How does non-payment of motor vehicle excise affect license and registration?

If the service warrant demanding final payment is ignored, the collector or deputy collector may then notify the Registrar of Motor Vehicles of such non-payment, including all accrued interest and penalty fees. The Registrar may then "mark" the individual's registration preventing the renewal of the motor vehicle registration and the owner's driver's license until such time as the Registrar is notified that full and final payment had been made to the municipality. This payment shall include a $20 release fee as final settlement of the delinquent excise. Once the bill had been paid, the municipality will give the owner a receipt so they can return to the Registry to register their vehicle.

Under the excise tax law, tax collectors have six (6) years from the issue date of a bill to notify the Registry of non-payment by a driver (General Law Chapter 60A Section 2A), unless the tax record shows a history of non-payment. However, under the Registry's own policy, this notification time has been reduced to just two (2) years. If the record does show a history of delinquency, the tax collector or his deputy can electronically mark the driver's record and institute proceedings to collect for as many years back (beyond the six years, in other words) as necessary and notify the Registry. The Registry, in turn, reviews each notification beyond two years individually. If a taxpayer has a good history of payment and suddenly receives a bill dating back more than six years, the assessors will assign a tax collector to collect the bill; the tax collector or deputy, in turn, will attempt to collect and assess late fees and penalties, as is required by law, if applicable. However, the collector can no longer mark the driver's record for non-payment since the Registry only allows two years for notification from the issuance of the bill. Thus, the taxpayer's ability to renew the license, in this instance, is not hampered; but the bill must still be resolved with the local tax collector. For more information, contact the Assessor at 978-620-3190.

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1. What is motor vehicle excise?
2. How is excise tax determined?
3. Who collects the motor vehicle excise?
4. When is payment due?
5. What happens if my payment is late?
6. What if I sold my car?
7. What if I've moved out of Massachusetts and / or Lawrence?
8. Can I get an abatement on my motor vehicle excise?
9. Under what circumstances might a motor vehicle excise abatement be warranted?
10. How does non-payment of motor vehicle excise affect license and registration?
11. What if I traded my car?
12. What if my car stolen?
13. Am I eligible for exemptions?
14. Where can I get more information about motor vehicle excise?