Motor Vehicle Excise

Billing


Pursuant to Ch. 60A of the Massachusetts General Laws, every motor vehicle and trailer registered in the Commonwealth is subject to the motor vehicle excise unless expressly exempted.

Payment


Payment of the motor vehicle excise is due 30 days from the date the excise bill is issued (not mailed). A person who does not receive a bill is still liable for the excise plus any interest charges accrued. Therefore, it is important to keep the Registry, Assessors, and the post office informed of current name and address changes so that excise bills can be delivered promptly. It is the responsibility of the owner to contact the Assessors if he/she has not received a bill.

Abatement


For what reasons may I get an abatement of a motor vehicle excise?

A taxpayer may file an abatement application and receive an abatement for any of the following reasons:

  1. Sale of the vehicle and cancellation of the registration or the trade of the subject vehicle for another;
  2. Transfer of the registrant and the vehicle to another state with proof of registration in that state and cancellation of the Massachusetts registration;
  3. Overvaluation of the vehicle;
  4. Subsequent registration of the same vehicle in the same year by the same person (e.g., vehicle is later registered with a Vanity Plate).
  5. Theft of the vehicle, if the local police authorities are notified within 48 hours of the discovery of the theft and the certificate of registration is surrendered not less than thirty days after the theft and the registrant has received a certificate of cancellation of registration signed by the Registrar of Motor Vehicles or his authorized agent verifying that the subject vehicle was stolen.

Applications for abatement must be filed with the local board of assessors within 3 years after the date the excise was due, or 1 year after the excise was paid, whichever is later. If the taxpayer's application for abatement is denied, there can be an appeal to the Appellate Tax Board (ATB).

How do I apply for an abatement?

  1. You will need proof that you no longer own the vehicle (bill of sale, junkyard receipt, insurance total loss form, etc)
  2. You will need proof of what you did with your registration (cancel plate receipt, or a copy of your current vehicle registration if you transferred your plates)
  3. This documentation must be brought to the Assessor's office along with this form.

What to expect


If you're getting a refund it will take 6-8 weeks by mail.  We suggest you pay your bill as to not incur late fees.