02205


How far in advance can I renew my car registration in Massachusetts? ›

Visit the Online Renewal Site to complete your renewal. It is recommended that your do this before 30 days before your expiration date so that you will receive the new stickers before your expiration date.

Is Ma car registration every year? ›

All motor vehicles or trailers must maintain a valid registration with the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV). Vehicle registrations must be renewed every 1 or 2 years depending on the plate type. Online or by mail: Allow at least 10 days to receive your registration and plate decals in the mail.

How much is yearly car registration in Massachusetts? ›

The regular one-year passenger vehicle registration fee is $30, and $60 for two-year plates. If you want a special registration plate, it is a $75 fee. All this information can be found on the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) website Massachusetts extension. Still have questions about vehicle registration?

How much is car registration in Massachusetts? ›

How much does it cost to register your vehicle in Massachusetts? In 2021, registering a normal private passenger vehicle in Massachusetts costs $60 and is good for 2 years. In MA, the Certificate of Title fee is $75. You'll also need to have your vehicle inspected, which costs $35.

Can I renew my vehicle registration 2 months before it expires? ›

To avoid hassles and delays, you can renew your car registration a month before its deadline.

How soon do I need to register my car in Massachusetts? ›

If you've purchased a vehicle from an individual, you will need to apply for registration in order to drive it in Massachusetts legally. Massachusetts title law requires all motor vehicles and trailers (over 3,000 lbs) to be titled within 10 days of purchase.

Do I need inspection before registration in MA? ›

All newly purchased vehicles must be inspected within seven days of the vehicle registration date and will receive a sticker of the month in which it was inspected and is valid for one year. “Safety of the Commonwealth's roadways is the most important reason for motor vehicle inspections.

How do car registration years work? ›

The number on the plate refers to the year and six-month period in which the vehicle was first registered; either March to August or September to February. The age identifier changes on 1st March and 1st September every year.

How often do license plates need to be renewed in Massachusetts? ›

The registration and plates are valid for two years. The RMV will process and mail your new title to you.

Does Massachusetts have a yearly car tax? ›

The excise rate is $25 per $1,000 of your vehicle's value. It is charged for a full calendar year and billed by the community where the vehicle is usually garaged. If your vehicle is registered in Massachusetts but garaged outside of Massachusetts, the Commissioner of Revenue will bill the excise.

How much is car tax in Massachusetts? ›

If the sale is made by a motor vehicle or trailer dealer or lessor who is registered, the sales tax rate is 6.25%. The use tax applies to all other types of transfers of title or possession where the vehicle transferred is stored, used, or consumed in Massachusetts.

Can I register my car online in MA? ›

In the state of Massachusetts you can register your vehicle online, in the mail, over the phone, or in person and there are great resources available to get you through the whole process.

How much does it cost to transfer license plates in Massachusetts? ›

Transferring a Registration

If you are applying for a new registration, refer to the Applying for a New Registration section. To transfer a plate from one vehicle to another of the same type, the fee is $25.00 (effective 5/12/2008). A $75.00 title fee and the applicable sales tax will also be collected.

What are the requirements for renewal of vehicle registration? ›

Your general requirements would be:
  • LTO Copy and electronically-transmitted appropriate insurance Certificate of Cover (Third Party Liability)
  • Duly accomplished Original Motor Vehicle Inspection Report (MVIR)
  • Original copy of Certificate of Emission Compliance (CEC)

How many years is the expiration of car registration? ›

When you buy a brand-new car in the Philippines, its initial motor vehicle registration—which the dealership usually processes for you—is good for three years.

How do I renew my car registration online? ›

  1. Download the “Dubai Drive” app.
  2. Launch the app.
  3. Head to the “RTA Services” section to initiate the online registration process.
  4. Select “My Vehicles” on the dashboard, followed by “Renew Vehicles.”
  5. Select delivery method and date, city, address and contact details.
  6. Pay the fees by credit card.

How long can you have out of state plates in Massachusetts? ›

New residents of Massachusetts, must convert their out-of-state vehicle registration to an MA registration with the Massachusetts RMV within 30 days. Residents of the state of Massachusetts will also have to title their vehicle, which may be done at the same time when they register their vehicle.

How long can you drive in Massachusetts with an out of state license? ›

If you will drive in the U.S., the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) advises you to obtain a Massachusetts Driver's License within 30 days of moving to Massachusetts. If you have a driver's license from another U.S. state, convert it to a Massachusetts Driver's License.

How long does it take to register an out of state car in Massachusetts? ›

The Massachusetts certificate of title will be processed and mailed in approximately 6 to 8 weeks. If you have a loan on the vehicle, the title will be mailed directly to your lienholder.

Is Mass getting rid of inspection stickers? ›

In addition, starting October 1, 2022, in an effort to reduce paper waste in the environment, vehicle owners will no longer receive a printed inspection report when a vehicle passes inspection.

How old does a car have to be to not need inspection in MA? ›

The following types of motor vehicles are exempt from the emissions inspection: Cars, trucks and SUVs manufactured before model year 2009 (Note: while these vehicles no longer receive tailpipe emissions tests, if they emit excessive smoke they will fail their safety inspections.)

What is the new MA inspection rule? ›

As of October 1, 2022, vehicle owners are no longer receiving a printed inspection report when a vehicle passes inspection. Instead, owners can easily access and print a report by going online to Mass Vehicle Check or by using a cell phone and scanning the QR code on the poster displayed at the inspection site.

What is the latest car registration? ›

Every year there are two new car registrations, March and September. From Wednesday 1st March, brand-new car registrations will feature “23” as the age identifier. In September 2023 this will be updated to 73.

What month do car registration numbers change? ›

From March 1, 2022, new cars will be registered with a new number plate, featuring a new “22” registration tag.

What year of registration is my car? ›

Vehicles registered on or after 1st September 2001 will use the current number plate format. This format is [2 letters] [2 numbers] [3 letters]. The first two letters indicate the area of the country where the vehicle was first registered. The two numbers indicate the age of the vehicle.

Do you have to turn in old plates in MA? ›

When your registration is canceled, the RMV will provide you with a registration cancellation receipt. Once your registration is canceled, you must recycle or destroy your license plates. Plates can be cut in half and discarded; or you can recycle destroyed plates if your town accepts them at the local recycle center.

Is there a grace period for expired tags in Massachusetts? ›

Effective today, April 1, 2020, all of the passenger plate registrations that have expired in March or will be expiring in April have been extended for 60 days.

When did Massachusetts require two plates? ›

Prior to 1993, only rear plates were required; since the first "Spirit of America" plate was issued in 1986, front and rear plates have been required since.

How do I avoid excise tax in Massachusetts? ›

Chapter 60A, Section 1 of the Massachusetts General Laws provides excise tax exemptions for vehicles owned by non-resident military*, certain disabled individuals and veterans, ex-prisoners of war and their surviving spouses** and certain charitable organizations.

Can you buy a car in NH if you live in MA? ›

But how easy is it to live in Massachusetts and buy a car in New Hampshire so you can take advantage of a better deal on an extended warranty? If you're asking, “Can I buy a car in another state?” the answer is yes!

Is Massachusetts a no tax state? ›

For tax year 2022, Massachusetts has a 5.0% tax on both earned (salaries, wages, tips, commissions) and unearned (interest, dividends, and capital gains) income.

How do I calculate sales tax on a car in Massachusetts? ›

To calculate the sales tax on your vehicle, find the total sales tax fee for the city and/or county. In Massachusetts, this will always be 6.25%. Multiply the vehicle price (after trade-ins and/or incentives) by the sales tax fee.

Is car registration fee tax deductible in Massachusetts? ›

A: Yes, vehicle excise tax is a proper itemized tax deduction. Personal property tax is deductible, if it is charged on personal property, based on the value of the personal property, and charged on a yearly basis.

Can I register my car in MA with an out of state license? ›

When you apply for a registration for a motor vehicle or trailer, you must provide at least one of the following: A valid unexpired driver's license from any state or territory of the United States or Canada. Your Social Security (SSN) Card - Physical SSN Card must be presented.

Does MA RMV accept walk ins? ›

If you need to complete an in-person permit (non-CDL), license, or ID transaction, you are required to make a reservation online. Select the Make a Reservation button at top of page.

Do you need an appointment to register a car in Massachusetts? ›

The state Registry of Motor Vehicles on Sept. 26 will begin offering walk-in service for registering vehicles or transferring a registration to a new car.

Do I have to take a road test to transfer my license to Massachusetts? ›

If your license has been expired more than 1 year, a full test (written and road) and an eye test will be required. If your license is active or is expired for less than 1 year, a written and road test is not required. To transfer your license, you must have a valid immigration status for at least 12 months.

What do you need to transfer plates in MA? ›

What you need
  1. Completed Application for Registration & Title.
  2. Proof of ownership.
  3. Correct fee.

Can you transfer plates at AAA in Massachusetts? ›

AAA can transfer existing plates only. AAA cannot issue new plates. AAA can process transactions with tax exemptions as a gift, family, or long term lease, but no other tax exemptions to include surviving spouse transactions.

How long before your license expiration date are you allowed to renew in Massachusetts? ›

You can renew a license in MA up to one year before the expiration date. However, you may need to retake the driving and written tests if your license remains expired for over two years. The process requires you to renew the license every 15 years or if you're over 75.

Is there a grace period for expired registration in MA? ›

Massachusetts allows a grace period of seven (7) calendar days from the date you dispose of your previous vehicle to register your new vehicle. Under this grace period, the following conditions must be met: You must be at least 18 years old.

Can you renew an expired registration online in MA? ›

Ins Stamp Not Needed- You can renew your registration online without additional steps. Ins Stamp Required- You will need to contact your insurance company before renewing your registration online so they can update your policy on file with the RMV.

At what age do seniors have to take a driving test in Massachusetts? ›

There is no set age that an elderly person is too old to drive in the state of Massachusetts. Drivers aged 75 and older must renew their license in person every five years. They are advised to fill out an online questionnaire to bring with them to the RMV.

Can I walk into the MA RMV without an appointment? ›

If you need to complete an in-person permit (non-CDL), license, or ID transaction, you are required to make a reservation online. Select the Make a Reservation button at top of page.

How many years is a driver's license valid in Massachusetts? ›

When Does My MA Driver's License Expire? In Massachusetts license renewal is required every 5 years. Your license will expire on your birthday and can be renewed as early as 1 year before it expires.

What months do registration plates change? ›

The number on the plate refers to the year and six-month period in which the vehicle was first registered; either March to August or September to February. The age identifier changes on 1st March and 1st September every year.

What happens if you get pulled over with expired registration in Mass? ›

The penalties for a conviction on a first offense Expired or Revoked Registration criminal charge include fines ranging from $500 – $1,000 and jail time of not more than 10 days. The penalties for a subsequent Revoked Registration include fines of $500 – $1,000 and jail time of 60 days to 1 year.

What happens if your registration expires in MA? ›

If the renewal notice did not arrive because of a wrong address, revoked registration, or outstanding fees, residents could check the MA RMV website for their registration status. Failing to renew and driving with expired tags can result in a suspended license or worse!

How much does it cost to renew an expired registration in Massachusetts? ›

Vehicle Registration Fee:

For passenger vehicles, light trailers and pickup trucks, the 2-year renewal cost is $60. For mopeds and motorcycles, the 2-year renewal cost is $20. RVs and commercial trucks can be renewed starting at $50, increasing with the weight of the vehicle.

How do I update my car registration in MA? ›

To amend your vehicle registration for your car or trailer, you must:
  1. Go to your insurance agent. ...
  2. Include the license numbers and dates of birth for all owners listed on the registration.
  3. Indicate the change in applicable space on the application.
  4. After verifying the information, all owners must sign the application.

What happens if your inspection sticker is expired in Massachusetts? ›

The penalty for driving vehicles with an expired sticker, or driving an uninspected vehicle, may result in a moving violation and lead to additional fines, or suspension if unpaid, and even a surchargeable incident which increases the vehicle owner's insurance costs.

How do I get a license plate sticker in Massachusetts? ›

You must have a current registration and plate decal to drive your vehicle legally.
To request a replacement registration and/or plate decal online, you will need your:
  1. Vehicle registration number.
  2. Driver's license, ID, or FID number.
  3. Email address.
  4. Applicable fee.


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