Motor Vehicle Excise Information


The motor vehicle excise tax is imposed on every motor vehicle and 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 mails 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 $25.00 per $1,000 of valuation. The original (model year) value is based upon the manufacturer’s list price according to the N.A.D.A. Blue Book. This taxable value is adjusted each year in accordance with the following schedule:
Year prior to model year: 50%
Model year:  90%

Second year: 60%
Third year:  40%
Fourth year: 25%
Fifth year and each year thereafter: 10%

Motor Vehicle Excise Tax bills are issued on a calendar-year basis. The bill is owed to the community where the vehicle or trailer was garaged as of January 1. The address of the registrant is based upon the registration address provided by the owner to the Registry of Motor Vehicles.

Vehicles registered for a portion of a calendar year are eligible for proration based upon whole months. For new registrations, this occurs automatically. For cancelled or changed registrations, it is up to the owner to notify the Board of Assessors. The minimum assessment for a motor vehicle excise tax is $5.00.
Owners of vehicles registered as of January 1 can expect to receive a bill by late February or early March. A new registration normally produces a bill 2 to 3 months afterwards.
The most common source of taxpayer confusion arises when a vehicle is registered late in the calendar year. This generates a tax bill early in the next calendar year, which may be followed soon thereafter by a full year bill for the new calendar year. Each bill identifies the year prominently. Taxpayers should make note of the year of the bill when paying an excise tax.
The most common reason for a tax bill to be issued for a vehicle no longer on the road is failure of the owner to return plates to the Registry of Motor Vehicles as required. If a vehicle no longer on the road retains the plate registration, the bill may not be abated until it is sold or junked and the plate returned to the RMV.
The most common reason for a tax bill to be issued to a former place of residence is the failure to notify the Registry of Motor Vehicles of the address change or the new place of garaging.
It is important to note that state law authorizes the Registrar of Motor Vehicles to suspend or revoke the license or registration of an operator or owner of a motor vehicle for failure to report within 30 days any change of name or address.
Please note: Failure to receive the bill does not negate the bill, you will be held responsible for all interest and charges if the bill is not paid by the due date.
Questions concerning tax payments should be addressed to the Collector at 508-866-3434. Questions concerning abatements should be directed to the Assessor’s office at 508-866-3410.