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How to Title a Vehicle in Massachusetts

A new car titlein Massachusetts is an important legal document, asit provides proof of ownership for a newly manufactured vehicle when one is purchased from a dealer. A vehicle title is needed when purchasing a new car from a dealership or a used car from a private seller. Vehicles purchased from individuals will already have titles issued to them in the previous owner’s name. In these cases, sellers and new owners will need to know how to get a car title transfer rather than a new vehicle title altogether. A title transfer, sometimes casually referred to as car title renewal, is required to update a used vehicle’s title to reflect the new ownership.

The process of how to get a car title depends on several factors. New vehicles purchased from dealers must be titled differently than used vehicles purchased from private owners. The process of getting a vehicle titlefor cars purchased out-of-state is not the same as the process for vehicles purchased in Massachusetts. Boats, snowmobiles, ATVs and other primarily off-road vehicles can require titles.

Vehicle owners may apply for initialtitle registration and transfers of automobiles in person at a Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) office or by mail. However, an initial title and atitle renewalfor other types of vehicles are handled by the Massachusetts Environmental Police Bureau of Registration and Titling rather than the RMV. Different rules and requirements apply.

When To Get A Vehicle Titlein Massachusetts

Vehicle owners must apply for a Massachusetts RMV car titlewhenever they acquire a new vehicle. An auto title is necessary after purchasing a vehicle, whether new or used, and receiving one as a gift. Under Massachusetts law, new vehicle owners have 10 days from the date they purchased or were gifted a vehicle to apply for a title. AnRMV title renew or transfer request for recently purchased used vehicles are subject to the same limit.

Many Massachusetts motorists use the term “title registration” to refer to the title application process. However, it is important for vehicle owners to be aware that titling and registering vehicles are separate processes. Although drivers can use the same form to title and register a car, titles are a permanent form of documentation. Titles may be updated or transferred but they do not expire and do not need to be renewed. Vehicle registrations, by contrast, do expire and must regularly be renewed. New owners will need to get a new car title in MA when they purchase a vehicle, as it is not possible to complete a car title renewal to change the owner information.

Applying for aNew Car Title in Massachusetts

To get a new car title in Massachusetts, vehicle owners must begin by completing the correct RMV application. They will also need to supply the RMV with proof that they legally own the vehicle and have secured insurance for it. Motorists may apply for an auto title in person or by mail.Standard fees will apply.

When a driver purchases a new vehicle from a dealer, the dealer may assist them in the new car titling process by filling out a portion of the necessary RMV form. However, the dealer cannot complete the form entirely because the motorist’s insurance agent must stamp it. The insurance agent’s stamp serves as evidence for the RMV that the vehicle is properly insured. If the motorist is requesting anRMV car title for a vehicle purchased from an in-state dealer, then the dealer must sign the application form. Licensed Massachusetts insurance agents must sign the form in the dealer’s place if a motorist purchased his or her vehicle from an out-of-state dealer.

To request a Massachusetts vehicle title, motorists must submit their application, payment and proof that they legally own their vehicle to the RMV. Drivers can do this in person at an appropriate RMV service center or by mail. State sales tax will be assessed on the vehicle being titled when the application is processed.

Applying for a Used Vehicle Title in Massachusetts

Drivers who need a Massachusetts auto title for a used vehicle they have purchased or otherwise come into possession of will follow a similar process. The same form needed to get a new car title can be used to title a used vehicle. Although there will not usually be a dealer available to assist in the case of used car purchases, the form must be fully and accurately filled out. Blanks or errors will delay or prevent the RMV from issuing a title. Applications, supporting documents and payments may be submitted to the RMV in person or by mail.

Like requests for new car titles, applications for used vehicletitles must be stamped by authorized Massachusetts insurance agents. The stamp is the only qualifying evidence that appropriate insurance has been taken out for the vehicle. No alternate forms of documentation will be accepted for that purpose, andnew title applications will not be processed if they have not been stamped.Cars purchased from individuals (as opposed to dealers) will not have the same types of documentation that are available with newly manufactured vehicles. However, owners are still required to show acceptable proofs of ownership.

To get a car title issued by the RMV, a vehicle’s mileage at the time of sale must be recorded and included in the signed documentation supplied to the DMV. Where it appears is up to the buyer and seller. A legal bill of sale must be provided to the RMV with the title application. The previous owners’ title registration may contain a place to list the sale price of a vehicle. If it does not, then the sale price must be clearly listed on the bill of sale. (Sales tax will be assessed on vehicles bought and sold in private transactions at the time the vehicles are titled.) Payment sufficient to cover application fees and sales tax must be provided at the time an application for a car title is submitted.

Receiving an Auto Title in Massachusetts

RMV title renewals, or transfers, take the same amount of time to process as new car title applications. If all of the submitted paperwork is in order, then applications will be processed in six to eight weeks. Applications missing key paperwork or insufficiently filled out will be returned to motorists unprocessed.

RMV car titles are mailed to applicants’ addresses on record if the applicants own their vehicles outright. It is essential that applicants ensure their addresses are correctly listed on their applications and that they match the addresses on file for them at the RMV. Mismatches may delay drivers’ receipt of their titles.Applicants requesting auto titles for vehicles subject to liens will not receive their titles in the mail. Instead, the titles will be sent to the lienholders. The lienholders will then hold on to those titles until the vehicle has been paid off or is re-sold or disposed of through other means.

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