Paperwork Required When Buying a Car in Massachusetts

Last Updated on March 22, 2018 by Jason Mason

Buying a car can be exciting, but this exercise requires certain documents in order to have the vehicle registered and titled in your name. Once you agree to purchase a car, you will need to register and transfer the title by visiting your local Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV). Continue reading this article to get more information about the paperwork required when buying a car in Massachusetts.

Paperwork for Massachusetts Car Buyers

You must get the required documents from the seller and submit them to the Massachusetts RMV in order to register your car. The documents you need include:

  • Vehicle title.
  • Car Insurance.

Massachusetts Car Titles

A car’s title is the most important document that you must obtain from the seller. You will need this document in order to register your car. Massachusetts RMV warns against purchasing vehicles without a title. If the title is missing, the seller should apply for a duplicate copy and sign it over to you. So, when buying a car, make sure that:

  • Vehicle title is signed by both you and the seller.
  • The odometer reading section on the title is filled out by the seller.
  • The purchase price is properly included on the title.

If there is no space on the title to include the above information, obtain a filled bill of sale from the seller. If you buy a car from a dealer, they will handle paperwork for registration and titling on your behalf.

Massachusetts Title Transfer and Registration

Title transfer and registration is done on the same day. You will have 10 days to apply for a new title and 7 days if you are transferring the registration from an old vehicle. Generally, to register and transfer your car, you will need:

  • The signed title.
  • A bill of sale (if applicable).
  • Completed Form RMV-1 (Application for Registration and Title Form).
  • Show proof of insurance.
  • Pay title and registration fees: $75 title transfer fee. Sales tax, usually 6.25% of the purchase price. $25 registration and license plate fee or $60 for a new registration.

After Registration

Once your car is registered, you have to complete other things:

  • License Plates: You will either receive a new license plate or sticker. Stickers are issued for transferred plates. Make sure your new plate or sticker is on your car.
  • Safety and Emissions Inspection: Take your car to a nearby safety and emissions inspection center to have it inspected within 7 days from the date of registration.

Vehicle History Reports

To avoid vehicle fraud and to obtain correct information about the vehicle that you want to purchase, request a Vehicle History Report. This document is important since it contains detailed information on recent odometer readings, damage to the vehicle, repair history and other useful information.

Massachusetts Lemon Law

Massachusetts state has a lemon law which allows you to return a car to the seller or dealer for a refund if:

  • The sticker is rejected within 7 days from the date of purchase.
  • The car is found to be a lemon.

You must have a written statement from the inspection station that:

  • Estimates the cost of repairs.
  • Describes the reason the vehicle failed.
  • Is signed by the inspector.

If your vehicle meets the above conditions, you can return it to the seller within 14 days from the date of purchase accompanied with a certified letter from the inspector and request a refund or vehicle replacement.