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  • Plate Surrender in Massachusetts

    Registering a car?

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    Surrendering your license plates comes into play in Massachusetts when moving out of state and after selling a vehicle.

    For more on these situations and other plate-transferring scenarios, read on.

    Moving to Massachusetts

    After establishing residency, register your car with the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV). Surrendering your old license plates is not required with the RMV, but may be mandated by your former state.

    For more on Massachusetts, your new home, visit our relocation guide.

    Moving from MA

    After registering your vehicle in your new state, cancel your registration with the RMV. Do this by surrendering your plates in person at any RMV full service office, or by mailing the plates to:

    • Registry of Motor Vehicles
    • Attn: Express
    • P.O. Box 55889
    • Boston, MA 02205-5889

    Upon receiving, the RMV will send you a license plate return receipt.

    You’ll then need to provide your former Assessor’s Office with a copy of the plate receipt and documentation on the current whereabouts of your vehicle. Your Assessor’s Office will use this information for processing any excise tax adjustment that may be due.

    NOTE: When surrendering your plates by mail, be sure to include your new postal address.

    Be informed before beginning to pack by visiting our Moving Out of Massachusetts page.

    Selling a Used Car in Massachusetts

    Remove the plates before handing over the keys. If you decide to transfer them to another car, you have seven days to transfer the registration certificate and license plates. The vehicle must be a similar vehicle type.

    If you opt against transferring, surrender the license plates to the RMV. Follow the same steps described above.

    Check out our Title Transfers page for more selling information.

    Buying a Used Car in MA

    The seller removes the license plates. This means you’ll need to register the vehicle to obtain permanent Massachusetts license plates.

    For more buying insight, visit our Vehicle Title Transfers page.

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