When Can / Should You Register Your Vehicles?

New Resident - You have 30 days from the date you move to this state to register your motor vehicle, tractor, motorcycle or trailer and get a Massachusetts license plate. Register your vehicle at the local RMV office where you live.  If your vehicle was registered in your previous state for over 6 months, you will be exempt from paying Massachusetts sales tax.

Massachusetts Resident - You have 10 days from the date of purchase or acquisition of a motor vehicle, tractor, motorcycle, or trailer to register. You should register your vehicle at the local RMV branch office where you live.  If you are transfering the registration from another vehicle, you must do so within 7 days of getting rid of the previous vehicle.

More: Cheap car insurance in Massachusetts

Before You Register

You need the following before you can register your vehicle:

  • Proof of auto insurance with a licensed Massachusetts insurance agent or company.
  • Proof of Massachusetts residency.
  • A completed RMV-1 Application Form.  The insurance agent or company will need to fill our the Insurance Certification portion of this form.  If there is a lien on the vehicle, the application must include the lienholder's full name and the vehicle title number.
  • Proof that you own the vehicle such as previous registration or title from another state

Does My Car Need an Emissions Test or Inspection?

You will need to have a vehicle inspection performed on your vehicle within 7 days of registering.

Where Do You Register Your Vehicle?

You may register your vehicle at your RMV branch office where you live.  Bring the information described above and forms described in the previous section.  Also be prepared to pay a title transfer fee, sales tax of 6.25% of the purchase price and a registration fee.  There may be additional fees depending on vehicle type for specialty or vanity plates.

You should receive a vehicle registration certificate mailed to you in approximately six to eight weeks..

What Vehicles are Exempt from Registration in Massachusetts?

Anything that is driven (cars, trucks, RV's, motorcycles, mopeds, motorized bicycles) or anything that is pulled (RT's, pop-ups, 5th wheels, trailers of all kinds and sizes) on the roads is titled and licensed.  

Many other kinds of vehicles must be registered as well.

Off-Highway Vehicle, golf carts and snowmobiles must be registered with the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs.

Mopeds must be registered, but scooters do not need to be registered.