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Transfer your registration to a vehicle or trailer purchased from an individual

If you own a vehicle or trailer and purchase a new vehicle or trailer from an individual, you may transfer your registration to the newly acquired vehicle.
Massachusetts allows a grace period of 7 calendar days from the date you dispose of your previous vehicle to register your newly acquired vehicle.

Registry of Motor Vehicles

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The Details of Transfer your registration to a vehicle or trailer purchased from an individual

What you need for Transfer your registration to a vehicle or trailer purchased from an individual

To transfer your registration, you will need:

After completing the transaction, you'll receive a registration certificate with the new vehicle information. The 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.

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

Fees for Transfer your registration to a vehicle or trailer purchased from an individual

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

How to transfer Transfer your registration to a vehicle or trailer purchased from an individual

  1. 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.
    • If there is a lien against the vehicle, make sure the lienholder information is complete and accurate.
  2. The completed application must be accompanied by one of the following documents:
    • The previous owner’s certificate of title, or
    • The previous owner's registration and bill of sale for vehicles that are exempt because of their age
    • Federal and Massachusetts laws require that the seller(s) state the mileage upon transfer of ownership. Also, both buyer(s) and seller(s) are required to sign and hand print their name and date the transfer document. If the previous title has a space for a sales price, the price must be filled in. If the previous title does not have a space for a sales price, a bill of sale showing the sales price must be submitted
  3. You must make a reservation for this transaction at one of our open Service Centers. Customers are strongly encouraged to go online to schedule available in-person appointments at statewide Service Centers. Customers can conduct walk-in transactions during early morning or late afternoon hours, but will be served after customers with prescheduled in-person appointments.

  4. Take the completed application and supporting documents to the RMV Service Center.
  • To make a reservation, click here.

Individual registration drop-off services, which temporarily replaced B2B services during the State of Emergency, will no longer be available at RMV Service Centers.

The sales tax for a private sale is calculated at 6.25% of the purchase price or the National Automotive Dealer Association (NADA) trade-in value, whichever is higher.

More info for Transfer your registration to a vehicle or trailer purchased from an individual

7 Day Transfer Law

Grace Period for Registration Transfers after Vehicle Purchase:

If you own a vehicle or trailer and purchase a new vehicle or trailer from a dealer, or purchase a used vehicle or trailer from a private party, you may transfer your registration to the new vehicle. Massachusetts allows a grace period of seven (7) calendar days from the date you dispose of your previous vehicle to register your new vehicle.

Under this grace period, the following conditions must be met:

  • You must be at least 18 years old
  • The new vehicle or trailer must be the same type and have the same number of wheels as the previous one
  • You must carry the transfer documents, which show the registration number to be transferred, in your vehicle
  • You must have lost possession of or disposed of your previous vehicle
  • The registration plates must be attached to the new vehicle

There is no grace period if you do not currently have a registered vehicle or trailer. The RMV does not issue temporary registration plates.

Downloads for Transfer your registration to a vehicle or trailer purchased from an individual

Contact for Transfer your registration to a vehicle or trailer purchased from an individual

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