Motor Vehicle Excise Abatement Fact Sheet

Motor Vehicle and Trailer Abatement Fact Sheet



An abatement is in order in the following cases:

When the motor vehicle is sold and the registration is cancelled or when the vehicle is traded for another vehicle.

 (Documents required:Bill of Sale or new car invoice showing trade-in AND Mass Plate Return Receipt)

When a registrant and motor vehicle are transferred to another state or country with proof of registration in such state or country AND proof of cancellation of registration in Massachusetts.

When a motor vehicle is overvalued.

When there is a subsequent registration of the same vehicle in the same year by the same person.

When the vehicle is stolen and notification of theft within 48 hours is given to police and certificate of registration surrendered not less than 30 days after the theft and certificate from the Registry verifies the same.

A proportionate abatement of the excise may be granted if any of the above conditions is met and the application is properly and timely filed.  Forms for applying for an abatement or refund are available from the Assessor’s Office, or online at

Applications for abatement will be considered timely filed if received by the Assessors within 3 years after the excise tax was due, or one year after the excise tax was paid, whichever is later.

Abatements are prorated monthly.  If a vehicle is registered for any part of a month, the excise will be due for all that month. 

You are not entitled to an abatement:

When you cancel your registration and retain ownership of your vehicle.

If you move to another Massachusetts city of town during the same calendar year.

If you cancel your registration and sell your vehicle in the month of December.