Motor Vehicle Excise Tax

About the Tax

The motor vehicle excise tax is imposed on every motor vehicle or trailer registered in Massachusetts. The tax is imposed for the privilege of using the roadways and for registering a motor vehicle. The registration process of a motor vehicle automatically triggers the assessment of the excise.

The information on all excise tax bills comes directly and exclusively from the information your insurance company or agent supplies to the Registry of Motor Vehicles. The town receives the bills via electronic media from the Registry of Motor Vehicles and issues and collects the tax. The town does not set the value of the vehicle or compile the information on your bills.

The statewide motor vehicle excise tax rate is $25 per $1,000 of valuation. The original (model year) value is based upon the manufacturer's list price according to the NADA Blue Book. This taxable value is adjusted each year in accordance with the following schedule.

In the year preceding the year of manufacture 50%
In the year of manufacture 90%
In the second year 60%
In the third year 40%
In the fourth year 25%
In the fifth and succeeding years 10%

Reason for Excise Abatements

If you've sold, transferred, traded, moved to another state, had lost or stolen slates, or total vehicle loss, you may qualify for abatement.

The following documentation is required to be submitted to the Assessor's Office in order to qualify for abatement:
  • Sold and returned plates to registry
  • A copy of the registry's plate
  • Return receipt or an affidavit from your insurance company stating the plate number and the vehicle identification number with the effective cancellation date
  • Moved to another state
  • A copy of the new registration showing transfer of same vehicle to a new state
  • Traded
  • A copy of the new registration showing the transfer of the same plates
  • Sold vehicle and transferred plate to another vehicle
  • A copy of the new registration showing the transfer of the same plate to another vehicle

Questions concerning tax payments should be addressed to the collector at 978-250-5210. Questions concerning abatements should be directed to the Assessor's Office at 978-250-5220 or access the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles via their website: