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Motor Vehicle Excise
Motor Vehicle Excise Tax

The motor vehicle excise tax is imposed on every motor vehicle and trailer registered in Massachusetts.  The tax is imposed for the privilege of using the roadways and for registering a motor vehicle.  The registration process of a motor vehicle automatically triggers the assessment of the excise.

Excise bills are prepared by the Registry of Motor Vehicles according to the information on the motor vehicle registration.  The Town receives the bills via electronic media from the Registry of Motor Vehicles, mails the bills and collects the tax.  The Town does not set the value of the vehicle or compile the information on your bill.

The statewide motor vehicle excise tax rate if $ 25.00 per $ 1,000 of valuation.  The original (model year) value is based upon the manufacturer’s list price according to the N.A.D.A. Blue Book.  This taxable value is adjusted each year in accordance with the following schedule:

Year prior to model year:
Model year:
Second year:
Third year:
Fourth year:
Fifth year and each year thereafter:

Motor Vehicle Excise Tax bills are issued on a calendar-year basis.  The bill is owed to the community where the vehicle or trailer was garaged as of January 1.  The address of the registrant is based upon the registration address provided by the owner to the Registry of Motor Vehicles.

Vehicles registered for a portion of a calendar year are eligible for proration based upon whole months.  For new registrations, this occurs automatically.  For cancelled or changed registrations, it is up to the owner to notify the Board of Assessors.  The minimum assessment for a motor vehicle excise tax is $ 5.00.

Owners of vehicles registered as of January 1 can expect to receive a bill by late February or early March.  A new registration normally produces a bill two to three months afterwards.

The most common source of taxpayer confusion arises when a vehicle is registered late in the calendar year.  This generates a tax bill early in the next calendar year, which may be followed soon thereafter by a full year bill for the new calendar year.  Each bill identifies the year prominently.  Taxpayers should make not of the year of the bill when paying an excise tax.


The most common reason for a tax bill to be issued for a vehicle that is no longer on the road is failure of the owner to return plates to the Registry of Motor Vehicles.  If a vehicle no longer on the road retains the plate registration, the bill may not be abated until it is sold or junked and the plate is returned to the Registry of Motor Vehicles.

The most common reason for a tax bill to be issued to a former place of residence is the failure to notify the Registry of Motor Vehicles of the address change or the new place of garaging.

Please note:  Failure to receive the bill does not negate the bill, you will be held responsible for all interest and charges if the bill is not paid by the due date.  Additionally, the Town of Sturbridge does not accept partial payments of an excise bill.

Questions concerning tax payments should be addressed to the Collector at (508) 347-2509.  Questions concerning abatements should be directed to the Assessor’s office at (508) 347-2503.

For additional information regarding motor vehicle excise please click here.

Town of Sturbridge 308 Main Street, Sturbridge MA 01566
Phone: (508) 347-2500    Fax: (508) 347-5886
The Town of Sturbridge is an equal opportunity provider and employer.
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