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Q

Do I need my title to register a car in Massachusetts?


A

According to the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) if you registering and titled a vehicle purchased from a Massachusetts dealer you must:

  1. Have the dealer complete and sign an Application for Registration and Title (RMV-1).
  2. You then must go to a licensed Massachusetts insurance agent to obtain an active insurance policy and have the agent stamp and sign the RMV-1 application.

The RMV notes that if there is a lien against the vehicle, please make sure the lien holder information is complete and accurate.

  1. After verifying all information, sign the RMV-1 application. Along with the completed RMV-1 application, you must submit one of the following documents:

  2. If presenting the Certificate of Origin or the previous owner's title, be sure the date sold, the odometer reading and the purchase price have been completed on the back. The dealer or the previous owner(s) and you must sign the back of either of these forms.
  3. Take the completed RMV-1 application and supporting documents to the nearest full service RMV center.

If instead you are registering and titling a vehicle purchased from a non-dealer you must:

  1. You must go to a licensed Massachusetts insurance agent to obtain an active insurance policy and have the agent complete, stamp and sign an Application for Registration and Title (RMV-1).

Once again if there is a lien against the vehicle, please make sure the lien holder information is complete and accurate.

  1. After verifying all information, sign the RMV-1 application. Along with the completed RMV-1 application, you must submit one of the following documents:

    • The previous owner's title, if a titled vehicle (model year 1980 and newer), or
    • The bill of sale and proof of last Registration, if a non-titled vehicle.

  2. Federal and Massachusetts's laws require that the seller(s) state the mileage upon transfer of ownership. Also, both buyer(s) and seller(s) are required to sign and hand print their name and date the transfer document. If the previous title has a space for a sales price, the price must be filled in. If the previous title does not have a space for a sales price, a bill of sale showing the sales price must be submitted.
  3. Take the completed RMV-1 application and supporting documents to the nearest full service RMV.

So one does not need to show a title for all types of registration For example if it is a new vehicle from a dealer you instead would need to show a certificate of origin. Also if it is a non-titled vehicle the RMV then requires bill of sale and proof of last registration.

To find out if you need to a title in order to register your specific vehicle in your specific situation you should contact the MA Registry of Motor Vehicles.


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