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Taxes and Fees for Vehicle Registration in Massachusetts

Whether you’ve just purchased a new car or a preowned vehicle, you’ll need to register your new ride. If you’re a Massachusetts resident, this guide walks you through the taxes and fees for registering your vehicle in the state.

What is Vehicle Registration?


Every driver that legally owns and operates a motor vehicle in MA must register their car with the Registry of Motor Vehicles, or RMV. This allows the state of Massachusetts to connect each car on the road to its owner. When you register your car, you’ll usually receive your license plates, registration documentation and license plate decal.


What do I need to register my vehicle in MA?


For your MA car registration, you’ll need the title for the vehicle, which verifies you’re the legal owner. You’ll also need proof of MA car insurance at the time of registration.

Additionally, you’ll need to prove your identity with your driver’s license, Social Security Card, or another approved form of identity. To get a head start on the process, you can get a car insurance quote and complete the RMV’s Registration and Title Application.


What are the taxes and fees to register a vehicle in Massachusetts?


In Massachusetts, as of 2021, sales tax is 6.25%  of the purchase price. If you’re trading in your old car for a newer model, you’ll only be taxed on the difference in value. These taxes will need to be submitted to the state prior to registration.


How much does it cost to register your vehicle in Massachusetts?


In 2021, registering a normal private passenger vehicle in Massachusetts costs $60 and is good for 2 years. In MA, the Certificate of Title fee is $75. You’ll also need to have your vehicle inspected, which costs $35.


How long is a Massachusetts vehicle registration good for?


Typically, a normal passenger vehicle’s registration in MA is good for 2 years, however, the type of registration determines how long it is valid for. For example, passenger vanity plates must be renewed annually in MA. Registration for vanity plates costs $30 and is assessed an additional $50 fee, bringing the annual registration cost to $80.


After registration, how soon do I need to have my vehicle inspection?


After you’ve registered your car in Massachusetts, you have 7 days to have your vehicle inspected. Vehicle inspection in MA typically costs around $35 and needs to be renewed annually.

Driving your car without a valid inspection sticker is a traffic violation in Massachusetts and could result in a fine and impact your insurance rate. You can find an inspection station closest to you with MA’s facility locator tool.


Is there a grace period for vehicle registration in MA?


If you’re transferring your registration from one vehicle to another in Massachusetts, you have a grace period of 7 days. If you’ve lost your registration, you can replace your vehicle registration or plate decal for $25.


How often do I need to renew my vehicle registration in MA?


Depending on your plate type, you’ll need to renew your vehicle registration in Massachusetts every 1 or 2 years. If you have any unpaid EZ-pass violations, parking tickets or vehicle excise tax, you’ll need to pay these first. You can renew your vehicle registration in MA online or in person. If you renew online, allow 10 days for your registration and plate decals to arrive by mail.

As one of the top insurers in Massachusetts, MAPFRE offers free online car insurance quotes so you can get what you need for vehicle registration and get on the road sooner!

Please Note: This article is meant only to provide general information about commonly available insurance coverages. Except as expressly noted, this content is not intended to describe any specific coverage offered by MAPFRE Insurance.  No coverage is provided, bound or guaranteed by this article.  Available coverages, credits and discounts vary from state to state and are subject to eligibility criteria and policy terms/conditions, which will control in the event of conflict between this article and your insurance policy. For information about your policy, please review your individual policy contract and speak with your insurance representative.

MAPFRE Insurance® is a brand and service mark of MAPFRE U.S.A. Corp. and its affiliates, including American Commerce Insurance CompanySM (Cal. COA 4928-8), Citation Insurance CompanySM, The Commerce Insurance CompanySM, Commerce West Insurance CompanySM (Cal. COA 1372-2), MAPFRE Insurance CompanySM (Cal. COA 3039-5), and MAPFRE Insurance Company of FloridaSM.


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