Applying for a Registration

Please refer to this section if you have purchased a new or used vehicle and are applying for a new registration. If you are transferring a registration, please read the Transferring a Registration section.

Fees

Please note that registration fees vary by plate type. See the Fee Chart for a list of RMV plate types and fees. A $75.00 title fee and the applicable sales tax will also be collected.

Light and Medium Duty Vehicles That Have Not Been Previously Titled

The Certificate of Origin must be imprinted with a statement of compliance by the manufacturer indicating that the vehicle is California-certified.

Statements that comply:

  • This vehicle has a California emission system
  • This vehicle meets/satisfies Massachusetts emission standards
  • This vehicle is certified/legal for sale in Massachusetts
  • This vehicle is certified/legal for sale in 50 states

Statements that do not comply:

  • This vehicle meets/satisfies Federal emission standards
  • This vehicle is certified/legal for sale in 49 states
  • This vehicle is certified/legal for sale in New York or Vermont
  • A dealership certification stamp
  • No statement

For more information on this, please visit the Department of Environmental Protection website.

To Register and Title Vehicles Purchased from a Massachusetts Dealer:

  1. Have the dealer complete and sign an Application for Registration and Title (RMV-1).

  2. You then must go to a licensed Massachusetts insurance agent to obtain an active insurance policy and have the agent stamp and sign the RMV-1 application.

    If there is a lien against the vehicle, please make sure the lienholder information is complete and accurate.

  3. The completed RMV-1 must be accompanied by one of the following documents:
    • A manufacturers Certificate of Origin (new vehicles only), or
    • The previous owner’s Certificate of Title, Dealer Re-Assignment form if applicable, or
    • The previous registration and bill of sale for vehicles that are exempt because of their age.
  4. If presenting the Certificate of Origin or the previous owner's title, be sure the date sold, the odometer reading and the purchase price have been completed on the back. The dealer or the previous owner(s) and you must sign the back of either of these forms.

  5. Take the completed RMV-1 application and supporting documents to the nearest full service RMV center.

    A 6.25% sales tax will be collected at this time based on the purchase price of the dealer sale. If the dealer is not registered with the Department of Revenue or the vehicle was purchased through a private sale, the sales tax will be calculated at 6.25% of the purchase price or the National Automotive Dealer Association (NADA) clean trade-in value, whichever is higher. If no clean trade-in value is available a default value agreed upon by both the Registry of Motor Vehicles and the Department of Revenue will be used.

    After completing the transaction, you will receive a registration certificate, new plates and a year of expiration decal for the rear plate. The title will be processed and mailed in approximately six (6) to eight (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 seven (7) days of the registration date.

To Register and Title Vehicles Purchased from an Out-of-State Dealer:

  1. You must 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 and Title (RMV-1).

    If there is a lien against the vehicle, please make sure the lienholder information is complete and accurate.

  2. The completed RMV-1 must be accompanied by one of the following documents:
    • A manufacturers Certificate of Origin (new vehicles only), or
    • The previous owner’s Certificate of Title, Dealer Re-Assignment form if applicable, or
    • The previous registration and bill of sale for vehicles that are exempt because of their age.
  3. If presenting the Certificate of Origin or the previous owner's title, be sure the date sold, the odometer reading and the purchase price have been completed on the back. The dealer or the previous owner(s) and you must sign the back of either of these forms.

  4. Take the completed RMV-1 application and supporting documents to the nearest full service RMV center.

If the dealer is not registered with the Department of Revenue, the sales tax will be calculated at 6.25% of the purchase price or the National Automotive Dealer Association (NADA) trade-in value, whichever is higher.

After completing the transaction, you will receive a registration certificate, new plates and a year of expiration decal for the rear plate. The title will be processed and mailed in approximately six (6) to eight (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 seven (7) days of the registration date.

To Register and Title Vehicles Purchased from a Non-Dealer:

  1. You must 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 and Title (RMV-1).

    If there is a lien against the vehicle, please make sure the lienholder information is complete and accurate.

  2. The completed RMV-1 must be accompanied by one of the following documents:
    • A manufacturers Certificate of Origin (new vehicles only), or
    • The previous owner’s Certificate of Title, Dealer Re-Assignment form if applicable, or
    • The previous registration and bill of sale for vehicles that are exempt because of their age.
  3. Federal and Massachusetts's 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.

  4. Take the completed RMV-1 application and supporting documents to the nearest full service RMV center.

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.

After completing the transaction, you will receive a registration certificate, new plates and a year of expiration decal for the rear plate. The title will be processed and mailed in approximately six (6) to eight (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 seven (7) days of the registration date.

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Massachusetts Department of Transportation

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