Motor Vehicle Excise Tax bills are issued on a calendar-year basis. Owners of vehicles registered as of January 1 can expect to receive a bill by mid-February. The bill is owed to the town where the vehicle is garaged as of January 1. The mailing address is provided by the owner to the Registry of Motor Vehicles. Excises are prorated on a monthly basis. For a new registration after January 1, owners can expect bills 2 to 3 months afterwards. If a vehicle is registered for a part of a month, the excise will be due for the whole month.
When a vehicle is registered late in the calendar year, the bill is generated early in the new calendar year. Taxpayer confusion arises when this bill is soon followed by a tax bill for the new calendar year. The tax year of the bill appears prominently on the tax bill. Taxpayers should make note of the year of the bill when paying an excise tax.