Don't get too excited when you hear the term "RMV," Bay Staters – though it may sound a bit different, you're still going to the DMV, for all intents and purposes. In Massachusetts, though, that place where you go to fill out vehicle-related legal forms is called the Registry of Motor Vehicles instead of the Department of Motor Vehicles. Just like most states, you can depend on the Massachusetts RMV to have long lines, lots of paperwork to fill out and plenty of cash registers that accept a variety of payment methods.
Though the specifics may vary a bit per location, you can typically pay with a credit card at the Massachusetts RMV.
Credit Cards at the RMV
As of 2019, there are 64 RMV service centers in the state of Massachusetts, including limited RMV services at AAA locations. Though the RMV isn't quite ready to accept Apple Pay, Bitcoin or PayPal yet, you'll find that the vast majority of these locations accept a variety of payment methods, including major credit cards, debit cards, checks and money orders for all transactions.
From Attleboro to Worcester, all RMV locations accept credit cards. If you're going old-school, checks should be made payable to "MassDOT" at RMV Service Centers or "AAA" at AAA locations. While you aren't likely to run into problems with plastic, a very limited handful of locations – such as the RMV Service Center in Attleboro – do not take cash.
Before you head to the RMV, visit Mass.gov's Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles Locations page online. Click on the RMV near you to see a full breakdown of every type of payment it accepts (and every type of payment it doesn't accept).
Massachusetts RMV Online Service Center
The Online RMV Service Center available at Mass.gov's myRMV site allows you to process and pay for a plethora of auto-related services with your credit or debit card without ever leaving your internet browser – that's one way to beat the lines, at least.
At the Online Service Center, Massachusetts residents can renew their driver's license, apply for a Real ID, renew a vehicle registration, order special plates, pay traffic citations and more. In addition to non-vehicle-related online payments such as those for liquor IDs and court filing fees, this fairly comprehensive system even allows for the processing and payment of super-specific RMV services like school bus certificates, vehicle inspector credentials, learner's permits and enrolling as an organ or tissue donor (which is, of course, free).
In addition to having your credit or debit card handy, you'll need your date of birth, last name, the last four digits of your Social Security number and your license, permit or state ID number to use the Online RMV Service Center.
Massachusetts Driving Fees
Now that you know you can use your plastic at the Massachusetts RMV in-person or online, it might just help your budget to know the ballpark prices for a few common Massachusetts RMV fees.
Whether you pay with cash, check or card, common, five-year driver's licenses in Massachusetts come with a fee of $75, while converting an out-of-state license costs between $115 and $140. A motorcycle endorsement on your existing license goes for $15 while a state ID costs $25.
Registration fees for normal passenger vehicles in the state run $60 with a $60 annual renewal fee, or $20 for motorcycles. Getting a certificate of title will cost you $75. These prices are all according to the late 2018 schedule of fees, which also notes that you'll be billed an additional $15 as chargeback for a bounced check or bad credit card.