Motor Vehicle Excise Tax

The motor vehicle excise tax is imposed on every 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 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 does not set the value of the vehicle or compile the information on your bill. Questions about the vehicle’s valuation should be directed to the RMV Website

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


Model year


Second year


Third year


Fourth year


Fifth year and each year after


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 of the year are eligible for proration based upon whole months. 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.

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. 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 is 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 and 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.