Motor Vehicle Excise Information

All Massachusetts residents who own and register a motor vehicle must annually pay a motor vehicle excise. It is important to note that every motor vehicle, whether registered or not, is subject to taxation, either as excise or personal property, for the privilege of road use, whether actual or future.


The Registry of Motor Vehicles, according to the information on the Motor Vehicle Registration, prepares excise bills. They are sent to the Town Assessors who commit them to local Tax Collectors for distribution and collection of payment.

When you register a motor vehicle, a motor vehicle excise bill is generated and you are responsible for payment. If you move within Massachusetts or out-of-state, if you sell or trade your motor vehicle, or it is stolen, you are responsible to pay the bill then you can apply for abatement (please see the Motor Vehicle Abatement link to determine if you are eligible for an abatement).

Important !!!!
Please keep you registration current at the Registry of Motor Vehicles so your tax bill will
arrive on time and avoid any penalties and interest charges accrued from late payments.


Excise rate: An excise at the rate of $25.00 per one thousand dollars of valuation is levied on each motor vehicle. (Automobiles, Trucks, Motorcycles and Trailers)Valuation: Information on the value of a motor vehicle is accessed electronically through a data bank complete with valuation figures. Figures are the manufacturers suggested retail prices (MSRP) for vehicles in their year of manufacture. Present market value, price paid or condition is not considered for excise tax purposes.The excise tax law establishes its own formula for valuation for state tax purposes whereby only the manufacturer's list price and the age of the motor vehicle are considered. The formula is as follows:

In the year preceding the designated year of manufacture(brand new car released before model year)
In the designated year of manufacture
In the second year
In the third year
In the fourth year
In the fifth and succeeding years

Every motor vehicle owner must pay an excise tax based on valuation of at least ten percent of the MSRP. Vehicles older than five years should have a fixed excise tax bill for succeeding years of ownership.

Changes in the Laws for Veterans

Any veteran who has a service connected loss of limb (or loss of use of) or legally blind qualifies for an excise exemption or if the Registry of Motor Vehicles issues a disable veteran plate (DAV). This will take effect for the 2007 excise tax bills.

Motor Vehicle Abatements

If an owner of a motor vehicle thinks they are entitled to an adjustment of there bill, it is strongly recommended that the bill is paid in full, then contact the Assessors office for an abatement.

Abatements can be filed for the following reasons:

If the owner believes the valuation is incorrect. The value should be disputed with the Registry of Motor Vehicle. Except for trailers, we will need to see the registration, (which shows the weight).

· If the vehicle was sold during the year in which it is being taxed and the registration was properly cancelled. The seller must return the plates to the Registry of Motor Vehicle and you must get rid of the vehicle in order to qualify for an abatement)

If the vehicle is traded and the plates are transferred. It is recommended to pay the bill and file for abatement. We will need a copy of the registration for the new vehicle.

If the vehicle owner moved out of state and registered the vehicle in that other state, and cancelled the registration in Massachusetts.We need a copy of the new registration from the new State. The plates must also be returned to the Registry of Motor Vehicles (this will prevent a bill issued next year) and obtain a return plate receipt

• If the vehicle owner moves within Massachusetts.The owner must pay the excise to the town in which the vehicle was registered on January 1. (You need to change your registration at the Registry within 30 days of your move so your new City or Town will pick you up for the following year).

If the vehicle is stolen. We need a copy of the lost/stolen receipt (C-19) from the Registry of Motor Vehicles.

If the vehicle is a lease car. The lease company should apply for abatement.