In Massachusetts, auto coverage follows an active plate. This means that agents cannot write a new auto policy or add a vehicle to an existing auto policy until the plate has been issued by the Registryfor this vehicle. There can be problems when a purchase is made out of state because many other states recognize temporary tags, but Massachusetts does not. A Massachusetts plate must be issued to have coverage provided by a carrier.
The reverse is also true. In order to cancel a policy or to delete a vehicle from a policy, the plates must be canceled by the Registry. If a vehicle is deemed a total loss and the plates are not being transferred to a replacement vehicle, agents can delete this vehicle once the plates are canceled by the Registry - back to the day after the accident if no rental vehicle was obtained, or back to the day after the rental vehicle was returned.
As for registration renewals, trailersneed to be renewed as of 12/1 of every year, motorcycles as of 1/1 of every year, commercial vehicles as of 1/1 of every year and vanity plates as of 12/1 of every year. The Registry does track the non-payment of excise tax bills and parking tickets, and will not renew registrations if there are any such unpaid bills showing at the Registry.
Lastly, a duplicate registration can be obtained by completing the appropriate form and bringing it to the Registry with the $25 fee or having our runner take to the Registry- just bring the form to us at 306 Washington Street in Norwell, MA. Many times people realize they cannot locate their registration when it is time for their state inspection, so it is best not to wait until the end of the month to try to locate their registration.