Obtaining a Massachusetts Title

This section provides the Registry of Motor Vehicles' current laws and policies related to obtaining a Massachusetts Title. For information on types of vehicles that require a Title, please refer to the Vehicles That Need a Title section.


Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 90D requires all purchasers of motor vehicles and of trailers with a gross weight of more than 3,000 pounds to apply for a new Title within ten days of purchase. The law also requires anyone who builds a homemade trailer with a gross weight of more than 3,000 pounds to apply for a title within ten days of completion of the construction of the trailer. Failure to apply for a title and pay a sales/use tax, if due, as required may result in penalties and interest added to the original tax. This law applies to both new and used vehicles purchased or obtained by a dealer or private party.


There is no minimum customer age requirement, and a customer is not required to possess a valid driver's license in order to obtain a Title for a motor vehicle or trailer.


If an original Title has been lost, stolen, destroyed or mutilated, the owner(s) or the lienholder(s), if applicable, must apply for a Duplicate Title.


Once the application for a Certificate of Title is processed, the Registry will mail a new Certificate of Title within four to six weeks via First Class Mail. The Certificate of Title is mailed to the owner at the mailing address of record, unless a lienholder is listed on the Certificate of Title. In such cases, the Certificate of Title will be mailed to the lienholder. If the lienholder(s) is a participant in the Registry's Electronic Lien and Title (ELT) program, the lienholder(s) will be notified electronically of its recording of lien and a paper certificate will not be mailed until the lien has been satisfied.


At the time of application for a Title, the purchaser will be required to pay sales/use tax on the vehicle, with various rules and exceptions. For more information on sales/use tax, please see the Massachusetts Sales and Use Tax Requirements section.