Transferring a Registration

Please refer to this section if you have purchased a new or used vehicle and want to transfer your existing registration to that vehicle. If you are applying for a new registration, refer to the Applying for a New Registration section.

Fees
To transfer a plate from one vehicle to another of the same type, the fee is $25.00 (effective 5/12/2008). A $75.00 title fee and the applicable sales tax will also be collected.

An individual, corporation or company may transfer an existing registration from one vehicle to another if the following conditions apply:

  • The registration is active.
  • The owners on the registration will not change.
  • Both vehicles conform to the same plate standards.

Is there a Grace Period for Transferring a Registration?
If you own a vehicle or trailer and purchase a new vehicle or trailer from a dealer or purchase a used vehicle or trailer from a private party, you may transfer your registration to the newly acquired vehicle. Massachusetts allows a grace period of seven (7) calendar days from the date you dispose of your previous vehicle to register your newly acquired vehicle.

Under this grace period, the following conditions must be met:

  • You must be at least 18 years old.
  • The newly acquired vehicle or trailer must be of the same type and have the same number of wheels as the previous vehicle or trailer.
  • You must carry the transfer documents, which show the registration number to be transferred, in your vehicle.
  • You must have lost possession of or disposed of your previous vehicle.
  • The registration plates must be attached to the newly acquired vehicle.

Please note, there is no grace period if you do not currently have a registered vehicle or trailer. The RMV does not issue temporary registration plates.

For more information about the Seven-Day Registration Transfer Law(MGL c.90, Sec. 2), refer to our FAQs About the Seven-Day Transfer Law.

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, 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 with the new vehicle information. 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.

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. 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 with the new vehicle information. 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.

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:
    • 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. 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 with the new vehicle information. 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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