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Title Transfers or obtaining a New Certificate of Title in Massachusetts

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Massachusetts Car Title Transfer

The Massachusetts car title is a crucial driving document, and there are four situations in which the MA RMV will require you to perform a transfer of title:

  • When giving a car as a gift
  • When inheriting a car
  • When buying a used car
  • When selling a used car

Information Related to Car Title Transfers

How to Buy a Car in Massachusetts

Before getting into the process of how to transfer car title in Massachusetts, you should first become familiar with what is necessary whenpurchasing a car. First of all, there are three ways that you can approach the process:

  • You can go to a local dealership and buy a new car.
  • You can go to a private seller andpurchase a used car.
  • You can buy a car online.

Regardless of which option you prefer, it is important that you obtain the following from the seller:

  • A bill of sale
  • A vehicle history report
  • A reference for a reputable mechanic

Registering a New Car vs. Registering a Used Car

Knowing how to get new car registration is critical after transferring car title information. In the event you decide to buy a car from a dealership, you can take advantage of the full-service experience: the dealership takes care of registering and titling the vehicle you purchased on your behalf. That means that you do not have to worry about transferring a car title, it will be automatically issued in your name.
When buying a vehicle from a private sellerthough, you must transfer the car title. Buyers of a used automobile are responsible for all of the following:

  • Purchasing MA car insurance
  • Registering your vehicle
  • Transfering car title documentation with the seller personally

What is a VIN number?

A VIN or vehicle identification number is a 17-digit code that is unique to every vehicle. Access to the VIN number allows you to obtain a vehicle history report that features everything from vehicle accident reports to its previous owners.
Given that vehicle history reports will allow buyers to feel more comfortable with a transaction, these documents are very important in the process of buying or selling a car and then transferring car title in Massachusetts.

How to Sell a Car in MA

It is just as important to know how to sell a vehicle before learning what is necessary for transferring car titles in Massachusetts. Similar to buying a car, you have two options: selling your car online or in person.
Selling online is a proven and fast way to get your old vehicle off your hands. All you have to do is:

  1. Go to a repair shopto make sure your car is in good condition.
  2. Search for a trustworthy digital vehicle database to sell on.
  3. Put up accurate photos of your vehicle and a description.
  4. Provide your desired selling price.
  5. Include a vehicle history report for your customers' convenience.
  6. Provide abill of saleas proof of the transaction.

How do I transfer car title?

When it is finally time to transfer titles in MA, the buyer and the seller have different responsibilities that must be met. To successfully transfer car titles, the private seller must:

  1. Fill out the back of the Massachusetts car title and include the following information:
  2. Sale date
  3. Selling price
  4. Odometer reading
  5. Full name
  6. Signature
  7. Fill out a bill of sale and make as additional evidence of the transaction.
  8. Make two copies of the bill of sale for each party to keep in their records
  9. Give the transferred certificate vehicle title to the buyer.
  10. Remove license plates from the vehicle.

The buyer, on the other hand, must perform the following steps:

  1. Obtain the transferred vehicle title and bill of sale from the seller.
  2. Complete an Application for Registration and Title (RMV-1) form to register the vehicle.
  3. Get the application stamped and signed by acar insurance agent.
  4. Take the application to a local RMV office.

In the event that you have lost your vehicle title, you will have to first obtain a duplicate car title in order to go begin the transfer process.
Note: To transfer title between states, it is recommended you contact the DMV of the state the vehicle will be owned in and ask them for instructions on how to proceed.

Where to Transfer Car Title

There are two things to keep in mind for the MA car title transfer process to go smoothly:

  1. Where the seller transfers the title
  2. What information needs to be included

The seller needs to put all of the following aspects of the transaction on the back of your vehicle title certificate before giving it to you:

  • Odometer reading
  • Selling price
  • Date

In addition, every section of the car title that is designated for the seller must be filled out by this party before the transfer is completed.

How to Transfer RV Title

The process for transferring the title of an RV involves the same steps as transferring standard vehicle title. However, the state of Massachusetts provides you with a seven-day grace period to complete the process. As mentioned earlier, sellers must:

  • Fill out the title form.
  • Complete a bill of sale.
  • Remove vehicle license plates.

Bill of Sale

A bill of sale can prove very useful if your car title document does not feature a place to put the selling price or other important information contained in the transaction. A bill of sale form acts as additional proof of the sale if a buyer or seller wants to have extra evidence of the transaction. These forms should include:

  • Vehicle year
  • Vehicle make
  • Sale price
  • Sale date
  • Names of buyer and seller
  • Signatures of buyer and seller
  • VIN number

Finding a Good Repair Shop

Now that you understand how the transfer of title works, it is important that you look into the nuances that can help you buy or sell a vehicle, depending on what side of the equation you are on. One such factor to become familiar with is the importance of a good repair shop.
If you are a buyer, you want the seller to point you in the right direction should your car ever need repairs. If you are a seller, giving customers a report from a reliable mechanic will boost your ability to sell the vehicle.
Fortunately, finding a good mechanic is easy, especially if you access a network of tried and tested repair shops.

Auto Warranties

Just like a good repair shop, car buyers are going to want to explore their options when it comes to protecting their investment. Finding a good car warranty is one way to do so. If you are buying from a private seller, you are going to want to make sure to get a new warranty, because the vehicle's protection is probably expired. When buying a new vehicle from a dealership, you may want to consider purchasing an extended vehicle warranty to keep your mind at ease for years to come.
As a seller, recommending a certain car warranty is yet another way that you can entice buyers into purchasing your vehicle.

How to Transfer Titles to Family Members

If you own a vehicle that you no longer want but are not interested in going through the process of selling it, one option that you have is to transfer it to a family member. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. The recipient must complete anAffidavit in Support of a Claim for Exemption from Sales or Use Tax for a Motor Vehicle Transferred Within a Family (MVU-26) form to see if they are eligible to not pay taxes on the gifted vehicle.
  2. Fill out the back of the Massachusetts car title, including the following information:
  3. Date of transfer
  4. Odometer reading
  5. Full name
  6. Signature
  7. Write "gift" where you would normally put the selling price on the certificate of title.
  8. If there is no place to put the price on the car title, fill out a bill of sale with "gift" in the selling price section.
  9. Remove license plates from the vehicle.

Keep in mind that family members are classified as:

  • Parents
  • Children
  • Spouses
  • Siblings

If you are transferring car title to a non-family member, the process is nearly identical. The only difference is that the recipient of the vehicle must fill out a different form: Affidavit in Support of a Claim for Exemption from Sales or Use Tax for a Motor Vehicle Transferred as a Gift (MVU-24) form.

How to Donate a Vehicle

The process to donate a vehicle is exactly the same as the steps you need to take in order to gift a car to a non-family member. You must be sure to:

  1. Fill out the back of the Massachusetts car title, including the following information:
  2. Date of transfer
  3. Odometer reading
  4. Full name
  5. Signature
  6. Write "gift" where you would normally put selling price on the certificate of title.
  7. If there is no place to put the price in the MA car title, fill out a bill of sale with "gift" in the selling price section.
  8. Remove license plates from the vehicle.

The only difference is that the person who is donating the vehicle is often eligible to receive a tax credit. Make sure to contact the charity in question beforehand to verify that they accept vehicle donations.

Related Links

Submitted by gailboranian@ya... on 16th Mar 2016

I live in RI and I purchased

I live in RI and I purchased a used vehicle from Mercedes Benz of Hanover, 2005 Mercedes Benz C320, the vehicle failed inspection twice since it was registered on March 2, 2016, brought the vehicle back to the dealer and requested our money back on March 11, 2016. I can't get my money back because I am not in possession of the title yet. It takes 45 days in RI. Is there any way the dealer can get involved to get them the title back sooner so I can get my $11,000 back. Thank you.

Submitted by Carol25 on 5th Nov 2015

I had an original title on my

I had an original title on my vehicle in Massachusetts, but wanted to change the name to my company name so my insurance company at the time filled out an RMV-1 form, and mistakenly put down that there is a leinholder. I signed the document and didn't realize the mistake and now a new title was issued and went back to lienholder. The leinholder keeps sending me a letter stating it is paid off, but isn't releasing the lien to the registry. I can't seem to correct this problem with the Registry. How do I get my title?

Submitted by rnaodm on 1st Feb 2015

Im looking to buy a car that

Im looking to buy a car that appearently was from NH.

He doesnt have the title but has the previous registration, can I use that and a bill of sale to register it here in Mass and recieve the title via mail later on?

Submitted by ayount on 28th Jan 2015

How long does it take to get

How long does it take to get a title after the lien holder releases to title to the MA RMV?

Submitted by sandyt51 (not verified) on 10th May 2013



Submitted by metastate (not verified) on 13th Aug 2012

My husband tried to transfer

My husband tried to transfer the vehicle title to me. But we made a mistake by signing his name under the buyer and my name under the seller. How can we do? Can we correct the error by signing the names again and cross out the mistaken ones? Or any suggestion?

Submitted by PPacheco on 15th Jan 2015

Hello, I'm a title clerk at a

Hello, I'm a title clerk at a NH Dealership, I stumbled across this page while searching another issue, however I noticed your comment. Customers do this sometimes at our dealership by accident. Normally, the correct way to fix the title so that you do not need to apply for a Duplicate would be to write a "Void Letter" or "Affidavit" which explains why you need to void the assignment. Then you would continue to fill out the NEXT assignment CORRECTLY & keep that Affidavit stapled with the Title for the rest of the car's life. Again, this is the process we follow as a NH dealer, it might be a bit different for Massachusetts titles. I recommend calling the MASS title bureau @ 8573688050 to verify the correct course of action. Good luck!

Submitted by (not verified) on 7th Feb 2012

Can you get a handicap

Can you get a handicap license plate when buying a used vehicle-do you have to get an RX from your physician/versus a handicap placard. ISN'T IT CHEAPER THAN A REGULAR PLATE THAT IS ALREADY ON THE USED VEHICLE-CAN THE DEALER DO IT.

Submitted by (not verified) on 7th Feb 2012

needing to register a

needing to register a vehicle-used can the dealer put a handicap plate on it when he transfers the title, do I have to have a Drs. RX to do it.

Submitted by Anonymous on 19th Apr 2011