How to Register a Car in Massachusetts

If you just moved to Massachusetts, you’ll need to transfer your vehicle’s title and registration ASAP in order to drive legally—there is no grace period.
Written by Andrew Hobson
Reviewed by Georgina Grant
If you just moved to
, you must transfer your vehicle’s title and registration immediately. Massachusetts law does not allow for a grace period. You will then need a vehicle inspection sticker within seven days of the registration date. 
To renew your Massachusetts vehicle registration each year, your vehicle must pass a yearly inspection and have an active insurance policy. Luckily, renewing your vehicle’s registration is easy and can be done by mail or online. 
, the
licensed car insurance broker app
, has created a guide to show you how to register your car in Massachusetts.
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How to register a car in Massachusetts

Registering your vehicle in Massachusetts is fairly simple. You will need to visit your local RMV and bring the following: 
  • Proof of Massachusetts insurance
  • Proof of ownership
  • Proof of identity
  • Correct payment for fees—$75 for the certificate of title and $60 for the registration. You are also responsible for making sure the 6.25% sales tax is paid in full. 
Once your vehicle is registered, you have seven days from the date of registration to have your vehicle pass the required Massachusetts car inspections

If you just moved to Massachusetts

If you just moved to Massachusetts, you will have to
register your vehicle
immediately, since there is no grace period in Massachusetts.
To transfer your title and registration from out of state, you must visit your local RMV with the following:
  • A completed Registration and Title Application
  • Proof of Massachusetts insurance
    —have an authorized Massachusetts insurance agent stamp and sign your Registration and Title Application. 
  • Proof of ownership through certificate of title—if a lien exists on your car, bring your registration from your previous state.
  • The $75 transfer fee
MORE: Selling a car in Massachusetts

If you just bought a car

If you just purchased a new or used vehicle, follow these steps to register your vehicle: 
  • Have an authorized Massachusetts insurance agent fill out, stamp, and sign the  Registration and Title Application. 
  • Visit your RMV with the completed application along with the Certificate of Origin (new vehicle), the previous owner’s certificate of title (used vehicle), or a bill of sale and a copy of the last registration (used vehicle without a title). 
  • Pay the 6.25% sales tax to the DOR (if it hasn’t already been paid).
  • Pay the $75 registration fee. 
Be sure to register your new vehicle ASAP!
In Massachusetts, you must apply for a Certificate of Title for a motor vehicle or trailer within ten days of purchase or you could be fined up to $500. You will also need to have your new ride pass the necessary inspections within seven days of registration. 

How much insurance coverage do you need in Massachusetts? 

To register your car in Massachusetts, you must show proof that your car insurance policy meets the
minimum car insurance requirements
set forth by Massachusetts state law. 
This includes: 
Keep in mind these are just the minimum requirements set forth and that you will, most likely, want to buy additional optional coverages like
collision insurance
comprehensive coverage
to keep you protected financially.

How to renew your Massachusetts vehicle registration 

In Massachusetts, your vehicle’s registration is good for two yearsyou must renew every other year. Also, you must be up-to-date with your vehicle’s inspections in order to renew your registration. 
You should receive an Application for Renewal from the Massachusetts RMV in the mail about six to eight weeks before your registration is set to expire.
The application will also let you know if you need to provide proof of lawful presence. If you are required to provide proof, you will need to
make a reservation at an RMV service center
in order to renew.
If you did not receive an Application for Renewal in the mail, it could be because of the following reasons: 
  • Outstanding parking tickets or excise tax bills
  • Unpaid E-ZPass/Fast Lane violations
  • Abandoned vehicle citations
  • Outstanding court warrants 
  • Outstanding child support obligations
  • The RMV has the wrong address listed
The cost to renew your registration is $60. If you have outstanding parking tickets, unpaid excise taxes, or a suspended or revoked registration, you will not be able to renew your registration.
If you're ever unsure, check your driving record before applying for registration.

Renewal by mail 

After you receive your Application for Renewal—you must do the following to complete the application:
  • Confirm that all your information on the application is accurate (if you need to make any corrections, mark an X in the box and fill in the correct information)
  • If you see Ins Stamp Required on your application, have your insurance agent stamp and sign the application.
  • Have all the vehicle’s listed owners sign the application and include their driver’s license numbers and birthdays.
Once you complete the application, mail the filled out/certified application and payment (money order or check only and payable to MassDOT) to the following address: 
Mail-In Registration/Data Scan Registry of Motor Vehicles 
P.O. Box 55891
Boston, MA 02205-5891
Remember to allow at least ten days for processing—especially if your registration is nearing its expiration date!

Renewal by phone or online

If you are eligible, you can visit the
RMV website
or call the RMV at 866-MASSRMV (866-627-7768) to renew your registration.
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How to replace a lost registration certificate, plate decal, or license plate

If bad luck strikes in the form of a lost registration certificate, sticker, or license plate, then you can order a replacement over the phone or on the RMV website. Be sure to have the following information handy: 
  • Vehicle registration/plate number 
  • Owner information
  • Vehicle information
For a replacement of your vehicle registration or plate decal, you will need to pay a $25 fee. If you need a replacement for your license plate with the same number, you will need to pay a $10 fee. If one or both of your plates were stolen, you will need a new set of plates (with a new number) from an RMV Service Center.
MORE: How to get a temporary license plate in Massachusetts

How to save on auto insurance in Massachusetts

A vital part of registering your vehicle in Massachusetts is maintaining an active auto insurance policy. With the
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To register a vehicle in Massachusetts, you will need to bring proof of insurance, the vehicle title, an odometer disclosure statement, and the proper payment for the registration fee to your local RMV office.
It costs $60 to register a car in Massachusetts. You will also need to pay $75 for the Certificate of Title and $35 for a vehicle inspection.
It costs $20 to register a motorcycle in Massachusetts.
Non-residents in Massachusetts are not required to register their vehicles with the RMV. However, if you are a non-resident student driving a car with an out-of-state registration, be sure to submit a
Nonresident Driver Statement
to your local police department. Failure to do so could result in a $200 fine.
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