Information for Motorists: Purchasing/Transferring
Purchasing or registering a new vehicle in Massachusetts? Important information if you are purchasing or registering a new vehicle in Massachusetts:
Purchasing a used vehicle?
Transferring a vehicle's registrations into Massachusetts from another state?
Important information if you are purchasing or registering a new vehicle in Massachusetts:
All new passenger vehicles sold and registered in Massachusetts need to meet California emission standards. If you are either considering purchasing a new car, registering a diesel passenger vehicle or light-duty truck, or importing a vehicle into Massachusetts from another state or country, please visit the following MassDEP website for more information about how the Low Emissions Vehicle (LEV) Program standards apply to your vehicle.
Important inspection information if you are purchasing a used vehicle:
Massachusetts state law requires that a vehicle be inspected within seven days of its registration in order for it to be legally operated on Massachusetts roadways. However, for your protection, if you purchase a used vehicle you should have the vehicle inspected for safety and emissions as soon as possible after purchase - even if it already has a valid inspection sticker. Visit the MassRMV website for more information.
The Commonwealth's Lemon Aid Law allows you to void or cancel a sale or contract for a used vehicle if:
- The vehicle is inspected within seven calendar days of purchase and fails either the safety or emissions test, or both tests, and
- The cost of repairs are estimated to be more than 10 percent of the purchase price, and
- You physically return the vehicle to the seller within 14 calendar days of the purchase.
For more information on the Lemon Aid Laws, visit the Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs website or call toll-free 1-888-283-3757. Note: The toll-free phone number only works if you are in state. If you are calling from outside the state, the phone number is (617) 973-8787.
If you are purchasing a vehicle from an Out-of-State Dealer, you will need to transfer the vehicle’s registration and title to Massachusetts:
You must go to a licensed Massachusetts insurance agent to obtain an active insurance policy and have the agent complete, stamp and sign an Application for Registration and Title (RMV-1).
If there is a lien against the vehicle, please make sure the lienholder information is complete and accurate.
After verifying all information, sign the RMV-1 application.
Take with the completed RMV-1 application to the nearest full service RMV center, with one of the following documents:
- A Certificate of Origin (new vehicles only), or
- The previous owner's title, if a titled vehicle (model year 1980 and newer), or
- The bill of sale and proof of last Registration, if a non-titled vehicle.
- If presenting the Certificate of Origin or the previous owner's title, be sure the date sold, the odometer reading and the purchase price have been completed on the back. The dealer or the previous owner(s) and you must sign the back of either of these forms.
If the dealer is not registered with the Massachusetts Department of Revenue, the sales tax will be calculated at 6.25 percent of the purchase price or the National Automotive Dealer Association (NADA) trade-in value, whichever is higher.
After completing the transaction, you will receive a registration certificate, new plates and a “year of expiration” decal for the rear plate. The title will be processed and mailed in approximately six (6) to eight (8) weeks. If you have a loan on the vehicle, the title will be mailed directly to your lienholder.
You must obtain a vehicle inspection sticker within seven (7) days of the registration date. For more information about registering vehicles, including those purchased from a non-dealer, visit the MassRMV website.