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TRANSPORTATION / MOTOR VEHICLE INFORMATION

Drivers License
Newcomers must apply for a Massachusetts drivers license upon establishing residency. Those who hold a valid drivers license from another state or a Canadian province are not usually required to take the driving test. However, a written examination and a visual test are both required and all fees must be paid regardless of whether a specific test is taken. All applicants are required to present three forms of positive identification that individually or collectively confirm date of birth, Massachusetts residency, and your signature. You must have a valid Social Security number to apply for any permit, license, or ID including replacements and renewals. All documents must be originals.

Massachusetts has a graduated license law where young drivers begin with restrictions that are gradually removed as the driver advances from a learner’s permit through the junior operator license into full license privileges. Your Massachusetts license is valid for a maximum of five years and expires on your birthday. This credit-card style license features a photo image and serves as a valid form of identification throughout the Commonwealth for identity, residency, age, and signature. Licenses may be renewed up to one year prior to the expiration date either online or by visiting any RMV full service or license express office. Complete details on graduated licenses, testing regulations, fees, and test centers are available by contacting:

Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV)
800-858-3926
www.massrmv.com

RMV Online Transactions
www.massrmv.com/OnlineBranch.aspx
Renew drivers license
Renew vehicle registration
Change of address
Order special plates
Pay traffic tickets
Request a duplicate registration
Replace your drivers license
Replace your Massachusetts ID

New Resident Information
www.massrmv.com

Vehicle Registration
New residents of Massachusetts must immediate register all vehicles. No grace period applies. To convert your out-of-state vehicle registration, first visit a licensed Massachusetts insurance agent to obtain an active insurance policy and have the agent complete, stamp, and sign an application for registration and title (form RMV-1). If you have a lien on the vehicle, you will be required to surrender your out-of-state registration rather than your out-of-state title. All lienholder information and the out-of-state title number must be completed on the RMV-1. Along with the completed RMV-1, bring your out-of-state title and/or current out-of-state registration to the nearest full-service RMV branch office.
Even if your vehicle has been registered in another state, some sales tax may be due. Vehicle sales tax is collected at a rate of 5 percent of the purchase price or the NADA trade-in value, whichever is higher. After completing the transaction, you will receive a registration certificate, new plates, and a year of expiration decal for the rear plate. The title will be processed and mailed later to you or to the lienholder. You must obtain a vehicle inspection sticker within seven days of the registration date.

Vehicle Inspection & Testing
In accordance with safety and emissions regulations, all registered automobiles must be inspected. This inspection maintenance program requires an annual safety inspection and an emissions test every other year. Emissions and safety inspections are available at 1,600 inspection stations across the Commonwealth. Check your local inspection station for the hours of operation and method of payment accepted for the $29 fee. A complete listing of inspection stations and a wealth of information including exempt vehicles and repair options for failed vehicles is available online:

Enhanced Emissions & Safety Test
866-941-6277
http://vehicletest.state.ma.us

Compulsory Insurance
Massachusetts requires that every vehicle on the road be covered with minimum levels of motor vehicle insurance. Bodily injury coverage including coverage for an uninsured auto must be at least $20,000 per person and $40,000 per accident. Personal injury protection must be at least $8,000. You must also carry a minimum of $5,000 for damage to someone else’s property. For more information or answers to specific questions on insurance, contact:

Office of Consumer Affairs
Division of Insurance
617-521-7794
www.mass.gov/ocabr

Safety Regulations
Under the combined safety and emissions inspection regulations, safety belts are required for all passengers riding in a motor vehicle. The law for children varies with the age and weight of the child. Those younger than five years and weighing less than 40 pounds must be properly secured in a federally approved restraint system. Those who are at least age five and weigh more than 40 pounds can ride in a booster seat. Children who are older than age five but weight less than 40 pounds must also ride in a booster seat. Children who are older than age 5 and weigh more than 40 pounds must be property secured in a seat belt. For questions about safety and the seat belt laws, contact the Registry of Motor Vehicles or visit this informative website:

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
US Department of Transportation
888-327-4236
www.nhtsa.gov