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How to Register a Car in Massachusetts From Out of State

How to Register a Car in Massachusetts From Out of State

Moving to a new state can be an exciting but also overwhelming experience. One of the important tasks you’ll need to tackle is registering your car in your new state of residence. If you’ve recently moved to Massachusetts from out of state, this article will guide you through the process of registering your vehicle. We’ll cover the necessary documents, fees, and steps you need to follow to ensure a smooth transition.

Step 1: Gather the Required Documents

Before you begin the registration process, make sure you have the following documents readily available:

1. Proof of Ownership: This can be your out-of-state vehicle title or registration certificate.

2. Proof of Insurance: You’ll need to provide evidence of Massachusetts auto insurance coverage meeting the state’s minimum requirements.

3. Identification: A valid driver’s license or identification card is necessary to prove your identity.

4. Residence Proof: Provide a document that verifies your Massachusetts residency, such as a utility bill, lease agreement, or mortgage statement.

5. Completed RMV-1 Form: This form is the Massachusetts Application for Registration and Title. You can obtain it from the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) website or your local RMV office.

Step 2: Get your Vehicle Inspected

In Massachusetts, all vehicles must pass a safety inspection before registration. Find a licensed inspection station in your area and have your vehicle inspected. The inspection includes checks for safety features, emissions, and overall vehicle condition. Once your vehicle passes the inspection, you’ll receive an inspection certificate.

Step 3: Visit the RMV Office

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With all the necessary documents in hand, visit your local RMV office to complete the registration process. Make sure to bring your vehicle and all the required documents mentioned above. At the RMV office, you’ll need to:

1. Complete the RMV-1 Form: Fill out the necessary information on the form, including your personal details, vehicle information, and insurance details.

2. Pay the Fees: The registration fee varies depending on the type and weight of your vehicle. Additionally, there may be a sales tax and additional fees for special license plates or specific services.

3. Submit the Documents: Hand over all the documents to the RMV representative for verification. This includes your completed RMV-1 form, proof of ownership, proof of insurance, identification, residence proof, and the inspection certificate.

4. Receive your Plates and Registration: Once your documents are verified, you’ll receive your Massachusetts license plates, vehicle registration certificate, and a vehicle identification number (VIN) verification form.


Q: Do I need to surrender my out-of-state license plates?
A: Yes, Massachusetts requires you to surrender your out-of-state license plates when registering your vehicle. You can either mail them to the RMV or return them in person.

Q: Can I register my vehicle online?
A: Yes, Massachusetts offers online registration services through their website. However, certain situations may require an in-person visit to the RMV office, such as if you need new license plates or have outstanding fees.

Q: How long do I have to register my vehicle after moving to Massachusetts?
A: You must register your vehicle within 30 days of establishing residency in Massachusetts.

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Q: Can I transfer my out-of-state vehicle registration?
A: No, Massachusetts does not have a vehicle registration transfer process. You’ll need to apply for a new registration and obtain Massachusetts license plates.

Q: What if I financed my vehicle?
A: If your vehicle is financed, you’ll need to provide the RMV with a lienholder’s name and address. The RMV will then send your registration certificate to the lienholder until the loan is paid off.

In conclusion, registering your car in Massachusetts after moving from out of state requires gathering the necessary documents, passing a safety inspection, and visiting the RMV office. Remember to complete the RMV-1 form, pay the required fees, and surrender your out-of-state license plates. By following these steps, you’ll ensure a successful registration process and be on your way to enjoying your new life in Massachusetts.

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