Registration Residency Requirements


Effective January 1, 2013, per Chapter 178 of the Acts of 2012, a resident of Massachusetts, or another state or country, who does not have a driver’s license, a Massachusetts ID, or a Social Security Number, will be required to prove Massachusetts residency to obtain a registration.

This new requirement applies to the following registration transactions:

  • New Registrations
  • Registration Transfers
  • Plate Swaps
  • Renewals
  • Amendments
  • Reinstatements

When you apply for a registration for a motor vehicle or trailer, you must provide at least ONE (1) of the following, unless you are exempted:

  • Your driver's license number
  • Your Massachusetts ID Card number
  • Your Social Security Number (SSN)
  • Other proof of legal Massachusetts residency

Here is a complete list of acceptable documents. All documents listed, except for a current Massachusetts registration certificate, are accepted as proof of residency for this requirement.

Note 1: If a vehicle has two owners, both owners must meet this requirement.

Note 2: When registering a vehicle in the name of a sole proprietor with a Federal Identification Number (FID) or Employer Identification Number (EIN), the sole proprietor is required to also provide his/her SSN on the registration application. If the sole proprietor does not have an SSN, he/she must re-register and re-title all vehicles in his/her individual name and provide proof of residency.


The following groups of people are exempt from the residency requirement and do not need to provide any of the numbers or documents listed above:

  • Nonresident Student - A nonresident enrolled as a student at a school or college in Massachusetts who attends school during any period from September 1st of any year to August 31st of the following year and who has a temporary residential address in Massachusetts while attending such school.
  • Military Personnel - A person who is an active duty member of the armed forces of the United States whose permanent home is in another state, who is assigned to a base or facility in Massachusetts, and who has a temporary residential address in Massachusetts.
  • Senior citizen - A person who is at least 65 years of age and who is a resident of Massachusetts.
  • Disabled person - A person of any age who is a resident of Massachusetts and who otherwise meets the definition of a disabled person who would qualify for a handicapped placard or HP plates under Massachusetts law.

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