Payment of the motor vehicle excise is due 30 days from the date the excise bill is issued (not mailed, as is popularly believed). According to Chapter 60A, section 2 of the Massachusetts General Laws, "Failure to receive notice shall not affect the validity of the excise".
A person who does not receive a bill is still liable for the excise plus any interest charges accrued. Therefore, it is important to keep the Registry, local assessors, and the post office informed of a current name and address so that excise bills can be delivered promptly. All owners of motor vehicles must pay an excise tax; therefore, it is the responsibility of the owner to contact the local assessor if he/she has not received a bill.
Penalties for Non-Payment
If an excise tax is not paid within 30 days from the issue date, the Treasurer/Collector will send a demand, with a fee for $5. In addition, interest will accrue on the overdue bill at an annual rate of 12% from the day after the due date.
If the demand is not answered within 14 days, the collector may issue a warrant to the deputy tax collector or an appointed agent, which carries another $10 fee. The deputy tax collector (or agent) issues a warrant notice at a cost of $12. If there is still no response, a final warrant, a service warrant, will be delivered or exhibited to the taxpayer at his/her residence or workplace, at a fee of $17.
All interest and penalties should be clearly stated on the bill.