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Under Massachusetts General Laws (Chapter 60A), all Massachusetts residents who own and register a motor vehicle or trailer must annually pay a vehicle excise. The excise tax is levied by the town where the vehicle is principally garaged, and the revenues become part of the local community treasury.
Excises are prorated on a monthly basis. If you register a motor vehicle after the beginning of any calendar year, no excise will be imposed for those months, if any, which have fully elapsed before the vehicle is registered. If a vehicle is registered for any part of a month, however, the excise will be due for all of that month. If you sell or trade a vehicle or move during the year, you should generally pay the full excise tax when billed to avoid any penalties. You should then contact the Assessors office to determine your eligibility for an abatement or refund and the documentation required.
The following criteria, although not exclusive, can be used by state and local agencies and the courts to determine residency. By law, you are considered a Massachusetts resident if you receive a local property tax exemption, file a state resident income tax return or receive a rental deduction, register to vote here, enroll your dependents in a local public school or pay resident tuition for them at a state college or university, receive public assistance from the state, declare that mortgaged or insured property located here is your principal residence, or obtain any employment, benefit or privilege by claiming Massachusetts residency. You may be fined up to $1,000 per year if you illegally register in another state, or misrepresent the principal place your vehicle is garaged in this state. You are also subject to assessment for unpaid taxes with penalties and interest.
The tax is based on a 12-month calendar year, and the rate is $25 per one thousand dollars of the valuation on each vehicle. Vehicle valuations are set annually by the Registry of Motor Vehicles according to a formula in the excise tax law. Present market value, condition, price paid, and mileage on the vehicle do not affect the excise tax.
You can find more information on excise tax by visiting the Massachusetts Secretary of State's website.
Town of Bedford10 Mudge WayBedford, MA 01730
Monday-FridayPlease see individual departments for hoursTown Main Directory: 781-918-4000