Motor Vehicle Excise

Every motor vehicle in Massachusetts, whether registered or not, is subject to taxation either as excise or personal property according to Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 59, Section 2. The motor vehicle excise is imposed for the privilege of road use, whether actual or future. Registering a motor vehicle automatically triggers the assessment of the excise.

Excise bills are prepared by the Registry of Motor Vehicles according to the information on the motor vehicle registration. They are then sent to each municipality for distribution and collection of payment. Values are set by the RMV according to the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) for vehicles in their year of manufacture.All valuation issues should be directed to the Registry of Motor Vehicles to be corrected at the source. Present market value, price paid, and condition are not considered for excise tax purposes. According to Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 60A Section 1, the formula for excise tax valuation is as follows:

  • In the year preceding the model year           50% of MSRP
  • In the model year                                          90% of MSRP
  • In the second year                                         60% of MSRP
  • In the third year                                            40% of MSRP
  • In the fourth year                                          25% of MSRP
  • In the fifth and all succeeding years            10% of MSRP

Proration

Excises are prorated on a monthly basis. If a vehicle is registered for any part of any month in a calendar year, the excise is assessed for the entire month.

Abatements

The Application for Abatement must be received by the Assessor within three years after the excise is due, or one year after the excise is paid, whichever is later. To avoid interest, charges, and collection action, you must pay excise as billed by the due date. No abatement or refund of less than $5 may be made. You can cancel your registration online at https://secure.rmv.state.ma.us/PlateReturn/intro.aspx

For faster service, you may scan or use your smart phone to take photos of your required supporting documentation and signed Application for Abatement of Motor Vehicle Excise Form 126-MVE as explained below and email to rboucher@boxborough-ma.gov

I HAVE SOLD MY VEHICLE

1.Bill of Sale

2.Plate Return Receipt

I HAVE TRADED MY VEHICLE

1.Sales contract showing trade-in

2.New registration if plate was transferred OR Plate Return Receipt

I HAVE MOVED TO ANOTHER STATE

1.Plate Return Receipt

2.Proof of registration in new state

MY VEHICLE WAS STOLEN OR TOTALLED

1.Police report OR Insurance company letter declaring total loss

2.Plate Return Receipt OR Lost Plate Affidavit (Form C-19) OR New Registration

I HAVE JUNKED MY VEHICLE

1.Receipt from junkyard

2.Plate Return Receipt OR Lost Plate Affidavit (Form C-19) OR New Registration

MY VEHICLE WAS REPOSSESSED

1.Notice from Lienholder

2.Plate Return Receipt OR Lost Plate Affidavit (Form C-19) OR New Registration

I HAVE RETURNED MY VEHICLE (LEMON LAW)

1.Letter from dealer certifying return of vehicle

2.Plate Return Receipt OR New Registration 

I HAVE MOVED FROM BILLING CITY BEFORE JANUARY 1st OF TAX YEAR

1.Proof of residency in new community before January 1st

2.Proof RMV was notified of new address prior to January 1st

I AM ACTIVE DUTY MILITARY OR HANDICAPPED VETERAN

1.To be eligible for a motor vehicle excise exemption, a veteran must, as documented by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, have actually lost, or have the permanent loss of use of, at least one foot or hand, or have permanent legal blindness in at least one eye, due to his or her military service. A veteran who does not have one of those specific disabilities can also qualify for an excise exemption if the RMV’s Medical Advisory Board (MAB) has determined that the veteran is permanently disabled due to his or her military service. G.L. c. 60A, § 1. Veterans who the Medical Advisory Board (MAB) determines have permanent service-connected disabilities and are eligible for a disabled veteran (DV) plate can receive the exemption by evidence of their DV plate or providing a copy of their MAB letter.

2.Military soldiers and sailors who are stationed in MA due to military orders will need to provide a letter from their commanding officer establishing their absence from their domicile state due to compliance with military orders.

EXEMPTIONS

  1. Handicapped non-veterans will be required to provide documentation of certification by a physician of the existence of total loss of use as per MGL CH60A S1.

I HAVE CANCELLED MY REGISTRATION

You are not entitled to abatement if you cancel your registration and retain ownership of the vehicle. You must provide documentation of transfer of title of vehicle to receive abatement.