Massachusetts car registration

General RequirementsCar-Registration

You must register a vehicle in person at a full-service RMV if you recently:

* Bought a used vehicle
* Moved to the state
* Changed ownership on a vehicle

There is no grace period for unregistered vehicles or trailers.

Transferring Registration
If you already own a vehicle or trailer and you bought a new vehicle or trailer from a dealer or private party, you have seven days from the date you get rid of your previous vehicle to register the new one.

Annual and Biennial Registration
Renewal must occur annually or biennially, depending on your plates.

Get InsuranceCar-Registration

To register the car, you must have an insurance police with a state-licensed auto insurance agent. The agent should complete and stamp your Application for Registration and Title (RMV-1) for you to submit to the RMV.

Prepare the PaperworkCar-Registration

If you purchased a car from a dealership, the dealer should handle the paperwork for you. If the paperwork wasn’t taken care of for you.

Out-of-State Vehicles
To register your our-of-state vehicle, take the following steps:

* Complete an Affidavit in Support for Exemption from Sales or Use Tax for a Motor Vehicle Purchased Outside of Massachusetts (MVU-29). You can get one at any full-service RMV.
* Get your Application for Registration and Title (RMV-1) filled out, stamped, and signed by a state-licensed insurance agent when you get a policy. If you have a lien on the car, include lienholder information and your out-of-state registration number on the RMV-1.
* Complete and sign the registration application
* Get your out-of-state title (if you do not have a lienholder)
* Get your out-of-state registration if your car is exempt from titling because of its age or because you have a lienholder

Cars Purchased from a MA Dealer

* Get a completed registration and title application from the dealer
* Purchase an insurance policy and have the state-licensed agent stamp and sign the registration application
* Complete and sign the application
* If the car is new, get the Certificate of Origin. If its model year is 1980 or newer, get the previous owner’s title. If the car has never been titled, get a bill of sale and proof of previous registration.
* To use the previous owners title or the Certificate of Origin to register the car and perform a title transfer, make sure the sales date, odometer reading and purchase price are documented on the back. Sign the back and also get the signature of either the dealer or the previous owner(s).

Car Purchased from a Non-Dealer

* Purchase an insurance policy and have the state-licensed agent stamp and sign the registration application. If there is a lien, be sure to record that information on the application.
* Have the seller record the odometer reading on the application as well as sign and date it, since you need to title the car at the same time
* Sign and the date the application

Calculate the FeesCar-Registration

Registration fees vary by plate type so check the state’s comprehensive fee chart.

First-Time Fees
If you are registering the vehicle for the first time, you’ll also need to pay to transfer the title at the time of registration. Expect a $75 title fee plus sales tax.

Go to the DMVCar-Registration

Bring the paperwork and fee payment to your full-service RMV branch office, who will issue you a registration certificate on the spot.

License Plates
You’ll also receive your new license plates. You can order vanity or specialty plates as well.

Mandatory Vehicle Inspections
You have seven days from the date of registration to obtain a vehicle inspection sticker.

Affix Your StickerCar-Registration

Follow the instructions to correctly place the year-of-expiration sticker on your rear license plate.

Get a Tax Deduction Safely Get on Your WayCar-Registration

You may be eligible for a tax deduction. Consider consulting a tax attorney for advice.