Motor Vehicle Excise Tax Abatement

Excise Tax Valuation

Excise bills are prepared by the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) according to the information on the motor vehicle registration. They are then sent to each municipality for distribution and collection of payment. Values are set by the RMV according to the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) for vehicles in their year of manufacture. All valuation issues should be directed to the Registry of Motor Vehicles to be corrected at the source. Present market value, price paid, and condition are not considered for excise tax purposes.  Excise tax bills are calculated with a tax rate of $25 per one thousand dollars of valuation.  Formula for excise tax valuation is as follows.

Valuation by Model Year

Year Relative to Model YearExcise Tax Valuation
In the year preceding the model year50% of MSRP
In the model year90% of MSRP
In the second year60% of MSRP
In the third year40% of MSRP
In the fourth year25% of MSRP
In the fifth and all succeeding years10% of MSRP

If you have any questions about your vehicle's value, please contact the Registry of Motor Vehicles: (857) 368-8080 press 0 for a live person.


You may be eligible for an excise tax abatement if the vehicle is sold, traded, junked, totaled or otherwise disposed of and the plates are cancelled or  transferred to another vehicle.  If the vehicle is disposed of and the plates are not transferred or cancelled, no abatement can be issued; or if the plates have been cancelled or transferred but the original vehicle is not disposed of, no abatement can be issued.  

The Application for Abatement must be received by the Assessor within three years after the excise is due, or one year after the excise is paid, whichever is later. If a vehicle is registered for any part of any month in a calendar year, the excise tax is assessed for the entire month.

No abatement or refund of less than $5 may be made. 

To apply for abatement, follow these steps:

  1.  Download and sign Application for Abatement of Motor Vehicle Excise Form 126-MVE (PDF)
  2. Supporting documentation listed in Section D of the application form.
  3.  Email to the Assessor both the signed application form and the supporting documentation. Or mail to:
    29 Middle Road
    Boxborough, MA 01719

Note: Make sure to attach the signed form and supporting documentation in the same email.  Incomplete application will not be processed for abatement.

Filing an abatement application does not mean that collecting the excise tax has stopped. In order to avoid accruing interest, charges, and collection action, you must pay the excise taxes as invoiced by the specified due date to the tax collector.

Active Duty Military or Handicapped Veteran

  • A veteran must have actually lost, or have the permanent loss of use of, at least one foot or hand, or have permanent legal blindness in at least one eye, due to his or her military service. A veteran who does not have one of those specific disabilities can also qualify for an excise exemption if the RMV’s Medical Advisory Board (MAB) has determined that the veteran is permanently disabled due to his or her military service. Veterans who the Medical Advisory Board (MAB) determines have permanent service-connected disabilities and are eligible for a disabled veteran (DV) plate can receive the exemption by evidence of their DV plate or providing a copy of their MAB letter.
  • Military soldiers and sailors who are stationed in Massachusetts due to military orders will need to provide a letter from their commanding officer establishing their absence from their domicile state due to compliance with military orders.

Handicapped non-veterans will be required to provide documentation of certification by a physician of the existence of total loss of use as per Massachusetts General Law Chapter 60A, Section 1.

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