In general, motor vehicles are subject to taxation in the city or town where, in the normal course of their operation, they most frequently leave from and return to or remain, although state law provides some exceptions to this general rule (Chapter 203 - Sec. 12-71).
Clearance for Motor Vehicles
Residents/taxpayers who require "clearance" to register a motor vehicle or renew registration with the State of Connecticut DMV must be current on their taxes. If a resident/taxpayer has any outstanding balance, all accounts must be paid in full. Acceptable forms of payment are cash, money order, or certified bank funds.
If payment is made in person or online with a personal check, a "clearance" will be provided after10 business days from receipt of check. You may request that the "clearance" be mailed to you directly or may stop in to pick it up after the 10 days.
If payment is made with a debit or credit card online, you must print your confirmation(s) and bring it/them to the Collector of Revenue to obtain your clearance. This may take up to two business days for payments to be posted to your accounts(s) to obtain a "clearance".
Assessing Motor Vehicles
The assessment of a motor vehicle is 70% of its average retail value. Generally, assessors use average retail values that the National Automobile Dealer’s Association (NADA) compiles annually. Assessors are responsible for determining the value of any motor vehicle for which the NADA Guide does not provide an average retail value.
All motor vehicles a taxpayer owns on an assessment date are subject to taxation, regardless of whether the Department of Motor Vehicles issues a Connecticut registration for them. Taxes for such vehicles are due the following July 1. Motor vehicles registered subsequent to October 1 are also subject to taxation. The assessment of a vehicle registered between November 1 and the following July 31, which represents only a portion of the assessment year, is included on a supplemental grand list. Supplemental grand list taxes are due on the January 1 following the conclusion of the assessment year in which the registration of these vehicles occurs.
Property Tax Reduction
Selling a Vehicle
A property tax reduction or credit is available when a taxpayer sells a motor vehicle and does not replace it with another vehicle. If a taxpayer replaces one vehicle with another, the assessor reduces the assessment of the replacement vehicle on the supplemental grand list to reflect the credit (Chapter 203 - Sec. 12-71b).
Vehicle Destroyed or Registered in Another State
A property tax reduction or credit is also available for a totally destroyed vehicle and for a vehicle that a taxpayer registers in another state when the taxpayer becomes a resident of that state during an assessment year. Taxpayers must claim this credit within the time period that state law prescribes (Chapter 203 - Sec. 12-71c).