How To Transfer a Car Title in Massachusetts

How to Transfer Car Title in Massachusetts

Are you a Massachusetts resident in the market for a new car? Or perhaps you're selling or gifting your vehicle to a new owner? Either way, one thing is clear - without a title, there's no evidence of ownership.

And in every state in the United States, including Massachusetts, every vehicle must possess a title registered in the owner's name. When a vehicle changes ownership, the title must also be transferred accordingly, and a certificate of title serves as an official document that verifies car ownership.

But don't worry - transferring the title in Massachusetts is a straightforward process that involves providing necessary information, paying fees, and submitting required paperwork.

In this article, we'll highlight everything you need to know about how to transfer a car title in Massachusetts, whether you're the buyer, the seller, or in the situation of a car gift.

So, if you're ready to take the next step in your car ownership journey, read on and discover the ins and outs of car title transfers in the Bay State!

Documents Needed To Transfer a  Car Title in Massachusetts

The following are documents required when transferring a car title in Massachusetts:

  • The initial document of title or the sales invoice, in case the vehicle is exempt from requiring a title.
  • The duly filled RMV-1 form.
  • Your valid driver's license. Both parties must be present if two individuals possess the title in their names.
  • Payment for all applicable fees and taxes in the form of a check.

Regarding title transfers from out-of-state:

  • Evidence of Massachusetts insurance, substantiated by the Registration and Title Application bearing an insurance stamp and signature.
  • Verification of ownership is accomplished through the presentation of a certificate of title or, if a lien is present on the vehicle, your registration from the previous state.
  • Payment for all relevant fees and taxes in the form of a check.

How To Transfer a Car Title in Massachusetts When You're the Buyer

For prospective buyers, the process of transferring the title is relatively straightforward. However, it does entail the completion of the following steps:

  • Ensure you obtain a duly filled title from the seller containing all the requisite information on the back. This includes the seller's name and address, the vehicle's mileage, et cetera.
  • Thoroughly fill out the Application for Registration and Title.
  • If there is no title due to the vehicle's age, you will require a bill of sale from the seller and the current registration certificate.
  • Obtain a lien release document from the seller as a precautionary measure.
  • Arrange for a comprehensive vehicle inspection and obtain the necessary inspection sticker.
  • Within ten days from the date of procurement, compile all the information mentioned above and proceed to the RMV office, accompanied by the $75 transfer fee and 6.25% sales tax.

Common errors made when transferring a car title as a buyer include the following:

  • Refrain from applying for a title within the specified 10-day period.
  • Failing to acquire a lien release document from the seller.

How To Transfer a Car Title in Massachusetts When You're the Seller

Sellers in Massachusetts are also required to fulfill several essential steps. These include the following:

  • Thoroughly and precisely fill out the designated fields on the reverse side of the title.
  • Acquire a lien release document or seek guidance from the lienholder regarding the proper procedures for transferring the title.
  • Retrieve and detach the license plates. Subsequently, within seven days, affix them to another vehicle or surrender them to the RMV.
  • When the car lacks a title, provide the buyer with a comprehensive bill of sale containing all the relevant information typically found on the title document.

How To Transfer a Car Title in Massachusetts After a Lease Buyout

In Massachusetts, an advanced electronic lien and vehicle title system is implemented, resulting in a paperless process.

As such, the vehicle title remains stored within the Electronic Lien and Title (ELT) system until one of the following circumstances arises:

  1. The loan is fully repaid, prompting the lien holder to initiate contact with the RMV.
  2. The vehicle is traded to a dealer.
  3. The vehicle is involved in a wreck, leading to the insurance company satisfying the remaining balance.
  4. The lien holder requests a physical copy of the title to be mailed to them.

Whenever these situations occur, the RMV prints the vehicle title and dispatches it to the appropriate destination, such as the owner, lien holder, or insurance company, on a subsequent day.

How To Transfer a Car Title in Massachusetts When You Have an Out-of-State Title

After establishing residency in Massachusetts, it is imperative to promptly register your vehicle, as the law does not afford a grace period for such circumstances.

To process the transfer of your vehicle's registration and title from another state, you must furnish the following documentation:

  1. Substantiation of a valid Massachusetts insurance policy, substantiated by the Registration and Title Application containing an insurance stamp and signature.
  2. Verify ownership via a certificate of title (if a lien is present on the vehicle, you will require the registration documentation from your previous state).
  3. Payment of all applicable fees.

Title Transfer Cost in Massachusetts

In the state of Massachusetts, a fee of $75 is requisite for the transfer of vehicle titles.

When acquiring a new vehicle, an additional responsibility that involves remitting the sales tax predicated on the NADA value corresponding to the purchase price becomes yours.

It is essential to remember the obligation to satisfy registration fees. Ensuring the attainment of an insurance stamp holds paramount significance.

To meet the requisite standards, the vehicle must undergo a thorough inspection within seven days from the purchase date.

How To Transfer a Car Title in Massachusetts If It is Gifted or Inherited

Massachusetts grants the allowance for cars to be bestowed as gifts or inherited. The absence of sales tax liability becomes evident when gifting a vehicle to immediate family members (such as parents, children, siblings, or spouses).

The gifting process aligns with the previous description, albeit with the additional requirement for the recipient to duly complete the Sales Tax Exemption form.

In the case of inheriting a car, a similar procedure applies, albeit with specific requisites. You will complete an Affidavit of Surviving Spouse if you are the surviving spouse.

You must complete an Affidavit supporting a Claim for Exemption from Sales Transferred within a Family, alongside an Application for Registration and Title.

It is crucial to accompany these documents with the death certificate when visiting the RMV.

How To Complete the Title Transfer Form in Massachusetts

When engaging in the procurement or sale of an automobile, it is imperative to transfer the ownership by endorsing the existing title to the new owner.

On the reverse side of the title, all individuals listed as owners on the front must meticulously inscribe and authenticate their names while affixing the transaction date.

It is crucial to record the precise odometer reading. This discrepancy must be explicitly acknowledged if the displayed mileage does not accurately reflect the actual distance the vehicle covers.

For all buyers aspiring to be included as registered owners on the new title, their signatures and endorsement dates are mandatory.

Subsequently, the RMV-1 form must be diligently completed. The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), names of the buyers, and the agreed-upon purchase price must precisely correspond with the details specified on the title being transferred.

Any alteration, whether through erasure or the use of correction fluid, on the original title renders the application invalid in the eyes of the DMV.

How To Get a Duplicate Title in Massachusetts

Unless the prospective automobile you are considering is classified as an antique, it is expected to possess a readily available certificate of title that will be handed over to you upon completing the purchase.

Suppose the seller claims the misplacement or illegibility of the original certificate. In that case, they are responsible for instigating the necessary procedures to acquire a duplicate title before concluding the transaction.

The full extent of the title transfer fees is optional when obtaining a duplicate title. A mere cost of $25 is incurred, and this can be conveniently requested online by utilizing the vehicle identification number.

It is essential to note that the new certificate may take up to three weeks to get to you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I transfer a car title without a physical title document?

Massachusetts implemented an electronic lien and title (ELT) system, allowing paperless title transfers. Therefore, the title remains within the ELT system in many cases, and physical documents may not be required. However, specific situations, such as out-of-state transfers or certain exemptions, may necessitate a physical title document.

Are there any exemptions or waivers for title transfer fees?

Generally, Massachusetts does not provide exemptions or waivers for title transfer fees. However, certain circumstances, such as gifts or inheritances within immediate family members, may qualify for sales tax exemptions or reduced fees.

What happens if there are errors or alterations on the original title document?

If there are errors or alterations on the original title document, the Massachusetts DMV may not accept the application for title transfer.

Ensuring the accuracy and integrity of the information in the title is crucial. Any modifications or corrections should be made through proper channels, and erasures or white-outs on the original title are generally not permissible.

What is the timeline for completing a car title transfer in Massachusetts?

The timeline for completing a car title transfer in Massachusetts can vary based on various factors, including document processing efficiency and the accuracy of the submitted information.