Governor Deval Patrick's Budget Recommendation - House 1 Fiscal Year 2010

Governor's Budget Recommendation FY 2010

Registry of Motor Vehicles Fees

[ index ]

Previous Budget Brief

Governor Patrick    FY2010 House 1 Budget Recommendation:
    Policy Brief

    Deval L. Patrick, Governor
    Timothy P. Murray, Lt. Governor


Governor’s Proposal

Massachusetts first began issuing licenses and registration plates in June of 1903. Since then the mission of the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) has expanded to include development and enforcement of vehicle and driver safety policies and programs, public outreach, education and partnerships with cities, towns and other agencies that use license suspension as a tool for enforcing important policies such as tax and fine collection, child support payment, sex offender registration and warrant execution.

Over the past two decades the number of registry fees has swelled to over 200, including 17 different fixed price fees and 35 fees that vary by vehicle weight. Liquor identification cards cost 66% more than Massachusetts IDs, even though the benefits and features of each are essentially the same. In fiscal year 2010, Governor Patrick will reform Registry of Motor Vehicle fees by consolidating the number of fees from 201 to 40. This will:

  • Improve customer service at branches by offering online discounts and streamlining the current fee structure.
  • Keep things simple: the updated fees are easy to understand.
  • Bring the RMV into the 21st century by moving transactions online and automating functions.
  • Decrease costs at the RMV by automating processes and data gathering.
How will you be affected by the RMV fee changes? (examples)
  Fee Name Current Fee New Fee Increase / Decrease
Vehicle Driver Class D License $40 $50 $10 increase; paid every 5-years
Motorcycle Driver Motorcycle License $40 $50 $10 increase; paid every 5-years
Vehicle Owner Registration (renewal) $41 $50 $9 increase; paid every 2-years
Business Taxi Registration (new) $90 $50 $40 decrease; One time cost
New Car Purchase New Title $50 $75 $25 increase; One time cost

For some transactions, such as bus and ambulance registrations, the fees charged will decrease. Additionally, in October of 2009 the RMV will restore discounts for transactions that can be completed online at This discount extends savings back to the customer since the costs to complete services online are significantly lower for the Commonwealth.

New revenue generated, along with all other transportation revenue, will be dedicated to the Highway Fund in an effort to re-align both the spending and revenue for transportation programs. These funds are for the operation of transportation agencies (e.g. regional bus services, highway department) and to pay debt service for road and bridge construction. Fees will be changed through the State's regulation process and are subject to public input prior to implementation. All RMV fee proposals will be subject to the public hearing process scheduled for later this year.

Comparison to Surrounding States
  Registration (Two year) Licensing (Per year) Title (One time)
MA (Existing / Proposed / Last Change) $41.00 / $50.00 / 2002 $8.00 / $10.00 / 2002 $50.00 / $75.00 / 1989
ME $70.00 $5.00 $33.00
NH $43.00 $10.00 $25.00
CT $85.00 $11.00 $25.00
VT $120.00 $10.00 $28.00
NY $25.00 $7.00 $50.00
RI $60.00 $6.00 $27.00
Comparison data based on research by RMV/EOT. Information presented may not reflect recent changes made by other states.

Prepared by the Executive Office for Administration and Finance · Rooms 373 & 272 · State House
For more information contact:
Thomas Dugan (

top of page link top of page