MOTOR VEHICLE EXCISE TAX
Motor Vehicle excise is an annual tax for the privilege of registration. All monies collected are subject to the rules of Chapter 90 and as such can only be expended for maintenance, repair or construction of streets and roads. Every motor vehicle and trailer registered in Massachusetts is subject to excise tax, unless expressly exempted. Registering a motor vehicle automatically triggers an excise tax. The City or Town where the vehicle is principally garaged on January 1st, levies the excise annually. It is important to make sure the "garaging" location indicated on your application for registration is correct! The Registry of Motor Vehicles prepares the data for excise bills from your registration and sends this to the Town for issuance of an Excise bill. Excise tax
is issued to anyone with a Massachusetts license plate. The plate must be returned to the Registry of Motor Vehicles to stop the excise tax if a vehicle has been sold or traded.
Motor Vehicle Excise is typically billed once a year with the bill due on April 1st. If you have purchased a vehicle after January 1st, a pro-rated excise bill is issued for the number of months the vehicle is registered in the remainder of the year. Excise bills are always due 30 days after issue.
Motor Vehicle Excise is one bill you do not want to forget or ignore as the penalties accrue quickly! If an excise bill is not paid within thirty (30) days from the date of issue a Demand bill is sent. The charge for a demand bill is $15.00. Interest accrues on the overdue bill from the day after the due date until payment is received. The interest rate on excise is 12%. If the Demand bill is not paid within 14 days, the Collector will send the bills to the Deputy Collector for Warrant. The Deputy Collector sends the Notice of Warrant to the taxpayer with an addtional fee of $10.00. The Deputy Collector issues a Notice of Warrant at a cost of $12.00. If payment is still not received the Deputy will Serve the Warrant (known as "walking") at a cost of $17.00. If the Service of
Warrant demanding final payment is not paid, the Deputy Collector will notify the Registry of Motor Vehicles of the delinquency. The Registry of Motor Vehicles will "Mark" the individual's registration and driver's license, which will prevent the renewal of the motor vehicle registration or the owner's drivers license. The taxpayer if finally assessed a "mark" fee of $20.00 in addition to all other penalties and interest. Payments on marked bills must be made in cash or certified funds in order to clear a mark at the Registry immediately.
Please see the Assessor's page for detailed information about this tax and abatement/exemption processes.