Massachusetts car registration renewals

Determine the Status of Your RegistrationRegistration-Renewals

You will renew annually or biennially through the RMV depending on your plates. Specialty plates are usually biennially and vanity plates are annually.

Renew MA Registration
You must maintain current registration and adequate car insurance to drive legally.

Register a Vehicle for the First Time
New residents and those who recently bought a new vehicle must follow the process for first-time registration.

Register a Non-Operational Vehicle
Contact your local RMV for details regarding your situation.

If the vehicle is already registered and you wish to cancel its registration, return your plates to an RMV branch office or mail them to:

Attn: Express
Registry of Motor Vehicles
P.O. Box 55889
Boston, MA 02205-5889

You can turn in a C-19 form if you don’t have the plates.

When you return the plates, you’ll be issued two plate return receipts. Show one to your insurance company and the other to your assessor’s office, along with proof of where you’re storing your vehicle (for excise tax adjustment purposes). If you used a C-19 form, the registrar will stamp it and return it for you to show to your insurance and the assessor’s office.

Check Your Renewal NoticeRegistration-Renewals

You’ll receive a renewal form (RMV-2) by mail six to eight weeks before your registration expires. It will tell you how much you owe and if you need to get an inspection. If you are not eligible to renew, you’ll get a non-renewal letter.

If neither arrives, call the Telephone Center to check.

Provided you don’t have any outstanding obligations, your current address is on file with the RMV, and you still did not receive an RMV-2, call your insurance agent for an Application to Renew (RMV-3). Complete it and have the agent stamp and sign it.

Outstanding Obligations
Unpaid parking tickets, excise tax bills, abandoned vehicle citations, outstanding child support obligations, or warrants mean you will not receive an RMV-2.

Take car of unpaid obligations, and your city will give you a release to present to the RMV. If you have an outstanding warrant, get an original recall notice from the issuing court to present to the RMV. Contact the Department of Revenue if you have outstanding child-support payments.

Call (800) 332-2733 for more information.

Calculate Your FeesRegistration-Renewals

Your RMV-2 will indicate what you owe. You can also check the fee chart on the RMV’s website.

Avoid Late Fees and Penalties
If you’re renewing online, be sure to do so at least seven days in advance. If you want to check your registration status, use the state’s Registration Inquiry System. Enter your plate type and registration number for fee details and a status update. If your registration is expired, you must pay a prorated renewal fee.

Renew Online, In Person, By Mail, or By PhoneRegistration-Renewals

Renew Online
If you are eligible to renew and have a private passenger or individual-owned commercial registration, renew online at least seven days in advance by doing the following:

* Take care of any vehicle and emissions inspections
* Have an email address, driver’s license number, plate type, plate/registration number, and the amount you owe on hand to enter online
* Have your Registration Renewal Application, which should be stamped Ins. Stamp Not Needed Active Policy on File"
* Have current car insurance
* Have a Discover, MasterCard, or Visa to pay online
* Visit the state’s online renewal site
* Take note of your transaction identification number in case you need to further correspond with the RMV
* Expect an email within three days as confirmation. Contact the RMV using its feedback form if you do not receive this email.

In Person

* Make sure you do not have any outstanding obligations
* If your renewal notice says "Ins. Stamp Required," get your insurance agent to stamp and sign your RMV-2.
* Take car of any vehicle inspections that are required
* Visit a full-service RMV center

By Mail
If you have no outstanding obligations or unpaid tickets, you can renew by mail. If you do, you will need to obtain the necessary releases once you have paid off what you owe and include them when you mail in the rest of the paperwork.

* Complete the RMV-2 or RMV-3
* Have your insurance agent stamp and sign your renewal card if it says "Ins. Stamp Required"
* Get the paperwork if you need to get a vehicle or emissions inspection
* Have payment in the form of a check or money order for the fees
* Mail everything to:

Attn: Mail-In Registration
Registry of Motor Vehicles
P.O. Box 55891
Boston, MA 02205-5891

By Phone
The Telephone Center has regular business hours: Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., except holidays.

* Take care of any required inspections
* Have on had your renewal card marked Ins. Stamp Not Needed Active Policy on File"
* Have a MasterCard, Discover, or Visa to pay the fees
* Call the RMV Telephone Center

Affix Your StickersRegistration-Renewals

Place the decal according to the included instructions

If you a renewing registration on a leased vehicle, the RMV will mail your registration and decal to your lease company. Contact the company to have them forwarded to you.

Get a Tax DeductionRegistration-Renewals

You pay a flat registration fee, so it is not tax-deductible.

Do Your Part to Keep Our Roadways SafeRegistration-Renewals

Now that you’ve gotten your vehicle’s papers in order, be sure to keep your car in top working condition. Changing the oil, rotating and replacing the tires, and getting annual tune-ups will help keep your vehicle running and avoid unexpected repair costs. Take the time to find an experienced mechanic and consider investing in an after-market auto warranty for additional coverage. You may also want to subscribe to a roadside assistance program to help in an emergency.