Under Massachusetts General Law Chapter 60A, all Massachusetts residents who own and register a motor vehicle must annually pay a motor vehicle excise tax for the privilege of registering said motor vehicle. While individual communities collect these excise taxes, it is the Registry of Motor Vehicles that compiles all the information which you see on the bill, according to the information on the motor vehicle registration.
The excise tax rate is $25 per $1,000 of the vehicle's value. It is charged for a full calendar year and billed by the community where the vehicle is usually garaged.
Your vehicle's value as shown on your bill for excise purposes isn't reflective of the actual purchase price or current "book value" of the vehicle. For excise tax purposes, the price paid and conditions are not considered. Instead, the value is a percentage of the manufacturer's original suggested retail price (MSRP) in the year of manufacture. Once a vehicle reaches its 5th year, that vehicle will remain at 10% of the original MSRP for the life of the vehicle. Please refer to the table below for the MSRP change over time.
Year you bought your vehicle
Vehicle value (% of manufacturer's list price)
Year before designated year of manufacture
Year of manufacture
Fifth Year and onwards
The vehicle’s value is determined and set by the Registry of Motor Vehicles, not by the Town and therefore it cannot be changed by the Town.
If you believe the value listed on your excise tax bill for your vehicle is incorrect, you will need to contact the Registry of Motor Vehicles excise tax division at (857)368-8180.
Excise tax is calculated by month, not by day or week. If you own any motor vehicle that has been registered for less than a full calendar year, you will pay the excise calculated on the entire month in which you registered that vehicle, as well as for the remaining months of the year.
For example, a vehicle registered on April 27th will receive an excise tax bill for April through December.