New to Massachusetts

SUMMARY: New Massachusetts Residents

If you're new to Massachusetts, something you'll need to do soon is visit your local Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) office and transfer your out-of-state driver's license and car registration. You'll also need to re-register to vote in the state as well as re-register as an organ donor, if you choose to. Military members may be exempt from certain requirements if you are stationed in MA but claim residency in another state.

Massachusetts State Departments

As you establish MA residency, there are a number of vehicle- and licensing-related tasks you'll need to complete. These are done with the MA Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV).

Additionally, you may interact with:

  • The Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, if you need to register a boat.
  • The Elections Division of the Secretary of the Commonwealth, if you wish to register to vote.

Register Your Car in Massachusetts

If you've brought your out-of-state car with you to MA, you'll need to register it with the RMV within 30 days of becoming a resident. You may also need to transfer your certificate of title over to Massachusetts, depending on your vehicle type. For more information, see our Car Registration in Massachusetts page.

Special Vehicles

If you own a special vehicle, such as an off-road vehicle, moped, or motorhome, your registration and licensing requirements may be different. See our page on Special Vehicles in MA for specific information.

Mandatory Car Insurance

Before your car can be registered in MA, you'll need appropriate auto insurance coverage. While you may already have insurance coverage from your previous state, this may be a good opportunity to compare quotes and make sure you're getting the best value for your money. Our Car Insurance section can help you with this.

Safety & Emissions Inspection Requirements

Once your vehicle is registered, you have 7 days to complete a vehicle inspection. The RMV has this requirement in order to ensure your car is safe to drive and is not causing excess harm to the environment. For more information visit our Car Inspections guide.

MA Driver's License & ID Cards

Adult Drivers

Once you're a resident of Massachusetts you must transfer your out-of-state driver's license immediately. You will need to visit your local MA RMV office in person with a number of documents and surrender your out-of-state license. For more information, visit our Applying for a New License page.

Teen Drivers

If you're a teenage driver, you may be eligible for a MA driver's permit as long as you meet the RMV's requirements. See our guide to Applying for a New License (Teen Drivers) for more information.

NOTE: If you need a commercial driver's license (CDL), see our Applying for a New CDL page.

Identification Cards

If you don't wish to drive in MA, you can apply for an identification card to use as proof of your age and identity instead. For application instructions, including fees, visit our page on Identification Cards in Massachusetts.

Organ Donor & Voter Registration

If you were registered to vote and/or registered as an organ donor in your previous state, you'll need to re-register in MA.

Voter Registration

Make sure you're eligible to vote on the next election date by registering to vote in MA once you move. You can do this when you apply for a MA driver's license or ID card, or at another time separately.

Organ Donor Registration

Organ donation positively affects many lives. If you were registered as a donor in your previous state, you'll need to re-register as an organ donor with Massachusetts registry now that you're a resident. For registration information, and to learn more about how becoming a donor gives hope to many people, visit our Massachusetts Organ Donation page.

Military Members Stationed in MA

If you're not a resident of MA, but here temporarily to fulfill your military obligations, read our Drivers in the Military page for some helpful information. You may find some information that applies to both you and your family who are in MA with you.

MA DMV Locations & Resources

When you're ready to head to the MA RMV with your required paperwork, use our office finder tool to locate your nearest office.

It's also a good idea to read the RMV's manuals and make sure you know all the road rules in your new state:

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