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How to Register a Vehicle in Massachusetts

Massachusetts law requires that motor vehicle owners must register their vehicle with the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles before taking it on the road. Both new and second-hand vehicles must be registered, regardless of whether they are purchased from a dealer or an individual. In addition, new Massachusetts residents who have registered their vehicle in another state must register their vehicle in Massachusetts. The initial vehicle registration must be done in person, and registration renewals must be done annually, either in person, online or by mail or telephone.

INITIAL REGISTRATION

If you are registering a motor vehicle in Massachusetts for the first time, you must complete the following steps:

For Vehicles Purchased from a Non-Dealer:

  1. Contact a state licensed insurance agent and collect an active insurance policy from him. Ask the agent to complete and stamp your Application for Registration and Title (RMV-1). If there is a lien on the vehicle, ensure that all lien holders' information should be mentioned.
  2. Visit a full service RMV branch office, and bring the completed title/registration form with you. In addition, you will need to provide proof of insurance, the previous owner's Certificate of Title or the previous registration and bill of sale that are exempt because of their age.
  3. For vehicles that have been registered in another state, you must also bring the original, out-of-state title. If the title is unavailable, bring the registration document, along with proof of sales tax payment.
  4. You must get a vehicle inspection sticker within 7 days of your vehicle being registered.

For Vehicles Purchased from an Out of State Dealer:

  1. Contact a state licensed insurance agent and collect an active insurance policy from him. Ask the agent to complete and stamp your Application for Registration and Title (RMV-1). If there is a lien on the vehicle, please ensure that all lien holder information is mentioned.
  2. Visit a full service RMV branch office, and bring the completed title/registration form with you. In addition, you will need to provide proof of insurance, a Certificate of Origin (if it is a new vehicle), Dealer reassignment if needed or the previous owner's title or the Bill of Sale and proof of registration if it is a vehicle that is non titled and exempt due to age.
  3. If you are submitting the Certificate of Origin or the Bill of Sale, ensure that the selling date, purchase price and odometer reading are mentioned at the back of the form. The dealer and you must sign at the back of either form.
  4. For vehicles that have been registered in another state, you must also bring the original, out-of-state title. If the title is unavailable, bring the registration document, along with proof of sales tax payment.
  5. You must get a vehicle inspection sticker within 7 days of your vehicle being registered.

For Vehicles Purchased from a Massachusetts Dealer:

  1. Ask the dealer to complete and stamp your Application for Registration and Title (RMV-1).
  2. Contact a state licensed insurance agent and collect an active insurance policy from him If there is al lien on the vehicle, please ensure that all lien holder information is mentioned.
  3. Visit a full service RMV branch office, and bring the completed title/registration form with you. In addition, you will need to provide proof of insurance, a Certificate of Origin (if it is a new vehicle), Dealer reassignment if needed, or the previous owner's title or the Bill of Sale and proof of registration if it is a vehicle that is not titled and exempt due to age.
  4. If you are submitting the Certificate of Origin or the Bill of Sale, ensure that the selling date, purchase price and odometer reading are mentioned at the back of the form. The dealer and you must sign at the back of either form.
  5. For vehicles that have been registered in another state, you must also bring the original, out-of-state title. If the title is unavailable, bring the registration document, along with proof of sales tax payment.
  6. You must get a vehicle inspection sticker within 7 days of your vehicle being registered.

REGISTRATION FEES

When registering your vehicle at the RMV branch office, you will be required to pay certain fees, typically as follows:
  1. The registration fee, which varies depending on the manufacturer's model year or the vehicle's total weight.
  2. Title application fee which is $75.
There may be additional fees when you register, depending on your county. Contact the RMV branch office for the specific requirements.

RENEWING YOUR VEHICLE REGISTRATION

Owners of motor vehicles in Massachusetts are required to renew their vehicle registration annually, and can do so in person, online or by mail or telephone. See our Registration Renewal section for complete details.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

  • You can also transfer a registration.
  • If you are a non-resident active duty member of the U.S. Armed Forces you are not required to title or register your vehicle as long as the vehicle was purchased, titled and registered in your home state. You will be allowed to carry your out of state registration indefinitely. You will also have to carry insurance equal to the MA minimum levels. However, if your vehicle was not purchased, titled and registered in your home state, you will have to register the vehicle. You may drive such a vehicle with out of state registration for 30 days and register and title the vehicle before this time period ends.
  • The process for registering a motorcycle is generally the same as a car registration; however, there are different procedures for boat registration and custom car registration.
  • Auto Insurance is needed to legally operate all vehicles in Massachusetts.
  • See also Renewing Your Vehicle Registration.
  • See also Title Transfers and Car Insurance.

Reviews of How to Register a Vehicle in Massachusetts

my credit is poor and my fiancee is securing a car loan for me here in Massachusetts. The loan will be hers, so hence the car is "hers" also, correct? if so, how can I get the vehicle registered to me? I don't think she can "gift" it to me, as there would still be a loan under her name for it. She couldn't have me take over the payments, because I wouldn't be able to get the same low interest rate as her (she has sparkling credit)

I just registered my vehicle and the place doing inspection sticker lost the registaration. What is the easiest way to get a new one?

How can I get a duplicate registration. I lost mine.

tying to buy a truck in mass but found out they do not have transporter tags. 30 day tags WHY NOT? this is making it damn near impossible. i have already bought airline tickets which are non-refundable,so after trying tofigure out how to get truck home(live in buffalo ny), i wont be in any hurry to come back here.just bought a car for my daughter in pittsburgh,no problem,have bought cars in ky,no problem,also bought 1 in fla. no problem there. just here in mass have i run into this problem and so far its cost me 475 in plane tickets. not real happy

 

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