Title Transfers or obtaining a New Certificate of Title in Massachusetts
A certificate of title issued by the state of Massachusetts is a document that proves legal ownership of a vehicle. A title must be obtained when an individual purchases a new vehicle. A title transfer must also be completed when a used vehicle is sold or gifted, or when a vehicle changes hands as a result of the death of the vehicle's owner. In Massachusetts, a title should be applied for within 10 days from the date of purchase.
OBTAINING A TITLE FOR A NEW VEHICLE:
For new vehicles, the licensed dealer that sold the vehicle typically will accept and submit the required titling information and fees on behalf of the buyer. However, buyers wishing to handle the titling independently can do so. Those interested in applying for a new title without the dealer's assistance should refer to the Original Titles and the Title and Registration Frequently Asked Questions pages on the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) website.
TRANSFERRING A TITLE ON A USED VEHICLE:
Sale/Purchase or Gift of a Used Vehicle
When you purchase a used vehicle, or obtain one as a gift, the title must be legally transferred into your name. This is done by obtaining the following documents and submitting them along with and the appropriate fees to an RMV branch office:
- The current title, with the assignment completed by the seller or donor (signing the title over to you). The title must include the federal odometer disclosure statement at the time of sale, if the vehicle is less than ten years old.
- If the title does not indicate the date of sale and selling price, a completed Bill of Sale signed by both current and new owner and notarized, is required.
- A completed Application for Registration and Title (RMV - 1), if the used vehicle has been bought from a dealer.
- A completed Dealer Re-Assignment form, if the used vehicle has been bought from a dealer.
Along with the appropriate transfer of title documents above, you will need to submit the following fees:
- $50.00 title fee
- 5% sales tax on the higher of the purchase price or the NADA trade-in value.
Contact your local RMV branch office to calculate the correct amount due.
Acceptable methods of payment are checks, money orders or cash.
Transfer of Title Following Death of Vehicle Owner
In the event of the death of the vehicle owner, the title is often transferred to the heirs or someone else identified in the owner's will. The procedures and fees for this type of transfer are similar to those outlined above. In addition, it is important to determine how the estate of the deceased has been settled by the heir(s).
In some cases, the heirs may need to complete an affidavit and provide copies of both the death certificate and the will (or a notarized statement of its contents), if there is one.
Appropriate title transfer documents and fees should be submitted to the local RMV branch office.
- Contact the local RMV office if you wish to add, remove or change a name on a vehicle title for reason other than those discussed above.
- If there is an existing lien on the vehicle, there will be additional requirements for transferring the title.
- A valid title provides proof of ownership of the vehicle. However, remember that a title transfer does not entitle the new owner(s) to legally operate the vehicle. For this, refer to the appropriate license and registration information.