Buying or Selling an Automobile in Massachusetts #car #transportation


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Buying or Selling an Automobile in Massachusetts

Massachusetts Lemon Laws

Massachusetts has laws that protect consumers when buying or leasing a new car. and buying a used car that does not meet expectations. These Lemon Laws require dealers to provide consumers with a written warranty against defects that impair a used vehicle’s use or safety, and require private parties to disclose any known use or safety defects.

Registration and Insurance

Separately, residents can apply for new plates or transfer an existing registration to a vehicle gifted by or purchased from a friend or family member. To do so, they will need:

Once collected, these materials should be taken to the nearest full-service RMV branch office .

For information on registering recreational vehicles, use resources from the Massachusetts Environmental Police .

Sales Tax

Sales tax equal to 6.25 percent of the vehicle’s purchase price is collected when a vehicle is bought from a dealer. In private sales, 6.25 percent of the purchase price or 6.25 percent of the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) trade-in value — whichever is higher — is collected on the purchase of any new or used vehicle in Massachusetts. If no clean trade-in value is available, a default value agreed upon by both the RMV and Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR) will be used.

If a vehicle is purchased outside of Massachusetts and sales tax is not paid in another state, sales tax must be submitted to Massachusetts by the purchaser. However, if sales tax was paid to the state of purchase, taxes may still be due to Massachusetts depending on the reciprocity relationship between states. A car purchased from a family member — or received as a gift — may be exempt from sales tax.

Vehicle Titles

A title is a document that indicates who has legal ownership of a vehicle. Anyone planning to buy or sell a used car (model year 1981 or newer) must have a title to transfer ownership so the buyer can register the vehicle. Without this, it cannot be registered.

Vehicles older than model year 1980 purchased by the current owner before November 26, 1990 can be registered without a title, as long as the bill of sale and a copy of the last registration for the vehicle are available.

Seven-Day Grace Period

In accordance with Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 90 Section 2 — also known as the Massachusetts Seven-Day Registration Transfer Law — if you transfer ownership or lose possession of a motor vehicle, you have a seven-day grace period to transfer registration to a new vehicle.

This period begins on the date you transfer ownership or lose possession of the first vehicle and ends at 5 p.m. seven calendar days afterward. For example, if you transfer ownership of your car at noon on July 1, the grace period would end at 5 p.m. July 8.

To qualify for this grace period the following conditions must be met:

  • You have an active registration and are at least 18 years of age
  • The newly acquired vehicle or trailer must be of the same type and have the same number of wheels as the previous vehicle or trailer
  • You must carry the transfer documents, which show the registration number to be transferred, in your vehicle
  • You have lost possession of or disposed of your previous vehicle
  • The registration plates must be attached to the newly acquired vehicle

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