Vehicle owners must replace an illegible, stolen or lost car registration in Massachusetts through the state Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) as soon as the incident occurs. However, the process of obtaining duplicate car registration varies slightly depending on each specific situation. For instance, drivers may replace car registration online, in person or by mail if they need to obtain a duplicate registration certificate, while drivers must request replacement license plates and/or stickers in person or by telephone. In many cases, vehicle owners who replace car registration using the online method may print their replacement certificate immediately after completing the transaction. To learn more about how to get copy of car registration in MA, review the information below.
When You Need to Get a Duplicate Car Registration in Massachusetts
Motorists must request a copy of car registration in Massachusetts as soon as the registration-related item sustains damages, mutilations or becomes illegible. For instance, drivers must apply for a duplicate vehicle registration certificate, decal or license plate if the registration document begins to fade, rust or peel away. Under state law, license plates must be legible from at least 60 feet away. Additionally, vehicle owners must replace red or green passenger plates that begin to fade or lose its reflective coating. Failure to replace vehicle registration certificates, plates or decals that sustain damages or become unreadable often results in citations and a failing safety inspection.
Note: In addition to replacing illegible registration documents, drivers must replace lost car registration items as well. If you believe that another driver stole your registration certificate, decal and/or license plate, you must report the possible theft to law enforcement before requesting a replacement document with the RMV.
Replacing Car Registrations in Massachusetts Online
Drivers may replace car registration using one of Massachusetts's three registration replacement methods. The easiest method, however, is to replace car registration online through the state's RMV website. To apply for a copy of vehicle registration in MA, drivers must provide their full name, date of birth, driver license number (or permit or identification card number), the last four digits of their Social Security Number (SSN) and an email address. If drivers need to obtain an RMV registration copy for a leased vehicle, they must enter the leasing company's FID number. Owners of company vehicles must provide the vehicle's license plate number and plate type.
Before car owners apply for a duplicate auto registration card online, they must verify that their address is current with the RMV. If the address is not current, then they must update their address with the RMV before requesting a replacement document. After replacing vehicle registration certificates online, drivers may download and print a PDF version of their replacement registration card if they can electronically verify their driver license record or FID number. Alternately, the state mails duplicate DMV registration certificates to applicants within seven to 10 business days if drivers cannot electronically verify their driver license record or FID number. However, if vehicle owners replace auto registration cards for leased vehicles, the RMV mails the duplicate certificate to the leasing company rather than the applicant.
Note: During the process of replacing auto registration online, vehicle owners must pay a registration replacement fee by electronic check, Visa, American Express, Discover or MasterCard.
Replacing Vehicle Registrations in Massachusetts in Person
If drivers cannot replace car registration online in Massachusetts, they may request a duplicate registration card in person at an RMV Service Center. AAA members may obtain a DMV registration copy in person at select AAA offices offering RMV services. To obtain a duplicate certificate in person, car owners must provide their vehicle's registration number and they must verify the vehicle's ownership information. After replacing car registration in person, the RMV provides applicants with their new registration card. Vehicle owners must pay for the duplicate card by check, money order or with cash.
Replacing Vehicle Registrations in Massachusetts by Telephone
As an alternative to replacing DMV registration online or in person, motorists may request a duplicate registration card by telephone. To obtain a DMV copy of registration in MA, applicants must call the RMV Contact Center and provide their vehicle's registration number and payment information. To replace vehicle registration by phone, applicants must contact the RMV between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. During the process of obtaining a duplicate car registration in Massachusetts, drivers must pay by Visa, Discover, American Express or Master Card. Additionally, drivers must verify the vehicle's ownership information when requesting a duplicate registration by telephone. To replace a lost car registration certificate, car owners must call the RMV using the following telephone numbers:
857-368-8000 (For applicants with the following area codes: 339, 617, 781, 857 or outside of the state)
800-858-3929 (For applicants with all other area codes)
877-768-8833 (Hard-of-hearing claimants)
Note: Drivers who replace car registration by telephone receive their new registration certificates within seven to 10 business days.
Replacing License Plates and Registration Stickers in Massachusetts
The process of replacing vehicle registration documents such as license plates and/or decals varies slightly depending on the situation. If drivers need to request a duplicate car registration in MA because they did not receive their new decal during their vehicle's registration renewal period, they must contact the RMV's Contact Center to request a replacement. The state sends drivers a duplicate decal by mail after applicants request a replacement by telephone. However, if motorists fail to receive the registration certificate or decal for a leased vehicle, they must first check with the leasing company.
Furthermore, the process of obtaining a copy of car registration in Massachusetts is slightly different when replacing lost, stolen or illegible license plates. To replace an illegible or DMV lost registration plate, motorists must visit an RMV Service Center to obtain a replacement and pay the duplicate license plate fee. During this time, the state issues motorists a temporary plate permit which drivers must retain in the vehicle until new license plates arrive. Alternately, vehicle owners may request a DMV copy of registration plates over the phone by calling an RMV Contact Center.
Note: If another driver steals both of your license plates, you must visit an RMV office to apply for a new set of license plates, including a new registration number.