Motor Vehicle Taxes


The excise is imposed on the privilege of registering a motor vehicle and is not a property tax. It therefore applies to anyone who registers a motor vehicle in Massachusetts.

Each vehicle is taxed from the first day of the month in which it is registered for the balance of the calendar year. The proceeds become a part of the general funds of the municipality and have the effect of reducing the property tax.

The current rate is $25.00 per thousand, with no excise to be less than $5.00.

The excise is based on information furnished on the application for registration. Any correction of name, address, model, registration number, make or year of manufacture must be recorded with the Registry of Motor Vehicles.


The billing cycle is determined by the Registry of Motor Vehicles and occurs throughout the year, and into the following year, depending upon the type of registration and the original registration date.

The bill is sent to the mailing address on the registration, if that is not correct, it must be changed through the Registry of Motor Vehicles. That can be done on line at the following web page: Click here.

The excise is due and payable within 30 days of the date of issue. Failure to receive a bill does not affect the validity of the tax or penalties.

How to Pay

See the “How to Pay” section for more details.

Late Payment Penalties

We do not accept partial payments on Motor Vehicle Excise: If a motor vehicle excise remains unpaid for more than fourteen days after a demand has been made, notice of non-payment a Warrant will be issued. If the warrant is not responded to a notice of non-payment will be transmitted to the Registry of Motor Vehicles. Upon such notification, the Registrar will mark your file for non-renewal. Subsequently, the Registrar will not renew your license or registration, upon their expiration, until receipt of notice from the Tax Collector that all payments, which are due on your account, have been satisfied, and a filing fee of $20.00 paid to the Registrar.

Note: This fee is in addition to demand and warrant fees, which can total as high as $69.00 and are added to the original excise, plus interest

An excise tax not paid in full by the due date incurs the following penalties prescribed by the State Statutes:

  1. Interest – 12% from the first day after the due date
  2. Demand notice – $10.00 additional due within 14 days of issuance
  3. Warrant notice mailed – $22.00 additional due within 30 days of issuance
  4. Warrant serviced (left at last known address) – $17.00 additional within 5 days of issuance
  5. Registration and license marked at the Registry of Motor Vehicles for non-renewal -$20.00 additional due before either can be renewed when they expire

Once marked at the Registry, payment must be by cash, money order or bank check for all outstanding excise taxes, even those which are not yet marked, before renewal of the registration or license is allowed.

Delinquent Motor Vehicle Taxes for which a Warrant has been issued, may be paid directly to the Deputy Collector. Call Kelly and Ryan at (508) 473-9660 for payment information.


An abatement is a partial or full reduction of the tax, which may be allowed under certain conditions defined in the State Statutes. Abatement may be granted if any of these conditions are met and an application is properly filed with the Assessor’s Office.

Even if you think that you are entitled to abatement, the tax should be paid promptly so as to avoid interest and late charges. Failure to pay will result in your license and registration being marked for non-renewal.

If you have moved within the state, this bill should still be paid to the Town of Berlin. You should then check with your insurance agent and the Registry of Motor Vehicles as to your proper address, so that future activities may be properly directed.

If you have sold the vehicle, or registered out of state, the tax must also be paid. You may, however, be entitled to a refund or abatement. (See back of ‘Taxpayer’s Copy’ of bill for more information).


See back of ‘Assessor’s Copy’ of the bill for the Abatement Application form. If you do not have the original bill, a form may be obtained from the Assessors Office.

Fill out the abatement form and mail it to:

Assessors’ Office, Town of Berlin
23 Linden Street
Berlin, MA 01503

Once the application for abatement is processed, you will be informed by the Assessors’ Office as to the results and any refund you may be entitled to.

Abatement applications will be rejected unless the excise tax bill has been paid. If it is paid late, you will be liable for any interest and fees that may be incurred in the meantime.


Any refunds resulting from an overpayment or an abatement will not be made if there are any other outstanding taxes.

Determining the Vehicle’s Value

The value of a motor vehicle for excise purposes, is determined by the Commissioner of Revenue at varying percentages of the manufacturer’s list price in the year of manufacture as follows:

In the year preceding the designated year of manufacture


In the year of manufacture


In the second year


In the third year


In the fourth year


In the fifth and succeeding years


Condition and market value are not considerations in determining the value, nor is age after the fifth year. Their telephone number is: (978) 838-2256