Abatement Information

Motor vehicle excise tax bills are sent out several times during the year. Excise tax bills are due within 30 days from the date of issue. If unpaid after 30 days, a demand fee and other charges will be added to the original excise due. Failure to pay excise tax could lead to non-renewal of the taxpayers driver’s license and registration.

A partial abatement of the excise (or refund for an excise already paid) is appropriate in any of the following circumstances:

  • Move to another state or country with proof of registration in that state or country and cancelation of the Massachusetts registration
  • Conveyance (sale, junk, repossession, donation, total loss, etc.) of a vehicle with proof of registration cancelation or transfer and proof that taxpayer no longer retains possession of the vehicle. (i.e. bill of sale, junk yard receipt, repossession paperwork, donation receipt,  total loss statement from insurance company, etc.)

Motor vehicle abatements can be filed at the Assessor’s Office. Motor vehicle abatements are done when the vehicle was sold, traded, junked, totaled or donated. When applying for an abatement the Assessor’s office will need two forms of documentation. 

Per MGL Chapter 60A Section 1, proof the registration is no longer active on the vehicle that has been billed for and proof the vehicle is no longer in possession of the assessed owner. Please know that canceling your registration with the Registry of Motor Vehicle (RMV) does not entitle you to an abatement. Also, no excise tax bill will be reduced to less than $5

Documentation need for registration/plate:

  • Plate cancelation receipt from RMV or new registration showing plate transfer

Documentation needed for vehicle disposition:

  • Bill of sale
  • Copy of the title showing both seller and buyer
  • Trade-in (odometer statement, purchase and sales agreement)
  • Junkyard receipt
  • Total loss from insurance with vehicle identification number (VIN) and date of loss
  • Donation receipt 
  • And more... 

To determine if the documents you have are sufficient call the Assessor's Office at 978-453-2451 or reach out online!

Find more information on abatements.