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    New to Massachusetts Blog

    Gordon Atlantic Staff

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    Massachusetts RMV RTA form will replace both the RMV-1 and RMV-3

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Tue, Dec 03, 2019 @ 02:42 PM

    The New RMV RTA form replaces both the RMV-1 and RMV-3 forms. If you are looking to do any of the following, you will need to fill out the Massachusetts RTA form:

    Register and title a vehicle

    Register previously titled vehicle

    Transfer plate to a new vehicle

    Title previously registered vehicle

    Reinstate a registration

    Transfer vehicle to surviving spouse

    Apply for a salvage title

    Change plate on existing vehicle with no amendments

    Apply for a title only

    Renew a registration

    Apply for a registration only

    Amend a registration

    Transfer a plate between two vehicles

    Picture of RMV RTA form

    Click here to use our fillable RTA form

     

    You will fill out the RTA differently depending on which of the above you are trying to do. Use this Registration and Title Application Instruction Guide from the Mass RMV and follow the instructions to correctly complete your form.

    Click here for the Registration and Title Application Instruction Guide

    If you have any questions about the Massachusetts RTA form or questions about your insurance, please give us a call at 800-649-3252 or click the button below to fill out our contact form and we will reach out to you.

    INSURANCE QUESTION?

     

    RMV-1 Form Download and Information

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Tue, Nov 26, 2019 @ 04:58 PM

    What is the RMV-1?

    Important Update: According to the Massaschusetts RMV website, the RMV-1 and RMV-3 form will no longer be accepted as of Monday, December 16, 2019. The replacement form for the RMV-1 and RMV-3 is the Registration and Title Application also known as the RTA. Click below to download a computer fillable version.

    New RTA Fillable Form

    Picture of RMV RTA form

     

    Note: We have removed the download link to the RMV-1 Form as it is being fazed out and replaced with the new Massachusetts RMV RTA Form

     

    An RMV-1 is a form that the Massachusetts RMV (Registry of Motor Vehicles) uses for registry transactions, including:

    • New plates for a new vehicle
    • A new title for a new vehicle
    • Transfer of existing plates from one car to another
    • Calculating and collecting Massachusetts Sales tax.

    How to fill out the RMV-1

    The form begins with the buyer’s name and address.  Your ‘registration’ ties your name to the plates you have on the new vehicle, whether you’re transferring plates (such as on a trade-in), or getting new plates.

    The RMV-1 also populates the name(s) and address that goes on the title.  The title is a separate document that specifies ownership of the vehicle.   It will be the document that you use in the future to complete a sale when you’re ready to sell the car. 

    The RMV-1 also includes any bank or lienholder, which also shows on the title.  This alerts the Massachusetts RMV (Registry of Motor Vehicles) that the new title (to the new owners) should be mailed to the bank or lienholder, who physically holds it until the loan is paid off.   If you’re buying a car with no loan, the title should go to your address directly; expect it usually within about a month.

    On a purchase where the plates transfer (from the old car to the new one), ownership should agree with the previous vehicle’s ownership.  This distinguishes for example, whether one person owns the vehicle or if it’s owned jointly by husband and wife.   If the previous car was owned jointly, the new car will use the same joint ownership.   (This can be amended, in a separate transaction at the Registry, or you can just get new plates).

     

    Massachusetts Sales Tax

    Sales tax is also calculated.  When a dealer takes a trade-in from you, they will show the value of the new car, less the value of the old car (the trade-in), and the sate only charges you 6.25% of the net.  For example, if you trade in a $5,000 car to buy a $20,000 car, you’ll pay sales tax on $15,000.  However, when you buy from other than a dealer, such as all private transactions, you’ll pay either the sales tax on the full sales price, or a sales tax that the Registry calculates based on their estimate of its value.   This is because some sellers take payment for one amount but show a lesser amount to try to lower your tax burden.  The RMV is savvy to that, so they might charge you more than you expect when you get to the window.

     

    Car Insurance

    Speaking of the window, when you go to the Registry yourself, they’ll check that the new car has insurance.  That’s where we come in.  The RMV-1 has an insurance verification area.  If you’re not transferring plates (and therefore insurance), you might need a new insurance policy.   This is different from other states; Massachusetts wants that new car to have insurance when you get plates.  They won’t issue plates if you don’t have insurance.   If you’re buying a new car, call us for a broad variety of carrier options.  If you have insurance, we typically apply an ‘e-stamp’ on an electronic version (in a pdf).   On occasion we still use an old fashioned rubber stamp for some auto dealers that fax us RMV-1s or bring them physically to our office.

    In summary, The RMV-1 is the same form that the Registry has used for decades, as the information is the same: name and address of new owners, description of the car, including year, make, model, and VIN (vehicle identification number), insurance company validation, seller information and bank or lienholder. 

    INSURANCE QUESTION?

     

     

    Tags: rmv, vehicle insurance, commercial vehicle, ma rmv, MA vehicle regs, rmv-1

    The New Massachusetts Distracted Driving Law – What you need to know

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Tue, Nov 26, 2019 @ 11:39 AM

    Driving while using your cell phone will be illegal in MA – What you need to know

    person-woman-smartphone-car-3056On November 25 2019, Governor Baker signed a hands-free driving bill into law which will make it illegal to use your cell phone while driving, with a few exceptions. The law will go into effect February 23, 2020.

    Here is an excerpt from the law: “No operator of a motor vehicle shall hold a mobile electronic device or “use a mobile electronic device unless the device is being used in hands free mode.” So essentially, you can use your phone while in the car, but it has to be in hands-free mode and the only time you can legally touch it is to activate hands-free mode.

    One thing to note is that there is already a separate law on the books that went into place in 2010 that banned Massachusetts drivers under 18 from using a cell phone in any way while driving, even in hands-free mode. This same 2010 law also made it illegal for drivers of any age to read or text while driving.

    Emergency exceptions

    There are several emergency scenarios in which it is still OK to use your phone while driving. They are:

    • Reporting that your vehicle is disabled.
    • Calling to report there is a disabled vehicle or accident in the road.
    • Calling emergency services for the safety of the driver, passenger, or the safety of the public.
    • Calling to report that medical attention is needed.

    Penalties for breaking the law

    Although the law goes into effect on February 23, 2020, there will be a short grace period until March 31, 2020 during which first time violators of the new law will receive warnings. After this grace period ends, violators will be:

    1. Fined $100 for their first time offense
    2. Fined $250 for the second offense
    3. $500 fine for their third or subsequent offense plus an increase in insurance cost.

    Third time and subsequent offenders will also need to complete a mandatory educational course on preventing distracted driving.

    To top it off, third time offenders and subsequent offenders will be hit with an increase in their insurance premium as these occurrences will be considered “surchargeable incidents”

    Setting up Hands Free Mode on your device

    So the main takeaway here is that violating this law will get expensive and inconvenient fast. Now is a good time to figure out hands-free mode on your device in preparation for February 2020.

    Here is a brief guide explaining how to active hands free mode for iPhone:

    iPhone : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7tkCYzPalSA

    For other phone types do a Google search for “How to activate hands free mode on (your phone name here)”. Setup for most devices is easy and usually only takes about a minute or less.

     

    In Summary

    Statistics have shown that distracted driving is dangerous and expensive. According to an April 2018 report by the U.S. Department of Transportation, 9 people per day die and over 1000 are injured in accidents involving distracted drivers.   One in four accidents is caused by distracted driving nationally.   Hopefully the new law will prevent some of those distracted driving deaths and injuries in Massachusetts and make for a better driving experience for everyone throughout the state. The bottom line: don’t do other stuff while driving – just drive!

     

    Your Guide to Winter Activites in Massachusetts

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Tue, Nov 19, 2019 @ 10:22 AM

    Your Guide to Winter Activities in Massachusetts 

    Winter takes some getting used to.  While there are great recreational opportunities in winter, we're usually content early in the season to hunker down and just try to stay warm.  And yet I heard the other day that the average American gains 10 pounds between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  If ever there was a time to get out of the house, it's during this stretch. 

    Below are some resources for ideas, but consider also very local resources to you.  Here in Norwell, the North and South Rivers Watershed Association has a great "get outdoors' tab (linked here).    

    woman-man-and-girl-sitting-on-snow-1620653

    Massachusetts Winter Activities January 2020
    https://www.bostoncentral.com/boston-events-january

    Massachusetts Winter Activities February 2020
    https://www.boston-discovery-guide.com/boston-event-calendar-february.html

    More Winter Activities 
    https://www.discovernewengland.org/events

    Tags: winter activities, Massachusetts Winter, Winter in New England Activities

    Mass REAL ID - Everything you need to know

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Tue, Nov 05, 2019 @ 03:48 PM

    Mass REAL ID - Everything you need to know

     

    Why do I need a Massachusetts Real ID?

    After October 2020 you will need a REAL ID or a passport to fly within the United States or enter federal buildings


    How do I get a Massachusetts Real ID?

    Go to the Registry of Motor Vehicles with the proper documentation to begin the process. You will need to prove 3 things before getting your REAL ID:

    1. S citizenship or lawful presence
    2. Social Security Number
    3. Massachusetts residency

    Please note that any documents you bring to prove the above will need to be originals to be accepted by the RMV and that one document cannot be used to prove multiple requirements. Visit the RMV website to see which types of documents are accepted to prove the above requirements. https://www.mass.gov/guides/massachusetts-identification-id-requirements

    If you need help understanding what type of documentation to bring here is our breakdown:

    The documentation they’ll require to issue you a REAL ID can be broken down into three general categories:

                    Lawful presence:  Meaning, you’re allowed to be here.   Your U.S. passport or original birth certificate, or foreign passport with unexpired visa will do the trick for this part.  If you don’t have any of these, get an official birth certificate reissued from the Town Hall where you were living when you were born.   A copy won’t do it.  You need the original.

                    Your Social Security number: Bring your original Social Security card if you can locate it, or a W-2 or 1099 tax form from your last tax year.    A pay stub with your social security number on it will work too, but not many employers print social security numbers on pay stubs any more.

                    Massachusetts residency: Lots of choices here, but bring at least two of these for your REAL ID: current driver’s license, government mail received in the past 60 days, including property tax or excise tax bill, Firearm ID card, , utility bill, bank statement, pension statement, or auto or home insurance policy.  (If you’re a Gordon Atlantic Insurance customer, you can get a copy of these policy documents right from the Gordon Atlantic Insurance customer pp!)


    How much does a REAL ID cost?

    According to the RMV website, a real ID costs $50 which is the same as a license if you decide to get it at the time of renewal. However, if you wish to get a REAL ID before your license renewal date, it will cost $25 for an “amendment fee”.


    What is the difference between a Massachusetts REAL ID and a standard Massachusetts Driver’s License?

    • A Massachusetts REAL ID can be used to board a plane in the US or enter US federal buildings after October 2020. A standard license won't be able to do this.
    • The only noticeable visual difference between a REAL ID and a standard MA Driver’s License is a yellow star in the upper right hand corner of the REAL ID. A driver’s license won’t have the star but instead the words “NOT FOR FEDERAL ID”. See the example image below from the RMV

    RealID comparison

    Tags: travel, rmv, ma rmv, MA REAL ID, Massachusetts REAL ID

    Your Guide to Fall in Massachusetts

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Tue, Jul 30, 2019 @ 04:37 PM

    fall-1171254-639x427

    Places to go Apple Picking: https://www.bostonmagazine.com/arts-entertainment/best-apple-picking-near-boston-massachusetts/

    Corn Mazes in New England: https://newengland.com/today/seasons/fall/best-corn-mazes/

    List of fall activities in Massachusetts
    https://www.funtober.com/festivals/massachusetts/

    Halloween Events in New England
    https://www.massvacation.com/explore/holidays/halloween/

     

    Contact Us

    Tags: fall

    Your guide to summer in Massachusetts

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Thu, Jun 27, 2019 @ 03:29 PM

    Gordon Atlantic insurance is pleased to offer the official guide to summer in Massachusetts. Check out the links below.

    Summer fireworks schedule and locations - Click Here

    Things to do on Cape Cod This Summer - Click Here

    Can I use my Cell Phone when driving in Massachusetts?

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Thu, Dec 22, 2016 @ 01:35 PM

    Welcome to Massachusetts….Now hang up that phone!!!

    Cell phone.jpg

    Each state has its own cell phone rules so it is important to be sure you know what they are if you are going to cross state lines.  For instance, in Connecticut and New Hampshire, any use of a hand-held device is prohibited.

    However, in Massachusetts, drivers over 18 are allowed to use a hand held phone but are not allowed to text at all.  Keep in mind that as long as you are in a car and in the driver’s seat you cannot text.  That means if you are stopped at a red light or in traffic not moving it is NOT okay to text.

    In Massachusetts, drivers under the age of 18 are banned from using any mobile device for any reason.  You cannot pick it up to plug in an address for directions, send a text, or call anybody. 

    Another note, Bus Drivers are not allowed to use cell phones for anything; whether or not it is hand-held.

    If you have any questions, or are not sure of the rules, it is best to err on the side of safety and caution and HANG UP THAT PHONE!!

    Drive carefully and we hope that those around are as well!!

    Tags: cell phones, new to massachusetts, driving, teen drivers, state laws

    The Launch at Hingham Shipyard

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Wed, Jun 06, 2012 @ 09:19 AM

    shipyard resized 600Otherwise known as “the Launch at Hingham Shipyard,” this little treasure is worth checking out and getting to know. Despite the far distance from my house, I make the journey at least once a week.

    History

    During World War II, 227 warships were made at the Shipyard for use in battle. Recently, Samuels & Associates began developing at the shipyard and have transformed it into an outdoor mall rivaling the Derby Street shops.

    What it has to offer

    If I went through all of the stores and options open at the Shipyard, this would be either a boring list or a shadow of their website, so I’ll go through what brings me to the shipyard.

    Red Mango

    red mango cardThe first store that ever sparked my interest was Red Mango. I had never had frozen yogurt before, but when friends brought me to this new dessert experience after a trip to Nantasket beach, I was instantly hooked. Not only does it have excellent  flavors, the store is self-serve (priced by weight). Red Mango is the #1 reason I drive the 12 miles and 30 minutes to Hingham.

    Wahlburgers

    What better precursor to Red Mango than a restaurant owned by the Wahlberg family? As soon as Wahlburgers opened up I could tell it was a hit; mainly by the hypnotic smell and the line of people out the door. Moderately priced, the burgers are fine quality, the shakes taste great, and the fries are the reason I keep going back.

    breadPanera

    Need I say more? Before Wahlburgers sparked my interest, Panera was my restaurant of choice. Good options, fast service. Superb choice if you have picky eaters or vegetarians in your party. Not much to say about this South Shore classic.

    Patriot Cinemas

    Although I’ve never actually seen a movie here, I’ve heard it’s a great option for dinner and a movie nights. On the topic of movies, what is remarkable to me is that the Shipyard hosts free outdoor movies every Thursday night in July and August. Here is the program of events.

    film

    The Moorings

    If you don’t live in Hingham/Weymouth and don’t want to commute all the way to this shopping mecca, why not move there? There are homes for sale right in the middle of the plaza. And what is convenient is the commuter ferry to Boston right at the Shipyard. Now this location is like a double edge sword when it comes to insurance. Not only is it condominiums, it coastal too. Check with your independant insurance agency to make sure your home is fully protected at the best price.

    Shopping

    There are many stores like Bed Bath and Beyond, CVS, and Eastern Mountain Sports that people might be interested in. I have never gone shopping there so I can't really offer a complete review.

    Overall

    The Shipyard is a great place to go to get some shopping done, go out for a bite to eat, and spend time with friends. The parking situation is exponentially better than at Derby Street Shops. There’s always spots open and if not, there is a nearby parking lot waiting for your car to rest. Traffic is a minimum.

    Every time I make the trip, it is worth it.

     shipyard map resized 600

    New to MA eBook

    Steven McClelland

    Tags: massachusetts, cohasset, whitman, shipyard, norwell, ma, scituate, hanson, rockland, hingham, shopping, food, dining

    Converting an Out of State License

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Fri, Nov 04, 2011 @ 05:36 PM

    MA LicenseConverts Wanted: How To Change Your Out-of-State Driver’s License

    If you recently moved to  Massachusetts from another state, here are a few tips for converting an out of state driver’s license to Massachusetts.  The Commonwealth gives you 30 days to convert your license. 

    While you are unpacking your boxes, you may want to keep in mind some of the documents outlined below that you will need to convert your driver’s license. There is also a  license application form to complete either on-line or printed before you go to the Registry of Motor vehicles. 

    You will need to make a visit to one of the Registry’s branch  offices to complete the transaction and have your photo taken for your new Massachusetts license.

    You may also be wondering if you can register your car in Massachusetts  before you change your license. The answer is absolutely “yes”. Plate registration and auto insurance may be secured before you change your license but it is expected that you will convert your license in 30 days.  Our agency www.agordon.com can assist with the vehicle registration paperwork, offers free runner service, and provides auto insurance options.

    Here is information provided by the  Registry outlining  the documentation needed if you are 18 years or older with an out of state license. For a complete list of acceptable documents, click here.
     

    These are the types of documents needed:

    • Out-of-state License. If your out-of-state license DOES NOT have a photo, you must present acceptable photo ID from the Acceptable Identification Documents List.

      *Note: If you do not have your out-of-state license to surrender, you must provide a photo ID from the Acceptable Identification Documents list of identification AND a certified driving record not more than 30 days old from the state where you currently hold your License..
    • Document proving date of birth

    • Document proving signature
    • Document proving Massachusetts residency

      Note: An out-of-state License presented as one of the ID documents can be used document to confirm signature OR date of birth. It CANNOT be used to confirm both.
    • A Social Security Number (SSN) that the RMV can verify with the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) as having been issued to you OR an acceptable Denial Notice from the SSA. If you present a Denial Notice, you must also present proof of acceptable visa status, an I-94 (Record of Arrival and Departure), and a current non-U.S. Passport.
    • All documents must be originals. Photocopies will not be accepted. You must also clear a check through the National Driver Register and pay the required fees.
    • If you have a previous Massachusetts License that expired four or more years ago, you are required to show all of the identification listed above.
    • If you have a license from Canada, Mexico, or US Territory ( including Puerto Rico), you must present a driving record not more than 30 days old.

    Converting your driver’s license is one step you will take in becoming a Massachusetts resident. Our agency can help you sort out the information needed to convert your license and insure your autos and home. You can request a quote by calling us at 781-659-2262 or online at www.agordon.com.

    New to MA eBook

    Kasey McCarthy

    Tags: ma rmv, converting an out of state license ma, converting a ma license, getting a ma license, ma license

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