Motor Vehicle Excise

What Reasons May I File for Abatement on Motor Vehicle Excise?
A taxpayer who supplies copies of requested documentation may file for and receive an abatement for any of the following reasons: 

 - Transfer of ownership of the vehicle. Bill of sale or trade in agreement and cancellation of the registration or new registration showing plate has been transferred to another vehicle.
 - Moved outside of Massachusetts.  Registration in that state and cancellation of the Massachusetts registration.
 - Vehicle stolen or total loss.  Police report or insurance settlement letter and plate return receipt, C-19 Form (Affidavit of Lost or Stolen Plate from RMV) or new registration showing plate has been         transferred to another vehicle.
 - Re-registered the vehicle.  Plate cancellation and new registration of the vehicle. 
 - Vehicle donated or junked.  Letter of donation or receipt from junk yard and plate return receipt or new registration showing plate has been transferred to another vehicle.
 - Vehicle repossessed.   Notice from lienholder and plate return receipt or new registration showing plate has been transferred to another vehicle.
 - Vehicle returned (Lemon Law).  Letter from dealer certifying return and plate return receipt or new registration showing plate has been transferred to another vehicle. 
 - Moved within the State of Massachusetts.  Proof RMV was notified before January 1 of address and principal place of garaging has been updated for registration.  NOTE: You must notify the RMV within 30 days of moving and before January 1 to be billed by your new city or town next year.
 - Overvaluation.  Letter from the Registry of Motor Vehicles stating the corrected value of the car.
 - Exemptions.  Certain individuals, organizations or entities are exempt from motor vehicle excise.  Individuals who lost both legs or both arms, have permanent loss of use of both legs or both arms or permanent impairment of vision.  Certain disabled veterans.  Certain domiciliary and non-domiciliary military personnel.  Please contact our department at 781-934-1100 ex 6010 for further instructions regarding paperwork needed.

How Do I Apply for a Motor Vehicle Abatement?
To apply for an abatement (or refund if excise has been paid), please scan (or take a screenshot of) the specified documentation and e-mail your request for abatement to Trudi Boc at or mail copies of documents to the Town of Duxbury, Assessing Department, 878 Tremont Street, Duxbury, MA  02332.  Filing an application does not stay the collection of your excise bill.  To avoid interest, charges and collection action, including non-renewal of your registration, you must pay the bill in full within 30 days of its issue date.  Abatement requests must be received by the assessors within three years after the excise was due, or one year after the excise was paid, whichever is later.

How Do I Cancel My Plates or Check the Status of my Registration?
You can check the status of your regristation and plates by going to the Registry of Motor Vehicle's link: 
When you arrive at this site, scroll midway down the page until you see a box marked "Registration" to the right of the page.  You should then see various options including how to cancel or check the status of your registration.

What is Motor Vehicle Excise?
The motor vehicle excise is a tax assessed on owners of all registered motor vehicles.

Where is the Vehicle Assessed? 
The city or town where the vehicle is customarily garaged, assesses the motor vehicle excise.  A vehicle is presumed to be customarily garaged at the owner’s residential address or principal place of business, as determined by the owner’s registration. If the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) is notified that the vehicle is actually garaged in some other city or town, that municipality assesses the excise.

What Time Period is the Vehicle Assessed? 
The motor vehicle excise is assessed on a calendar year basis. Vehicles registered as of January 1, and during the month of January, are assessed for the full calendar year. Vehicles registered after January 31 are assessed for the month the vehicle is registered and the months remaining in the calendar year.  (For example, a vehicle registered on March 14th will be billed an excise for the month of March through December.)

What is the Motor Vehicle Tax Rate?
The excise rate is $25 per thousand of the vehicle valuation.

How is the Amount Assessed Calculated?
The motor vehicle excise for a full calendar year is determined by multiplying the excise rate by the vehicle’s excise value for a given year. That amount is pro-rated for the number of months the vehicle is registered in that year.  For excise purposes, the value is not based on the purchase price or “book value” of your vehicle.  Instead, it is based on a percentage of the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the vehicle at the time of its manufacture.  The percentage declines over several years until it reaches 10 percent of of the MSRP in the fifth year after manufacture and all succeeding years for the life of the vehicle. The excise value for a particular year is determined by multiplying (1) the manufacturer’s retail price by (2) the applicable percentage.

Excise Percentage Calculation Chart:

Year before designated year of manufacture... 50%
Year of manufacture......................................... 90%
Second year...................................................... 60%
Third year.......................................................... 40%
Fourth year........................................................ 25%
Fifth and succeeding years ...............................10%

The minimum motor vehcile excise is $5.  (If your calculated excise is less than $5, you will be taxed $5.)