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Massachusetts License Plate Search: License Plate Lookup in Massachusetts

Massachusetts License Plate Search: License Plate Lookup in Massachusetts
December 5, 2022

Approximately 80% of license plates in the United States are manufactured in eight jails. 


For example, all Massachusetts license plates are created by inmates at the MCI-Cedar Junction prison in Walpole. They've been made there since 1920. 

It is estimated that around 4,8 million Massachusetts license plates are currently in use. The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) issues license plates to vehicle owners in Massachusetts. 

Until 2019, all vehicle owners were mandated to have license plates in Massachusetts, but from 2019 the state started issuing temporary license plates to vehicle owners that fulfill the required conditions. 


According to Chapter 90 of the Massachusetts Law, every vehicle is required to register under the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles. 

A regular License plate in Massachusetts comprises the license plate registration number, issuance state (Massachusetts), and expiry date. 


Other information might be on the license plate based on the type of license plate issued. 

The RMV issues license plates for various vehicles, such as cars, trailers, motorcycles, and recreational trucks. 


The RMV has a fee schedule for the different categories of motor vehicle licenses in Massachusetts.

a man attaching an license plate to a vehicle

How Can I Get a Massachusetts License Plate?

Massachusetts License plates offer you the full guarantee needed to drive on state roads and highways. 


Therefore, getting your license plates as a vehicle owner is essential. 


This is done by registering your vehicle appropriately and displaying the license plate every time you are on the road. 

For your vehicle registration, you are required to provide the following document:

* Duly completed Registration and Title Application Forms
* Odometer Readings Statement
* Proof of state residency
* Evidence of ownership
* Proof of Insurance for the vehicle obtained from a licensed agent within the state
* Vehicle title

Then, submit the documents personally at any local Registry of Motor Vehicle Office nearby. 


The registration fees differ depending on the type of vehicle to be registered and the type of license plate to be issued. These fees have been made available in the RMV Registration Fees Schedule. 

The vehicle's certificate of title costs about $75, after which you will be required to pay a 6.25% sales tax, depending on the cost of the vehicle. 


Successful applicants will receive their registration certificates, license plates, and a year expiration decal for the rear plates between 6 to 8 weeks of applying through their emails. 


Also, all registered vehicles in Massachusetts must pass a yearly vehicle inspection as mandated by the state.

car-shaped keychain and car keys hovering over a man's hand

How Can I Replace a Massachusetts License plate?

If you accidentally misplace your license plate, or it got damaged or stolen at one point or another, be rest assured, as you can easily have it replaced. 


According to state laws, you are eligible to request a replacement plate as the one you lost or got damaged. 

The new plate will also bear the same license plate number and be the same type as the previous one. 


You can apply for a replacement plate in two forms:

In-Person: You can visit the nearest RMV branch office to apply physically for a replacement plate. You will need a completed form RMV-3, detailed information on the vehicle owner, and the registration number.

By Phone: Also, you can easily place a call to the RMV at (800) 858-3926, informing the agency of your intention to replace your lost or damaged license plates. For this method, you will need to provide the vehicle registration number, critical information regarding the vehicle, and detailed information about the vehicle owner.

For both approaches, a replacement fee of $10 is required for the replacement fee to be processed.

How to Lookup a Massachusetts License Plate?

License plate lookup services in Massachusetts allow the retrieval of information associated with car license plate numbers registered in the state. 


In addition, a Massachusetts license plate lookup gives official records and Massachusetts traffic records on a vehicle, which is extremely useful when buying a used car in the state. 

an illustration of a car with a form next to it

For example, a license plate lookup may yield the following results:

* Accident records of the vehicle
* Recall and repossession records
* Mileage record
* General vehicle history
* Other relevant registration issues associated with the vehicle

Interested individuals can obtain the required information on a vehicle through a license plate lookup from the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles. 


This can be done online using the Massachusetts Vehicle Records Request form or by visiting the local RMV office closest to you.

Another alternative is to use a third-party public website specializing in keeping a database of vehicle records. 


All you need to do is visit these websites, enter the license plate number of the vehicle and search for necessary vehicle records as desired. 

Some of these websites can be free or paid, depending on the kind of database they keep. These public websites include License Plate Look Up, VIN Check, and License Search.



In conclusion, the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) can also be used to look up a license plate in Massachusetts. 


With this, you will provide the distinct 17-character VIN as this is linked to the records of vehicles at the RMV.

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