When am I eligible for motor vehicle excise abatement?

Please note that an application for abatement does not mean that you do not pay your Motor Vehicle Excise Tax. In the event that an abatement is granted due to sale, trade, theft, loss, etc, the amount abated will be refunded to you. No abatement shall be granted for less than $5.00, and no amount shall be refunded below $5.00. The Board of Assessors has authority to abate an excise tax bill only if an application is timely filed. To be filed in a timely manner, an application must be received on or before December 31st of the year following the year to which the excise tax bill relates. Once registered in the year, a bill can be abated only if the vehicle is sold, traded, junked, totaled or otherwise disposed of and the plates are transferred to another vehicle or cancelled. If the vehicle is disposed of and the plates are not transferred or cancelled, no abatement can be issued; or if the plates have been cancelled or transferred and the original vehicle is not disposed of, no abatement can be issued.

You may be eligible for an excise abatement in any of the situations listed below. Come in to the Assessors office to complete an Abatement Application and provide us with all the required documentation. All requested supporting documentation must be supplied for the bill to be abated.

  • Sold: Bill of sale and Plate Return Receipt or new registration if plate transferred.
  • Traded: New registration or Plate Return Receipt and Purchase Agreement citing vehicle as trade-in.
  • Stolen or Total Loss: Insurance Company Settlement Letter and C-19 form (Affidavit of Lost or Stolen Plate from Registry) or new registration if plate transferred.
  • Moved from Massachusetts: Registration from new state and a Plate Return Receipt.
  • Junked Vehicle: Receipt from junkyard and Plate Return Receipt or new registration is plate transferred.
  • Vehicle Returned to Dealer: Letter from dealer acknowledging receipt of vehicle and Plate Return Receipt or new registration if plate transferred.
  • Charitable Donation: Letter from Charity acknowledging receipt of vehicle and Plate Return Receipt or new registration if plate transferred.
  • Active Duty Non-Resident: When your excise tax abatement is processed you will receive an Abatement Certificate from the Board of Assessors. If a refund is due, a check will follow from the Tax Collector.

For questions about vehicle registration information or vehicle valuation, call the Registry of Motor Vehicles Excise Tax Correction Bureau at (617) 351-9380 or visit their website, to change your address or get general information.