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Car Registration in Massachusetts

Getting a vehicle registration renewal in Massachusetts is essential when owning a car, truck, motorcycle or many other types of motor vehicles. The process for how to renew car registration is possible through a variety of methods including online, in person and by mail. Failing to renew car registration can result in potential penalties like fines and citations from law enforcement. The Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) manages all matters regarding the registration and title of all vehicles in the state. The RMV is able to renew motor vehicle registration, notify citizens when it is time to renew and more.

How to Renew Car Registration

To renew vehicle registration, petitioners must have an active insurance policy for the car, truck or motorcycle. The process for a DMV vehicle registration renewal typically happens every one or two years. The RMV requires updated information from residents regarding insurance information in order to issue a decal that will make the car legal for driving. To renew car registration in Massachusetts, residents have four options for how to apply, they are:

  • By phone.
  • Online.
  • In person.
  • By mail.

Renew Car Registration: By Phone

The Registry of Motor Vehicles allows residents to renew car registration by phone. Renewing car registration by phone requires that residents receive approval from the RMV. The RMV mails a notification regarding renewal sometime in advance. In the renewal, residents will be notified of the application methods available to them. The notification includes a Phone ID for residents who may renew car registration by phone. The process requires that applicants provide:

  • Registration number.
  • Name and address of vehicle owner.
  • Method of payment (Visa, debit card, etc.)

To renew by phone call: 866-MassRMV (866-627-7768).

Renew Car Registration: Online

The Registry of Motor Vehicles allows residents to renew car registration via the internet. The process for how to renew car registration online involves slightly different information than the by phone, mail or in person process. The process requires that applicants provide the following:

  • Last four digits of Social Security Number
  • Driver’s license number
  • Email Address
  • Method of payment (Visa, debit card, etc.)

Renew Car Registration: In Person

The Registry of Motor Vehicles allows residents to renew car registration in person at any DMV location. The process to renew an expired car registration in person requires that applicants complete a renewal application and provide a method of payment to any of the following locations:

  • RMV Service Centers
  • AAA branches with RMV services provided to members
  • Electronic Vehicle Registration (EVR) provider (certain dealers and insurance agents)

Note: To renew car registration in MA at an RMV Service Center, officials will accept cash, checks and money orders. However, certain payments vary depending on the particular office location. Call an RMV Service Center ahead of time to discuss which payment methods officials will accept.

Renew Car Registration: By Mail

The Registry of Motor Vehicles allows residents to renew a car registration by mail. The process for renewing car registration by mail requires that applicants complete a renewal application and send a check or money order (payable to MassDOT) to the following location:

Registry of Motor Vehicles

Attention: Mail-In Registration Department

PO Box 55891

Boston, MA 02205-5891

Note: To renew expired car registration, residents must provide a completed Vehicle Registration Renewal form. The car registration renewal document is provided by the RMV via mail. However, if the renewal application is not received, lost or destroyed, it is available to print via internet download.

Wait Time

For residents renewing an expired car registration by mail, phone or online, there is a wait time of up to 10 business days (two weeks). The RMV will send the new decal and registration via mail when using any of these methods. However, in-person vehicle registration renewal will provide a new registration and decal on the spot.

Leased Vehicles

The vehicle registration renewal process is different for individuals who lease a vehicle like a car, truck or trailer. The car registration renewal form is mailed to the leasing company. Additionally, renewing car registration by mail, online or by phone will mean that the decal is mailed to the leasing agency as well. Failing to receive a new registration and decal before the expiration date of an existing registration should prompt citizens to contact the leasing agency.

When is renewing car registration required?

The Registry of Motor vehicles will notify residents when it is time to renew car registration in Massachusetts by mail. The car registration renewal notification will provide many details regarding a vehicle. However, most vital for residents include the renewal form and the allowable renew options (online, phone, etc.). For a passenger vehicle, motorcycle or trailer the RMV requires that the car registration renewal process occurs on or around the date of expiration which is one to two years after the date of renewal.

A car registration renewal in Massachusetts is not possible if:

  • A vehicle registration is suspended or revoked.
  • Owner has unpaid tickets, EZ Pass violations or other such outstanding debts.

Car Registration Renewal Penalties and Fees

Failing to renew car registration in MA is a violation of DOT rules and regulations. Renewing car registration provides the vehicle with an updated decal with the year in which the registration is set to expire. However, law enforcement may pull over drivers without the decal and issue a warning or a citation. Repeated violations of this kind will incur penalties and fess.

Following the DMV vehicle registration renewal information listed here will help drivers avoid costly tickets or worse.

The cost of renewing car registration in Massachusetts for military personnel is different from the average citizen. Renewing car registration for active members of the U.S. armed forces and disabled veterans is free of charge. However, members of the National Guard and non-disabled military veterans are required to furnish vehicle registration renewal fees.

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