Heavy Vehicle Use Tax (HVUT) and the Massachusetts RMV

January 16, 2020
Written by Jessica Morin, CRIS

What is changing about the HVUT in Massachusetts?

Beginning in November 2019, the Massachusetts RMV now requires companies to show proof of HVUT payment (IRS Schedule 1/Form 2290) when registering heavy vehicles for the first time. Previously, proof of payment was only required at registration renewal. Now the initial registration also requires this documentation.

heavy duty trucks weighing 55,000+ are subject to HVUT tax

What is the Heavy Vehicle Use Tax (HVUT)?

Vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of 55,000+ and operating on public highways are subject to a tax. The tax rate is $100, plus $22 for every 1,000 pounds over 55,000. The maximum HVUT is $550 per year, per vehicle.

What does “gross weight” mean?

Gross weight is calculated by:

  • The unloaded weight of the vehicle fully equipped for service.
  • The unloaded weight of any trailers that you use in combination with the vehicle, fully equipped for service.
  • The weight of the maximum load customarily carried on  the vehicle and on any trailers customarily used in combination with the vehicle.

What is required for “proof” of HVUT payment? What do I need to bring to the RMV?

IRS Schedule 1 (Form 2290) is used as proof of HVUT payment. You have two options when renewing your heavy vehicle(s) at the Massachusetts RMV. You can either bring:

  • Your original stamped IRS Schedule 1 (Form 2290) with your vehicle(s)’ VIN number(s) listed, or…
  • A photocopy of Form 2290 that has been e-filed with the IRS, together with a photocopy of both sides of the cancelled check submitted as payment.

Does Form 2290 have to be stamped before I can register my heavy vehicle?

Yes. Whether you bring the original or a photocopy to the RMV, your Form 2290 must be completed and stamped. The stamp (or watermark) is generated when you file your form through an IRS-approved e-file provider. The watermark will display the IRS process date to indicate it has been accepted for processing. The watermark will also contain the phrase “Proof of Payment.”

Please note: your form must include the VIN of each vehicle being registered or renewed.

How do I e-file and get a stamped/watermarked Form 2290?

More information on filing Form 2290 for the Heavy Vehicle Use Tax can be found on the IRS website.

Do I have to carry proof that I’ve paid the tax?

We recommend keeping a copy of your stamped Schedule 1 in your glove compartment, especially if you are crossing international borders. Border patrol will check that you have a current stamped Schedule 1 before allowing you back into the United States.

What else should I know about registering and insuring heavy commercial vehicles?

We’re always happy to discuss your fleet, in terms of registration and insurance questions. Please don’t hesitate to contact our commercial auto insurance experts if you are looking for a hands-on partner in this constantly evolving regulatory environment. 508.339.2951