I took a car off the road. Can I get a refund on the excise I paid?

In most cases, yes.

If you dispose of a vehicle, you are entitled to an abatement (refund) provided that you can show the Assesor's Office the following documentation:

  • Proof that you no longer own the vehicle. This would include a copy of the bill of sale, donation or junk yard receipt, repossession paperwork, etc...


  • Proof that the registration (license plates) was transferred to a new vehicle or proof that the registration was cancelled.

If you have moved out of Massachusetts and cancelled your MA registration, you are entitled to a refund if you show proof of MA registration cancellation and proof of registration of that vehicle in your new state. 

Unfortunately, you are not entitled to an abatement if you cancel or transfer the plates but retain ownership of the vehicle, move to another city or town in Massachusetts or if the cancellation is done in the month of December.

No excise may be reduced to less than $5 and no abatement or refund of less than $5 may be granted.  

***Please be aware, that because the perfomance of more than one activity is required to establish eligibility for an abatement, the proper date for use in calculating the amount of the abatement is that date when the final one of the activities is performed.***  For example, the abatement for an excise tax bill for a vehicle which you sold in December, but did not cancel the plates on until February, will be calculated until the month that the plates are cancelled. Also if you cancel the plates on a car in October, but do not sell that car and obtain a bill of sale until the following March, you will owe excise until the car passed out of your possession.