It seems like nothing can stop Americans from buying cars. In 2020, America's car dealers sold 14.5 million light-duty vehicles
But there is one thing getting in many people's way: the RMV. Long wait times and extensive forms encourage a lot of Americans to put off buying a new car. Yet you can avoid the inconvenience if you know what to do.
How does Mass RMV registration work? What about transferring registration from out-of-state? What are the fees?
Answer these questions and you can speed through the RMV today. Here is your quick guide.
The Massachusetts RMV does not register all vehicles under one mechanism. They separate vehicles purchased from dealers from the ones purchased from individuals
Vehicles Purchased From Dealers
To apply for registration, you need several things. You need to complete a Registration and Title Application.
This form requires you to have complete details about your vehicle. You must provide the make and model of it. You must also supply all of your personal information and that of any lienholders.
You must also have proof of auto insurance and ownership. You must show that you have a lawful presence in the United States through a driver's license or Social Security Number.
You cannot apply online. You must go to a licensed insurance agent and sign the application. You should then go to an RMV registration drop off center and deliver the form there
Centers require reservations to complete registration. This may take days or weeks. You will complete the process at your appointment.
You are not done once you have registered your vehicle. You must get an inspection and obtain a sticker within seven days of registration.
Vehicles Purchased From Individuals
For any vehicle you buy from a non-dealer, you need to complete the same application form. But you will also need the previous owner's certificate of title. They must tell you what the mileage of the vehicle is, so have that information available.
You must then go to a registration drop off center. Once you're done at the center, you need to wait for a few days for final approval.
Registration fees are not uniform. They vary by plate and vehicle type. Specialized plates can cost over a hundred dollars, while veterans can receive plates for free.
Title fees are independent of registration ones. A certificate of title fee can total 75 dollars.
You may also need to pay a 6.25 percent sales tax for anything you buy. This includes the purchase of the vehicle itself.
If you have a car you purchased out of state, you can drive it into the state. But if you intend to become a Massachusetts resident, you must register the car with the RMV.
Go to a licensed insurance agent in the state. Get an insurance policy from them and sign a Registration and Title application.
You must include the bill of sale and another document. If it's a new vehicle, you should include the certificate of origin. If you bought it from someone else, you should attach the previous owner's certificate of title.
You can receive these documents from someone out-of-state. They can mail it directly to the Registration Department with the RMV main office in Boston.
The state of Massachusetts defines a limited use vehicle broadly. It is any vehicle with multiple wheels that has a certificate of origin and a 17 character VIN. The vehicle has been certified to meet federal standards and it can operate up to 40 miles per hour.
If your vehicle has not been certified by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, you cannot operate it in the state. It may qualify as a moped elsewhere, but Massachusetts does not recognize it as such.
You can register your vehicle for passenger, commercial, and livery purposes. Like with registering cars, you must complete a Registration and Title form. You then make appointments with the RMV to finalize your application.
You can also transfer registration from out of the state into Massachusetts. You must purchase automobile insurance from a Massachusetts provider.
You then must fill out a Registration and Title form. Attach your out-of-state title and registration certificates to it. Then you can go to a drop off center followed by a service center to finish your application.
You can bring a leased vehicle into the state, but you must register it within Massachusetts. You follow the previously described process for transferring registration.
You must renew your registration every one or two years. You cannot do so if you have unpaid parking tickets, so check to see that you do not owe anything.
You can make a renewal online. You need your driver's license and Social Security numbers and an email address. You can also fill out a registration application and send it through the mail.
Dealing with government services has never been much of a breeze and bureaucracy might as well be synonymous with taking things slow. With Covid-19, things are even slower due to service centers having banned walk-ins and reduced the number of appointments.
Instead of waiting hours on the phone, then for the appointment, and then discovering you are missing an important document, you could just send the documents to us and let us handle the rest.
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