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Buying from a car from a private owner
Before transferring the title, it’s a good idea to have an executed bill of sale with the current owner. The current owner should complete the first assignment section on the back of the title. Be sure they enter the following information:
- Purchaser's full legal name and current address. This name should match the name on your Massachusetts driver's license or state identification card.
- Date of sale (month, day, and year).
- The odometer reading at the time of the sale, without the tenths of miles. There are some exceptions to the odometer requirement. Generally, for cars newer than 10 years old, the odometer reading is required.
- If the odometer does not accurately reflect the mileage or is exempt, check the appropriate box.
- The current owner must also print and sign their name. If the car is jointly owned, all owners must print and sign their names.
The purchaser must then do the following:
- Acknowledge the odometer declaration by printing and signing their name in the appropriate place. If jointly purchased, all new owners must print and sign their name.
- Do not sign a title that is blank.
- Make sure that all liens listed on the title have been previously released, or you will end up responsible for them.
To complete the transfer, you must present the following to a local RMV office within 7 days of the sale date.
- RMV-1 Application Form, that includes proof of insurance on the form from your agent.
- Proof of ownership.
- Payment for any fees and sales tax.
Read more: Massachusetts used car sales tax and fees
How much does it cost to transfer a title in Massachusetts?
It costs $75 to transfer a title in Massachusetts, plus a 6.25% sales tax and registration fees (registration fees vary by plate type).
How do I transfer a car title to a family member in Massachusetts?
You must complete form MVU-26 to transfer a car title to a family member in Massachusetts. You will be responsible for paying a $25 gift fee. The following family members are exempt from paying sales tax on a vehicle that’s a gift:
The sales tax exemption does not apply to vehicles that are gifts to aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents.
Replacing a lost or damaged car title
If a title is lost or destroyed you can get a new, certified title copy. Follow these steps to replace the title:
- Have your VIN or title number.
- Have your Massachusetts driver’s license number.
- Visit the Massachusetts RMV website.
- Complete the Duplicate Certificate of Title form.
- Mail the form with a check or money order of $25 to:
Registry of Motor Vehicles – Title Division
P.O. Box 55885
Boston, Massachusetts 02205-5885
The duplicate certificate title can only be mailed to:
- The owner’s address that’s in the RMV database.
- A lienholder.
- A car dealership.
- An insurance agent.
- Fill out the Duplicate Certificate of Title form and bring the $25 fee to your local RMV branch office.
Replacing a title for a vehicle that still has a lien
Follow the same steps for replacing a car title. If your vehicle is still under a lien, a replacement title will be sent to the lienholder.
Updated Oct. 17, 2019