Transfer your registration and title from out of state

If you are moving to Massachusetts, you will need to transfer your vehicle’s registration and title to Massachusetts to drive legally.

Registry of Motor Vehicles

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The Details of Transfer your registration and title from out of state

What you need for Transfer your registration and title from out of state

You must register your vehicle in Massachusetts as soon as you become a Massachusetts resident. The law does not provide a grace period.

To transfer a registration and title from out of state, you will need the following:

  • Proof of Massachusetts insurance through the RMV-1 application with insurance stamp and signature 

  • Proof of ownership through certificate of title or if a lien exists on the vehicle, your registration from previous state

    • The following states issue a title even if a lien exists: NY, KY, MI, MN, MD, MO, OK, and MT

  • Correct payment 

Fees for Transfer your registration and title from out of state

Please note that registration fees vary by plate type. See the Schedule of Fees for a list of RMV plate types and fees.

How to transfer Transfer your registration and title from out of state

 

  1. Fill out an affidavit in support for exemption from sales or use tax for a motor vehicle purchased outside of Massachusetts (MVU-29).
  2. You then must go to a licensed Massachusetts insurance agent to obtain an active insurance policy and have the agent complete, stamp and sign an application for registration & title (RMV-1 form).
  3. If there is a lien against the vehicle, you will be required to surrender your out-of-state registration rather than your out-of-state title. In this case, the RMV-1 must note the complete lienholder information and the out-of-state title number.
  4. After verifying all information, sign the RMV-1 application.
  5. Along with the completed RMV-1 application, you must submit the following documents:
  • Your out-of-state title, if there is no lienholder
  • Your current out-of-state registration, if the vehicle was exempt from title due to its age or currently has a lienholder
  • Completed sales tax exemption form (MVU-29)

Take the completed RMV-1 application and MVU-29 form and supporting documents to the nearest RMV Service Center.

After completing the transaction, you will receive a registration certificate, new plates and a year of expiration decal for the rear plate.

Next steps for Transfer your registration and title from out of state

Vehicle Inspection

You must obtain a vehicle inspection sticker within 7 days of the registration date.

More info for Transfer your registration and title from out of state

The Massachusetts certificate of title will be processed and mailed in approximately 6 to 8 weeks. If you have a loan on the vehicle, the title will be mailed directly to your lienholder.

Vehicles exempt from Massachusetts sales tax

If while a resident of another state your vehicle was either purchased and registered in that state for more than 6 months or purchased in Massachusetts more than 6 months ago but was delivered to you out of Massachusetts by the seller, you are exempt from paying Massachusetts sales tax. When registering a vehicle purchased in Massachusetts that was delivered to another state, you must submit a copy of the bill of sale or dealer invoice, and a copy of your letter of delivery, which must be signed under the pains and penalties of perjury. The letter of delivery must include all of the following information:

  • The name, address, and telephone number of the seller
  • The name of the person who delivered the vehicle
  • The date the vehicle was delivered
  • The address to which the vehicle was delivered
  • The name of the person who took delivery of the vehicle
  • The vehicle’s odometer reading before and after the delivery
  • The method of delivery (e.g., driven by salesperson, on seller’s truck)
  • The signature of the seller or an authorized representative if a dealer

Note: If the seller is a dealer or company, the letter of delivery must be on the dealership or company letterhead.

Vehicles not exempt from Massachusetts sales tax

You are not exempt from Massachusetts sales tax if your vehicle was purchased and delivered in Massachusetts and the original sales tax was never paid. Sales tax will be collected at 6.25% of the purchase price or the National Automotive Dealer Association (NADA) trade-in value, whichever is higher. Interest and penalties will be calculated from the purchase date.

Bringing leased vehicles to Massachusetts

When a leased vehicle is brought to Massachusetts, the vehicle must be registered and titled here, unless the vehicle is currently titled in the leasing company’s state of residence (for example, the vehicle is titled in Ohio, and leasing company is based in Ohio).

Note: The address the leasing company is listing on the RMV-1 must be an address listed with the Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR).

  • If the leased vehicle does need to be titled in Massachusetts, this will mean that lessee must bring the following to an RMV Service Center:
    • An application for registration & title (RMV-1 form), fully completed, stamped and signed by a Massachusetts insurance company/agent
    • The current out-of-state title
    • A $75.00 title fee
    • Registration fee: Please note that registration fees vary by plate type. See the schedule of fees for a list of RMV plate types and fees.

Note: It is the lessee's responsibility, not the insurance company’s/agent’s, to acquire the out-of-state title, if it is not already in your possession.

  • If the leased vehicle does not need to be titled in Massachusetts, this will mean that lessee must bring the following to an RMV Service Center
    • An application for registration & title (RMV-1 form), fully completed, stamped and signed by a Massachusetts insurance company/agent
    • A copy of the current out-of-state title
    • Registration fee: Please note that registration fees vary by plate type. See the schedule of fees for a list of RMV plate types and fees.

Leased vehicles and lessees - additional considerations

  • The leasing company must be registered with the Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR). If the leasing company is not registered with the Department of Revenue, the application will be rejected until the leasing company registers
  • A power of attorney is required from the leasing company if the customer/lessee is signing documents on behalf of the leasing company
  • The original title is needed if the leasing company is located in a different state than the one the vehicle is titled and there is no lien on the vehicle. Otherwise, a copy of the title is required.

Information on Massachusetts Vehicle Excise Tax

An excise tax bill is generated annually for all active Massachusetts vehicle registrations.  The RMV generates the excise tax bill; however payment is due to the city or town where the vehicle is garaged within 30 days from the issue date of the bill. You are responsible for payment of your excise tax even if you do not receive a bill. Interest and penalties accrue for outstanding bills.

If you are no longer in possession of your vehicle or have taken your vehicle off the road, you must cancel your plate and registration to avoid an excise tax bill. This includes a vehicle that has been reported lost, stolen, a total loss, or repossessed. 

If you have an outstanding excise tax bill, you may not be able to renew your driver’s license or vehicle registration, or obtain any other credential from the RMV.

For more details, read more about motor vehicle excise tax.

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