How do I ensure that my recently sold/traded-in vehicle is updated on the Grand List?

Here are a few guidelines to help you to avoid confusion with municipal taxes on Motor Vehicles. Keep in mind that the Grand List year runs from October 1st to September 30th. So for example, our Assessor pulled the 2020 Grand List from DMV for all the vehicle records showing Bethany as the Tax Town on October 1, 2020.  The town in which your vehicle was registered on that date is the town from which you will receive a MV tax bill in July.

QUESTION 1:  I have sold or traded-in a car through a dealership who assured me they will cancel my old plates when they register my new vehicle with new plates. 

ANSWER 1:  YOU are responsible for cancelling the registration (plates) on your old vehicle IF THE DEALERSHIP IS PUTTING NEW PLATES ON YOUR NEW CAR.  You must provide a copy of the Registration Cancellation receipt provided by DMV to the Bethany Assessor’s Office in order to have that vehicle removed from the current Grand List and receive any refund on taxes that may be due to you.  The dealership is not responsible for doing this for you.  To cancel your old registration/plates, go to Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles.  Click on Cancel Plates and Registration and fill in the required information.  You will need the Driver’s License number of the vehicle owner and Plate Number to complete this transaction. Then print and fax the receipt to 203-393-0828 or email the receipt to Email.  You may also bring the receipt to the Assessor’s office in person or mail a copy to Assessor’s Office, 40 Peck Rd, Bethany, CT 06524.

QUESTION 2:  I have purchased a new or used vehicle either through a dealer or private sale and have transferred the plates from my old vehicle to the new vehicle.  Do I need to notify the Assessor’s office?

ANSWER 2:  No.  If you immediately reuse/transfer plates from one car to another, no information needs to be provided to the Assessor’s Office.  This transfer automatically takes place through the DMV when the new vehicle is registered.  The town becomes aware of the transfer on October 1st when the new Grand List or Supplemental Grand List is pulled from the DMV.

QUESTION 3:  What happens if I register my new/used vehicle after October 1st?  Will I still be taxed for that vehicle in July?

ANSWER 3:  No. A vehicle registered after October 1st is taxed on a Supplemental Grand List billed the following December and is due January 1st, payable through the first business day in February.  If the Supplemental Tax Bill is issued due to a trade-in or sale of the old vehicle from which you retained the plates, you will see a credit for the taxes paid for the old vehicle on July 1st through month of registration of the new vehicle, and a tax for the new vehicle from the month of registration through September 30.  If new plates were issued at the time the new/used vehicle was registered, see Answer 1 for action you must take regardless of information provided by the dealership.

QUESTION 4:  I have traded-in an owned vehicle for a leased vehicle.  The dealer assured me they will cancel my old registration/plates when they register my leased vehicle with new plates.

ANSWER 4:  Not True.  You are responsible for canceling your registration on the old/traded-in vehicle if you are not transferring the plates to the new leased vehicle. See instructions for doing so in Answer 1.

QUESTION 5:  I have moved from one town to another within the state of CT and need to change the address for both my Driver’s License and Registration.  What do I do?

ANSWER 5:  Go to  DMV Change of Address and follow the instructions on the site.  But remember, your vehicle(s) will be taxed by the town in which it was registered on October 1st.  There is no pro rata between towns.  

IMPORTANT REMINDER: Please do not forget to cancel your registration when selling your vehicle privately.  There have been several incidents this year alone when a seller assumed the buyer would turn the plates in when registering the vehicle.  In a few cases, the seller found that his vehicle was still being driven by the buyer using the original owner’s plates months after the sale because the registration was still active. As long as the vehicle is still registered to you, you will receive a tax bill. Use the procedure in Answer 1 to cancel your registration as soon as the vehicle is turned over to the buyer.

Please call our office if you still have questions on 203-393-2100 X1110.