A Massachusetts car title is a legal document that the state issues to certify a vehicle’s ownership. If applicable, a car title indicates the motor vehicle’s lienholder as well. Furthermore, an MA title for car ownership includes the vehicle’s title number, vehicle identification number (VIN), purchase date, mileage, model year and make.

As such, motorists must apply for a vehicle title within 10 days of purchasing or acquiring a new or used vehicle. To learn more about how to get car title certificates and to find out how auto titles and registration documents relate to one another, review the information below.

Where to Apply for a Car Title in Massachusetts

Car owners must apply for a certificate of title after purchasing, acquiring or inheriting a new or used vehicle. However, how to get a car title in Massachusetts depends on whether motorists prefer to obtain a pink slip in person or by mail, or whether they plan to title and register a vehicle simultaneously. Vehicle owners may apply for a new car title in person at a Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) Full Service Center, or by mailing all application materials to the RMV at the following address:

Registry of Motor Vehicles
Title Division
P.O. Box 55885
Boston, MA 02205

If you need to get car title certificates after purchasing a vehicle from a dealership, you do not need to submit your titling paperwork to the RMV. Instead, the dealer will submit all MA car title documentation materials on your behalf. If you plan to get a new car title and register your vehicle simultaneously, however, the dealer will complete the application for you, but you must submit the form to the RMV after you obtain an active insurance policy and have the insurance agent stamp the application.

The Massachusetts Auto Title Application

To apply for a new or used car title certificate, drivers must complete an Application for Title (Form RMV-1). To apply for an MA certificate of car title only (without registering a vehicle), motorists must check the Title Only box at the top of the application. To get a car title and registration materials simultaneously, vehicle owners must check the Registration and Title box at the top of the application and visit a licensed insurance agent to obtain an insurance policy.

Drivers who wish to get a certificate of car title and registration documents at the same time must have the insurance agent stamp and sign the Application for Car Title before submitting it to the RMV. When getting car title certificates, car owners must provide the following information:

  • A vehicle description, including the vehicle’s year, make, model, body style, color, gross weight, transmission type and fuel type.
  • The VIN, previous vehicle title number (if applicable), license plate type and registration number.
  • Vehicle ownership information, including the names and driver licenses or Social Security Numbers of all vehicle owners.
  • Details of the vehicle’s purchase, including the date of purchase and odometer reading.
  • Lienholder information, if applicable.
  • Auto insurance information (if registering and titling a vehicle).

When getting a Massachusetts certificate of car title, the vehicle owner(s), seller and/or car dealer must sign the application before submitting it to the RMV.

Documents You Must Provide When Applying for a New Car Title in Massachusetts

In addition to submitting an auto title application, motorists must provide supporting documents as well. Drivers who wish to get an MA car title must include the following:

  • The previous vehicle title (for used vehicles) or a Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin (for new vehicles). If submitting a current DMV car title, the seller must sign the title over to the purchaser.
  • A Dealer Re-Assignment form (if applicable) or the previous registration card and a bill of sale.
  • Payment for all certificate of car title fees, including state sales tax or a sales tax exemption form.
  • Registration fees, if registering a vehicle at the same time.
  • Proof of auto insurance, if registering a vehicle.

Note: After submitting all MA car title documentation to the RMV, the state mails the new or used car title and/or registration materials to vehicle owners within two to four weeks. The RMV sends the new DMV title to the lien holder rather than the driver if there is a lien on the vehicle.

What is a Massachusetts car registration?

Drivers may obtain a car registration card and a title certificate simultaneously using the Application for Title (Form RMV-1), but the two documents serve different purposes. For instance, an MA auto registration card (or a Certificate of Registration) displays a vehicle registration number and includes the issuance of license plates.

DMV car registration certificates display auto insurance information, vehicle information, details of the vehicle’s owner and a valid Registrar’s signature. Drivers must apply for a new car registration certificate before they may operate a new or used vehicle on public roads.

What is the difference between a car title and a vehicle registration in Massachusetts?

Vehicle owners may apply for motor vehicle registration documents and title certificates simultaneously, but the two documents are not the same. A Massachusetts car registration certificate, for instance, grants drivers permission to legally operate a motor vehicle on state roads, while a title is a legal document that establishes vehicle ownership. Drivers must get car registration documents and a new car title before they may legally operate a vehicle in the state.

Additionally, drivers who need to get a car registration certificate must present proof of an active insurance policy, but vehicle owners do not need to submit proof of car insurance when titling a new or used vehicle. To get a certificate of car registration while titling a vehicle, car owners must complete Form RMV-1, obtain an auto insurance policy and have the insurance agent stamp the application before submitting the form to the RMV. Vehicle owners must bring the vehicle in for an inspection within seven days of registration.

Car Title Costs in Massachusetts

The Massachusetts car title cost is a standard fee of $75, which must be paid in full for a certificate to be issued.

Last updated on Tuesday, March 10 2020.