Motor Vehicle

IMPORTANT NOTICE - Calendar Year 2020 Motor Vehicle Excise Tax

Please be advised that the Registry of Motor Vehicles has updated their internal software. As result of the update you may notice a slight change in your excise bill, particularly if you have an older vehicle. Please contact the Office of the Assessors with questions concerning this matter.

Pursuant to Massachusetts General Law Chapter 60A of the Massachusetts General Laws, every motor vehicle and trailer registered in the Commonwealth is subject to the motor vehicle excise tax unless expressly exempted. Excise tax is assessed for the privilege of registering a vehicle.

The amount of excise due on a motor vehicle or trailer in any registration year is calculated by multiplying the value of the vehicle by the motor vehicle excise rate. The rate is currently $25.00 per thousand dollars of value. The value of a vehicle for the purpose of excise tax is the applicable percentage for that year of the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) for that vehicle. The manufacturer’s list price for any particular vehicle is the price recommended by the manufacturer rather than the actual purchase price.

Pursuant to Massachusetts General Law Chapter 60A Section 6: "The excise ... shall be laid and collected at the residential address of the owner, if an individual, or at the principal place of business in the commonwealth, if a partnership, voluntary association or corporation, as determined by the owner’s registration, except that if a motor vehicle ... is customarily kept in some other municipality, the excise shall be laid and collected in such other municipality".

Motor Vehicle excise tax is prorated on a monthly basis and are assessed on a calendar year. If a motor vehicle is registered after the month of January, excise will be imposed on only those months the vehicle is registered. If a vehicle is registered for any part of a month excise tax is due for the full month. An abatement (PDF) may be warranted once a vehicle is disposed of as well as the cancellation or transfer of the registration.

Motor Vehicle Excise tax is due and payable within 30 days of issue.

Motor vehicle excise should be mailed to the owners’ residential address as it appears on the registration. Pursuant to Massachusetts General Law Chapter 90 Section 26A: "Every person in whose name a motor vehicle ... has been registered ... shall report any change of his name, residential address or mailing address in writing to the registrar within thirty days after the date on which such change was made."