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Motor Vehicle Excise Tax
Every motor vehicle and trailer registered in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is subject to motor vehicle excise tax unless expressly exempted.  Registering a motor vehicle automatically triggers the assessment of excise at a rate of $25.00 per $1,000.00 of value.  The Registry of Motor Vehicles is responsible for the value.  Motor vehicle excise tax is assessed from the first day of the month in which the vehicle is registered for the remainder of the year, and on January 1st of each year thereafter. Vehicles registered during the year are issued a pro-rated excise tax bill for that year.

Please see the Board of Assessors' page for information on vehicle valuation and the excise tax rate.

All of the information on your excise tax bill comes from the Registry of Motor Vehicles. The vehicle owner must contact the insurance company and the Registry of Motor Vehicles to make address and other changes to a motor vehicle excise bill.
Failure to receive a bill does not affect the validity of the tax, interest or penalty charges.

Motor Vehicle excise bills are mailed to registered owners once a year or after a change in registration.  Payment is due 30 days from the date of issue of the bill.
Payments must be received in the Collector’s Office by the due date in order to be considered on time.  Postmarks are never accepted as the date of payment.

If a bill remains unpaid after the due date, interest begins to accrue at a rate of 12% per annum.  A demand for payment will be mailed and a $5.00 demand fee added to the bill. If the bill remains unpaid 14 days after issuance of the demand, a warrant will be issued to the Deputy Collector.  Additional collection fees will be added, and eventually the account will be marked for non-renewal at the Registry of Motor Vehicles.  This mark will prevent the registered owner from renewing a driver’s license or registration.

Deputy Collector
If your bill has been given to the Deputy Collector, you may call the Collector’s Office at 978-422-8111 ext 2310 or the Deputy Collector’s Office at 508-478-1218 to obtain the amount due.  You may make payment at either the Tax Collector’s Office or the Deputy Collector’s Office.  If you need immediate release of a registry mark, payment must be made by cash or bank check.  No mark will be released until all outstanding excise taxes and parking tickets are paid.

If you believe you are entitled to an abatement of your excise tax bill, contact the Assessors’ Office.  Only the assessors are authorized to grant an abatement.

It is recommended that you pay your excise tax bill in full before filing for an abatement. Although this is not required, you risk incurring late fees and penalties if an abatement is not granted.  

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