Motor Vehicle Excise Bills
About Your Excise Bill
Motor vehicle excise is an annual tax for the privilege of registration. 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 levies the excise annually. The Registry of Motor Vehicles prepares data for excise bills according to the information on the motor vehicle registration and sends it to the town. The town then prepares bills based on the excise data provided by the Registry of Motor Vehicles. Excise is assessed to anyone with Massachusetts license plates.
The rate is $25 per $1,000 valuation. This is the standard for the entire Commonwealth. The valuation is based on the rates set by the state and
Payment is due within 30 days from the date of issue. A person who does not receive a bill is still liable for the excise tax. Therefore, it is important to keep the Registry of Motor Vehicles and the post office informed of your current name and address so that the excise tax bill can be delivered promptly.
If an excise bill is not paid within 30 days from the date of issue a demand bill is sent. The charge for a demand bill is $30. 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 may issue a warrant to the deputy tax collector. The deputy collector sends the warrant notice to the taxpayer with an additional fee of $10. The deputy collector issues a warrant notice at a cost of $12. If payment is still not received the deputy will deliver a service warrant with an additional $17 fee.
If the service warrant demanding final payment is not paid the deputy collector will then notify the Registry of Motor Vehicles of such non-payments. The registry will then mark the individual's registration, preventing the renewal of the motor vehicle registration and the owner's drivers license. The taxpayer will then be assessed a $20 mark fee in addition to all other penalties and interest.
Payments on marked bills must be made in cash or money order in order to be cleared at the Registry of Motor Vehicles immediately. If payment is made by personal check the mark will not be cleared for 3 weeks.
Abatement Requests, Changes in Residency, or Sale of Vehicle
All questions pertaining to changes or abatements should be directed to the Assessor's Office at 413-538-5027.
Remember that when you register a motor vehicle, a motor vehicle excise bill is generated and you are responsible for its payment. If you move within Massachusetts or out-of-state, if you sell or trade your motor vehicle, or if it is stolen, you need to make every effort to obtain the bill, to pay it, and then to apply for an abatement if you are eligible.
And lastly, to avoid not receiving an excise tax bill on time, please keep the registry, your local tax assessor, and the post office aware of your current mailing address.