Motor Vehicle Excise

The Massachusetts Motor Vehicle & Trailer Excise is charged on every motor vehicle and trailer registered in the Commonwealth. According to state law, this excise imposed "for the privilege of using the roadways and for registering a motor vehicle." The registration process of a motor vehicle automatically triggers the assessment of the excise. 

The information on all excise tax bills comes directly and exclusively from information supplied to the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles. The motor vehicle excise tax is assessed at a rate of 2 ½% of taxable value. The taxable value is based solely on the Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (M.S.R.P.) in the Model Year of the vehicle and is depreciated based on the following depreciation schedule:

If the Calendar Year of the Tax is:The Taxable value is:
The calendar year prior to the Model Year50% of the M.S.R.P.
The same calendar year as the Model Year90% of the M.S.R.P.
The calendar year after the Model Year60% of the M.S.R.P.
The 2nd calendar year after the Model Year40% of the M.S.R.P.
The 3rd calendar year after the Model Year25% of the M.S.R.P.

The 4th calendar year after the Model Year,

and each year thereafter until the vehicle is taken off the road

10% of the M.S.R.P.

Motor Vehicle Excise bills are issued on a calendar-year basis, meaning that the registered owner should expect to receive a bill for each calendar year (or portion of a calendar year) in which the vehicle is registered. The bill is owed to the community where the vehicle or trailer was garaged either as of January 1, or as of the registration date for the year in which the vehicle is registered. Bills are mailed to the mailing address of the registered owner as indicated on the vehicle registration.


Since the Registered Owner of a leased vehicle is typically the leasing company, the leasing company will receive Motor Vehice Excise bills from the Town.  It is likely that the leasing company will expect to be reimbursed for the amount of the Motor Vehicle Excise based on the terms and conditions of the lease agreement.  However, for tax purposes, the leasing company is typically the Registered Owner of the vehicle, and consequently, bills from the Town will be issued to and collected from the leasing company.

Vehicles registered for a portion of a calendar year are eligible for pro-ration on a monthly basis. For new registrations, this occurs automatically. For cancelled or changed registrations, the owner should notify the Assessing Dept. and seek an adjustment to the bill

  • Questions concerning tax payments should be addressed Treasury/Customer Service at (781) 596-8856. 
  • Questions concerning billing errors or adjustments should be addressed to the Assessing Dept. at (781) 596-8858.