Motor Vehicle Excise Info

What is motor vehicle excise?
Chapter 60A of the Massachusetts General Laws imposes an excise on the privilege of registering a motor vehicle or trailer anywhere in the commonwealth of Massachusetts. The excise is billed by the community where the vehicle is principally garaged.

How is my motor vehicle excise tax calculated and when do I pay it?

All motor vehicle excise tax information comes directly from the records of the Registry of Motor Vehicles. You will be billed for the entire year by the community where your vehicle is principally garaged as of January 1. The rate is $25.00 per thousand of value for the calendar year. For vehicles registered after January 1, the bill is pro-rated by the number of months that the vehicle is on the road.

The valuation is a percentage of the vehicle’s original suggested retail price (sticker price) when new. Please make note of the following percentages:

  • In the year preceding the year of manufacture (i.e. 2018 model in 2017): 50%
  • In the year of manufacture: 90%
  • In the second year: 60%
  • In the third year: 40%
  • In the fourth year: 25%
  • In the fifth and succeeding years: 10%

All payments should be mailed to the Tax Collector at Town Hall: 1 Lafayette St., Wakefield, MA 01880 or at P.O. Box 269, Wakefield, MA 01880.

What if I no longer own a car?

If you receive a bill for a vehicle that you no longer own, or previously paid an excise bill and have since disposed of the vehicle, the Assessor's office can adjust the bill provided that you come to the office with:

A copy of the bill of sale and one of the following:

  • a plate-return receipt
  • an insurance cancellation form
  • a plate-lost-or-stolen receipt
  • new vehicle registration (in the event of a plate transfer).

If you alert the office prior to the bill's due date, an adjustment can be made to your bill. If the bill has already been paid, we can issue you a refund.