If you have recently bought a vehicle in Massachusetts, or have moved to the state from another region in the US, Massachusetts car registration is an important step you must complete. This will help the state’s Registry of Motor Vehicles to keep track of your car and allow you to legally drive your vehicle as a resident of the state.
The Massachusetts car registration process varies for first time registrants and those who wish to renew. If you have purchased a used vehicle, changed ownership of an existing one, or moved to Massachusetts recently, you will have to fill out certain paperwork. Broadly, this involves showing proof of financial responsibility by asking your insurance agent to fill out the RMV-1 form on your application, showing proof of state residency, and completing the registration application itself. Vehicles purchased from a dealer have the easiest process since the dealer is responsible for filling out the paperwork on your behalf. You will have to show a Certificate of Origin for your new car and also show a bill of sale to prove the transaction.
The cost of processing a first time application is $75, and your plates will be valid for either a year or two years. For all other individuals, the cost of your Massachusetts car registration can vary by plate type. For convenience though, a comprehensive fee chart is available on the RMV website for you to calculate the cost beforehand.
As part of the registrations process, you will also have to get your vehicle tested for emissions and ensure that it falls within the state’s standards. This must be completed within seven days from the date you register your car.
With your registration process complete, you can safely drive anywhere in the state of Massachusetts. The state has very harsh penalties for drivers who operate vehicles without valid registration; you could face a suspension of your driving privileges. It is also important to renew your registration on time. The RMV typically sends a notification 90 days before your expiration date to remind you. Driving with an expired registration is also a traffic violation.