Motor Vehicle Excise Tax

All Massachusetts residents who own and register a motor vehicle must annually pay a motor vehicle excise tax.

The city or town where the vehicle is principally garaged as of January 1 levies the excise.

  • Excise bills are prepared by the Registry of Motor Vehicles according to the information on the motor vehicle registration.
  • Excise tax bills are calculated with a tax rate of $25 per one thousand dollars of valuation.
  • Excise tax bills are prorated on a monthly basis. If a vehicle is registered for any part of a month the tax will be due for all of that month.
  • Excise tax is due 30 days from the issue date of the bill. All bills must be paid in full within the 30 days. Partial payments are not accepted.

Remember that when you register a motor vehicle, an excise bill is generated and you are responsible for its payment.

  • If the excise tax is not paid within 30 days a demand will be issued with a fee of $15 plus interest.
  • If the demand is not paid within 14 days the bill with turned over to a Deputy Collector for collection and additional fees will be added to the bill.
  • The final step in the collection process entails the marking to the license and registration of a person for non-renewal.
  • 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 and pay it and then apply for an abatement if you are eligible.

Vehicle Values

Vehicle values are set by the RMV and are for taxation purposes only.

  • Values are based on the manufacturers' list price for vehicles.
  • The initial value is set for the designated year of manufacture.
  • This value depreciates by a set figure for five years and then levels off as follows:
    • In the year preceding the designated year of manufacture - 50%
    • In the designated year of manufacture - 90%
    • In the second year - 60%
    • In the third year - 40%
    • In the fourth year - 25%
    • In the fifth and all succeeding years of ownership - 10%


If you believe you may be entitled to an abatement of the excise tax bill:

  • It is strongly recommended that the bill be paid in full
  • Read the Abatement Application Instructions (PDF)
  • If you believe you qualify, fill out the Abatement Form (PDF) and mail or bring it to the Assessor's Office
  • If an abatement is granted then any remaining tax due must be paid within the original 30 days

All questions regarding abatements should be directed to the Assessor's Office at 781-698-4578.


Excise tax exemptions for vehicles owned by certain disabled individuals and veterans, ex-prisoners of war and their surviving spouses and certain charitable organizations under Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 60 A Section 1. Please contact the Assessor's Office for further details on eligibility.