How to Register a Vehicle in Massachusetts

how to register a vehicle in massachusetts

how to register a vehicle in massachusetts

To register a vehicle in Massachusetts means to have that vehicle listed in the Registry of Motor vehicles. This is the right and legal action all over the world and we have detailed the necessary steps and documents required to get your vehicle registered in Massachusetts.

Read: how to apply for low income housing in Massachusetts

The regular one-year passenger vehicle registration fee is $30, and $60 for two-year plates. However, for a special registration plate, it is a $75 fee. For more inquiries or queries, visit the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) website

For residents of Massachusetts, purchasing a car from a private seller (within or outside of MA) requires certain paperwork and steps that you must follow to get the car registered and on the road.

How to Register a Vehicle in Massachusetts

Here’s a quick guide on how to register a privately purchased car in Massachusetts.

  1. Bill of Sale

    A bill of sale should be completed when buying a car from a private dealer. A Bill of Sale is a document stating that one person is selling to another for a particular price. This document should be signed by the seller and buyer to make it authentic.

  2. Certificate of Title

    The Certificate of Title verifies the ownership of the vehicle and should be handed over to the buyer by the seller. If they have a loan on the vehicle, it’s possible that the title will not be available until their loan is paid off. Ask the seller to find out ahead of time where the title is being held. Ensure you accompany the seller to that location to pay off the loan (using the proceeds you submit to purchase the car) and immediately get the title in hand. There is typically a section on the certificate used for transferring ownership. Both the seller and buyer must sign and date it. The date should match the bill of sale.

  3. Insurance

    Insurance is required on all registered vehicles in Massachusetts. Contact independent insurance agents to actually shop rates for you, saving you valuable time. Once you have purchased insurance, your insurance company can help you with the next step.

  4. Complete the RMV-1 Form

    Your insurance company can help you complete the RMV-1 form. The form must include their stamp and signature (which verifies that the car is insured). If you used a loan to purchase the car, the lienholder must also be noted on the form.

  5. Visit the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV)

    Visit your local RMV office with all the paperwork gathered (bill of sale, title, RMV-1 form). You will be required to pay a registration fee, title fee, and sales tax. The amount will be based on the type of car and its market value. Upon payment of these fees, you will be immediately given new plates to put on the car. A new title will be issued as well. If there is a lienholder, the title will be sent to them. Otherwise, the title will be sent to you within 8 weeks.

  6. Complete Vehicle Inspection

    This is the last step of the registration process. All newly registered vehicles in Massachusetts must be inspected within 7 days of registration. The inspection will confirm that you are in compliance with Massachusetts safety and emissions regulations. Ensure you visit an Authorized inspection station in the state.

Note that your registration will need to be renewed at regular intervals but you will receive a notice in the mail beforehand. Be sure to keep your address updated with the RMV to ensure that you receive important notices regarding your registration. Your vehicle will also need to be re-inspected yearly.

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