If a Massachusetts registration sticker is not received, it is important that you request a replacement right away as it is illegal for you to operate a motor vehicle that does not have valid registration and inspection stickers. While uncommon, it is possible that an RMV sticker is not received for a number of reasons, including due to errors changes of address, problems with the post and more. This can occur after a registration renewal, registration replacement and after applying for registration for the first time.

If you do not have a car tag sticker displayed on your vehicle, you may be pulled over and issued a citation for the violation. Therefore, the best way to ensure that you are not fined for the violation is to request a replacement online, in person or over the phone. To learn more about Massachusetts registration sticker requirements and how to obtain a replacement, review the information that has been provided within the sections below.

Common Reasons for a Registration Sticker Not Being Received in Massachusetts

If a license plate sticker is not received, it is important to know that there are a number of reasons that this may have occurred. One of the most common reasons is due to a change of address. Contrary to common belief, updating your address with the United States Postal Services (USPS) is not enough as USPS will not forward state mail. If you have changed your address, it is important to update your address with the Massachusetts RMV prior to requesting a replacement of your registration or your stickers.

If you recently requested a car plate sticker renewal, replacement or applied for your initial registration, but have not received your registration sticker — it may be that there was an error made while placing your order. Always ensure that the information that you provide is accurate and double check everything prior to submitting a request. Mail is sometimes lost by human error, so it is important that you contact your local post office prior to requesting a replacement in order to ensure that they do not have it there.

Finally, if your RMV registration sticker is not received, check to see if your lender has your sticker. In most cases, registration documents are sent to any liens that appear on a vehicle’s title, unless you specifically request otherwise.

Can I legally drive if my Massachusetts RMV registration sticker was not received?

Without a Massachusetts car tag sticker on your vehicle, you will not be legally permitted to operate your vehicle beyond a seven day grace period that has been set by the MA RMV. Even if your vehicle is up to date on registration, you could still be issued a citation by law enforcement if you are caught driving the vehicle beyond this grace period. Therefore, it is imperative that you request a replacement right away and avoid driving your vehicle until you have a registration sticker.

If you are still within that seven day grace period, it is important that you have another document that provides proof of registration, such as a printed copy of a temporary registration.

Additional Consequences of a Car Sticker Not Received in Massachusetts

If your license sticker is not received, it is important that you request a replacement and that you do not operate the vehicle if you are beyond the initial seven day grace period.

If you are outside of that seven day grace period and you do not have a legible and undamaged registration sticker affixed to your license plate, you could receive a citation. However, if your registration is also expired, the fine that you may receive could be far higher.

Steps to Take if Your Massachusetts RMV Sticker Was Not Received

If your MA registration sticker is not received, it is important to contact the Massachusetts RMV in order to verify whether or not your registration has been processed. Since the grace period for registration stickers is only seven days, it is recommended that you contact the RMV if you are nearing the end of the grace period. This can be done in person or over the phone and, if your registration was not finalized, you can request a replacement during the same visit or phone call.

Where to Get a Registration Sticker Replacements in Massachusetts

You can order an RMV sticker replacement in a number of ways, including online, over the phone and by visiting the Massachusetts RMV in person.

If you choose to order a registration sticker online, you will need to be able to provide your vehicle’s registration number, your driver’s license number, your email address and the applicable fee. Online requests are the most convenient as you will be given the opportunity to print your registration immediately. Alternatively, you can choose to have your registration mailed to you, which may take between seven and 10 business days.

While it is easiest to replace a sticker online, you can also request a replacement over the phone. Similarly to an online request, you will need to be able to provide your registration number, driver’s license number and a form of payment. Telephone requests are processed and received within five to seven days.

Lastly, you can request a replacement registration in person by visiting any RMV service center. Additionally, AAA members can request registration replacements at AAA branches that handle RMV services. Ensure that you bring proof of your identity should you choose to complete your request in person.

Last updated on Tuesday, March 10 2020.