If a motor vehicle owner moves within Massachusetts and has not paid an excise tax for the current year, he/she should immediately notify the local assessor of his/her new address. The owner must pay the motor vehicle excise to the city or town in which he/she resided on January 1. If the owner moved before the first of the year, he/she must pay the tax to the new community to which the owner moved. If the owner did not notify the Registry, the local assessor, and the post office that he/she moved before the first of the year, it may be necessary to file for an abatement with the former city or town which had sent the excise bill. Most cities or towns will dismiss the bill and reroute it to the new community once the owner furnishes proof that he/she had moved before the first of the year.
If the owner of a vehicle moves out of Massachusetts and registers his/her vehicle in another state and cancels his/her Massachusetts registration or does not renew the Massachusetts registration, he/she can file an application for an abatement for that portion of the year after the month in which the motor vehicle was registered in the new state or in which the Massachusetts registration was cancelled, whichever is the later. Please note that it is necessary for a person who has moved out-of-state to cancel the registration in MA and obtain a plate return receipt in order to avoid problems with an excise tax abatement application or future registration in the new state, unless the new state as a general policy confiscates the plates from the old state (MA, i.e.). In such a case, the owner is still required to cancel the registration from MA, but no plate return receipt is required if proof of registration in the new state is presented.
Appears in: Motor Vehicle Excise Taxes FAQs