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Registration Renewal in Massachusetts
Massachusetts requires you to renew the registration on your vehicle with the MA Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) whenever your registration expires. There are a number of ways to renew the registration and keep your vehicle legal, all of which are outlined below.
The Massachusetts RMV will send a registration Renewal Form (RMV-2) to you in the mail 6-8 weeks before your registration expires. The notice reminds you to renew your registration, as well as whether or not you need a stamp from your MA insurance agent.
Didn’t Receive a Renewal Form?
There are a number of reasons you may not receive a renewal form in the mail; if it was mailed to the wrong address, you should still make sure to renew by your expiration date.
However, some more serious reasons for not receiving a renewal form will prevent you from renewing altogether. These reasons include:
- Any unpaid parking tickets, taxes, or vehicle citations.
- Unpaid child support.
- Outstanding arrest warrants.
- Incorrect address on file.
If any of these scenarios apply, you will not receive your registration renewal form and will be barred from renewal until you present original documents from the agencies in which you have obligations proving you have taken care of all issues keeping you from renewing your registration.
If you did not receive your renewal form, and none of the issues above pertain to you, you can complete an Application to Renew (RMV-3) in place of the Renewal Form (RMV-2). You will need to bring the form to your insurance agent for their stamp before going in to the RMV.
You can renew your registration online, by phone, by mail, or in person.
You can renew your registration online if:
- The vehicle is owned by an individual (not a company/organization).
- Your renewal form says the insurance stamp is not needed.
- You have a MasterCard, Visa, Discover, or American Express credit card in order to pay the fees.
Go to the MA Registry of Motor Vehicles registration renewal page and follow the instructions to complete your registration renewal. You will need:
- Your plate type.
- The plate/registration number.
- A valid e-mail address.
Your registration certificate and decal will arrive in the mail at the address listed in the RMV’s database. If you need to change your mailing address, visit our Changing Your Address page for steps.
Renew by Phone
You can renew your registration by phone if:
- Your vehicle is owned by an individual (not a company/organization).
- Your renewal form indicates you do NOT need an insurance stamp.
- You have a valid credit/debit card (VISA, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover) for fee payment.
There are different phone numbers depending on what area code you are calling from:
- (857) 368-8000
- Area codes 339, 617, 781, 857.
- Outside of Massachusetts.
- (800) 858-3926
- All other Massachusetts area codes.
- (877) 768-8833 if you are hearing impaired and located in Massachusetts.
The MA RMV call center hours are Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Renew by Mail
You can renew your registration by mail if:
- You have completed either the Renewal Form (RMV-2) or the Application to Renew (RMV-3).
- Your insurance agent has stamped and signed the renewal form, if required.
- There are no outstanding tickets, warrants, or obligations.
Send the RMV-2 or the RMV-3 form, along with a check or money order, to the MA RMV at:
ATTN: Mail-In Registration
Registry of Motor Vehicles
P.O. Box 55891
Boston, MA 02205-5891
Renew In Person
You can visit your MA RMV service center in person to renew your registration. You will need:
- A completed Renewal Form (RMV-2) or an Application to Renew (RMV-3).
- The form should be stamped and signed by your insurance agent if required.
- Check, money order, or credit cards in order to pay all fees.
- Original documents releasing you from all obligations by agencies that were blocking your registration renewal.
- Passenger Vehicles
- Regular plates: $50 (2-year renewal).
- Reserve plates (keep plate number): $90 (2-year renewal).
- Vanity plates: $75 (1-year renewal).
- Regular plates: $20 (1-year renewal).
- Reserve plates (keep plate number): $40 (1-year renewal).
- Vanity plates: $70 (1-year renewal).
- Replacement/duplicate registration: $10.
Fees for commercial vehicles vary based on vehicle weight, plate type, etc. A complete list of license plates and fees can be found on the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles Schedule of Fees.
Every vehicle in Massachusetts must have car insurance. If your renewal form says that an insurance stamp is required, your insurance agent will need to stamp the form and sign it so you can renew your registration.
If the MA RMV has your insurance information on record, your renewal form will say that an insurance stamp is not required.
If you do not get a Renewal Form (RMV-2), and have nothing blocking you from renewing your registration, you will need to get an Application to Renew (RMV-3) from your insurance agent with a stamp and signature.
All Massachusetts cars and trucks must get safety and emissions inspections annually. The inspections are not tied directly to renewing your registration, but your vehicle inspection must be current when you do renew.
Get more information on our Massachusetts Vehicle Inspections page.
Military personnel can renew their vehicle registration(s) online, by phone, or through the mail if you are stationed out of state. If you are stationed in Massachusetts, you can also visit the MA RMV service center in person.
If you do not get a renewal form, contact your Massachusetts insurance agent to get a signed and stamped Application to Renew (RMV-3) so that you can renew by mail.
License plates, registration stickers, and registration certificates must be on or in the car at all times. They need to be in good condition and legible to be valid.
If your license plates are not legible from up to 60 feet away from the vehicle, or if the reflective coating has worn off, they must be replaced. If you need a replacement due to damage, age, or loss/theft, you can:
- Go to your local MA RMV service center.
- Call to order replacements:
- (857) 368-8000 (for area codes 339, 617, 781, 857, and outside MA).
- (800) 858-3926 (for all other MA area codes).
- (877) 768-8833 (touch-tone for hearing impaired).
The fees for replacement plates are $10 per plate. Because you will be getting matching number plates, the plates will have to be ordered. You will be given a temporary plate until your permanent one arrives.
If you need both license plates replaced, you will need to reapply for new plates and registration.
Green License Plate Exchange
Green license plates cannot be replaced with the same plate number you currently have; you will need to exchange them for the new red license plates.
Go to our page on License Plates & Placards in Massachusetts for more information.Other Topics in This Section
True or False
- Register Car
- Registration Renewal
- Registration & Insurance
- Replacing a Lost Registration
- RV & Motorhome Registration
- Custom Built Car Registration
- Boat Registration and Licenses
- Title Transfers
- Replacing a Lost Title
- Salvaged Vehicles
- Special Vehicles
- Drivers with Disabilities
- License Plates & Placards
- Smog & Emission Checks
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