NH purchase question

NH purchase question

Any NH Tesla owners out there?

How did you arrange delivery given the tax free and registration in NH? There is no Tesla sales or service in NH.

When I bought my Lexus last year in MA, the sales rep drove with me to my local registry in NH so I could register the car and get plates. They would not give me MA plates because that would require MA registration. That was the only time I bought a new car from an out of state dealer.

How does Tesla handle that? The sales rep I spoke with in MA seemed to think it's not a big deal, but I wasn't sure he understood.

ironciti | 14/07/2014


Registering a Tesla in NH is no big deal, you just have to go to your local town offices (same as paying property taxes) and bring the relevant paperwork and be prepared to write a big check - just like you would if you had to register a car that was previously registered in another state. It really is not a big deal.

Getting the car inspected on the other hand can be interesting....I go to the Toyota dealership in Nashua and can tell you they now know how to handle it since they've done it for me twice. Best of luck! The car is awesome and I wouldn't have any reservations about there not being a service center in NH (yet).


TeslaNH25 | 14/07/2014

Thanks for the info.
Did the Watertown SC give you temp plates so you can drive across the border ? I assume they didn't deliver it to you in NH.

You didn't have to pay MA sales tax I assume.

Can I ask how much the registry charges ? Just curious.

I'll probably get mine inspected at Toyota of Nashua too.

TeslaNH25 | 15/07/2014

Hi ironciti,
By the way, do you live in Parrish Hill? I think I saw your car....

sbeggs | 15/07/2014

Hi @ironciti,
Do you like Iron City beer? I'm from Pittsburgh, PA and every time I see your name I think of the town and the beer!

tga | 15/07/2014

@TeslaNH25 - MA does not issue temporary plates of any kind. In fact, I've heard rumors that they (technically) do not honor other states' temporary plates, although I've never heard of anyone being called on it.

The sales rep is mistaken. It is a big deal. You must take delivery of the car outside of MA, or MA sales tax is due. State of registration is irrelevant. Furthermore, the burden of proof is on the buyer to prove that tax is not due. If either party is a MA resident (or MA based business), MA will assume the transaction to place in MA and is subject to MA sales tax, unless you have delivery papers and documentation to prove otherwise. I have personally run into this twice, and it can be costly (in time and fees/penalties) to unwind.

People will reply with "that's not true, you pay tax where the car is registered". They are wrong. Period. That's not how MA does it.

Realistically, if you buy the car in MA, don't pay sales tax, and register it in NH, not much (if anything) will happen to you right away. However, if Tesla is audited and the audit turns up sales without sales tax collection, and they can't prove the car was delivered out of state, they will get screwed. If you every try to register the car in MA without proof of out of state delivery, then MA will demand payment of back tax, penalties, and interest before letting you register it. I don't know what would happen if you sold the car to a MA resident - would they be on the hook for the original tax?

Do it right, get it delivered to you in NH, and get (and keep) documentation that proves NH delivery.

tga | 15/07/2014

I should have written "if Tesla's MA operation is audited and the audit turns up MA sales without MA sales tax collection". Obviously, a federal or CA audit doesn't matter. But if the MA Dept of Revenue thinks companies are selling in MA without collecting tax, they get cranky fast.

TeslaNH25 | 15/07/2014

Yes, that is what I was told 2 years ago when I bought a Lexus in MA. The dealership there gave me the best deal; much less than several local dealers near me in NH. So I decided to drive the 100 miles round trip to save about $1500 on the exact same vehicle.

In that case, the Lexus dealer sales rep drove with me to my registry in NH. I drove the Lexus with MA dealer plates. They followed behind me all the way. Once I paid the registry, got my plates, etc, they drove off.

So I guess "technically" they delivered the car to NH.

I assume Tesla won't do that, but I'll call them to clarify.

jordanrichard | 15/07/2014

You should only have to pay sales tax in the state you are registering the car in. If you don't have sales tax, lucky you.

Even if you take delivery in MA, delivery and "sale" are 2 different things. A sale is when money exchanges hands.

Here in CT, Tesla does not have a license to sell cars, only service them. Despite this, I was able to take delivery in CT, because technically they didn't sell me a car in CT. The monies were exchanged electronically with Tesla in Palo Alto, the day prior. When we took delivery, there was a temp tag from NJ, on the car and my CT registration/tags came 2 weeks later.

TeslaNH25 | 15/07/2014

I just called Tesla Watertown, MA. They said that they have sold many cars to NH residents. If its more than 150 miles they will deliver to me. Otherwise I have to pick it up in Watertown, MA.

The key, he said to the process working is that I am given a New York bill of sale and a New York temp plate. He said they worked out this process for many out of state buyers. I will never be asked to pay NY sales tax, so he said.

Should I assume that Tesla knows what they are doing and not put buyers at any risk sales tax-wise?


jordanrichard | 15/07/2014

That is exactly what I described above, except the temp tag was from NJ. You are new to this whole process, just I was, but the Tesla centers do this type of thing on a daily basis.

Tesla's way of doing business is so straight forward and simple, that most people have a hard time understanding because we are so conditioned to things be overly complicated.

bduke | 16/07/2014

Don't be mislead by some of these statements. IT IS NO BIG DEAL! I am speaking from experience, I bought my MS in Mass from the Natick Mall store, I live in Connecticut. Upon delivery NJ temporary plates were on the car (don't ask me why NJ temps but was told there is a special agreement)at the same time the SC registered my car in CT and all taxes (sales and auto) were paid to CT DMV. Within a week my CT. plates were mailed to my house. End of story. Not sure why others are saying different because that is not the way it works, guaranteed.

lwmitchell | 26/07/2018

As a NH resident, I’m experiencing this issue right now. I received the call that my M3PD (white/white with every option except FSD) will be ready for pick-up at the Dedham, MA facility on August 22. Yay! However, in reviewing my bill, $4875 was added for Mass sales tax. When I told Tesla my situation and that other car dealers don’t charge sales tax for NH residents, I was told they are required by law to do so. This is incredibly disappointing. It appears Mass is especially tough on this, and requires delivery across state lines into NH.

When in process of purchasing a model S last year (I eventually canceled so that I can get this model 3 instead), they were willing to deliver to my home (with no sales tax on the final bill). I’ve asked them if they would be willing to deliver to NH, but no response yet. I guess they don’t care about the model 3 sales so perhaps they won’t be so accommodating. Does anyone else have a similar story?

Run4Waffles | 26/07/2018

Unfortunately @lwmitchell, that may be the case for the Model 3.

You may have more success asking this question on the Model 3 forum.

ktslab | 26/07/2018

Dedham team will haul your spanking new M3 with a Ford F-250 to NH. A friend of mine got his MS at Nashua that way. Dedham, however, is overwhelmed these days. They'll sort you out. Keep calling, you'll get there.

lwmitchell | 26/07/2018

Thanks for the replies. Tesla comes through! They’ll deliver to my house.

HeinekenMS100D | 26/07/2018

I am in the process of buying a new Model S and live in NH. I worked with the Natick, MA Telsa store to order my car. At the time of the order, they explained that when the car comes into MA for delivery, they will get it ready to go and put it on a flat-bed truck and deliver to my home in NH. I can then go to my town office and take care of registration with no income tax.

However, soon after I put in my order, my delivery assistant who is in Mt Kisco, NY says that I can come to NY and get the full delivery experience. Tesla will reimburse me for my travel from NH to NY up to a specified dollar amount. They will issue temp license plate so can just go to my town office and get the plate when I get back to NH. I plan to take them up on the offer as it would be a fun little road trip of ~4 hours back to NH.

So there are some complications but they can be handled. I bought my last car in MA and they just drove it to my house in NH so I've been through this once before. The deal with Massachusetts is that no one can take delivery of a car if they aren't a Massachusetts resident or they want the sales tax. You can't really breathe in MA without them wanting some kind of tax which always makes it difficult to do business in the state.

lwmitchell | 26/07/2018

Yeah, they offered me the option to go to go To Mt Kisco as well, but I opted for the home delivery. Enjoy your S!

HeinekenMS100D | 26/07/2018

@lwmitchell Txs and enjoy your M3! I still haven't decided fully whether I'll go to Mt. Kisco so keep us posted on how the delivery to NH goes.

Yodrak. | 26/07/2018

"You can't really breathe in MA without them wanting some kind of tax which always makes it difficult to do business in the state."

That's why they nickname the state 'Taxachusetts'.

HeinekenMS100D | 27/07/2018

@Yodrak - "That's why they nickname the state 'Taxachusetts'

Exactly! Also, why just north of Taxachusetts in NH where we have no state income tax or sales tax on most items, its the 'Live Free or Die' state. I just hope it stays that way...

ktslab | 27/07/2018

There is no reason to criticize MA tax system. The so-called "taxchusetts" is an outdated concept. It may be true 30 years ago.

Sure NH has no income or sale tax, vs MA 5.25% and 6.25%. but NH has a huge property tax while MA's property tax is capped at 2.5%. Many town's property tax is less than 1.5%, my town is only 1.1%.

Compare MA's tax to any other New England states. The MA is no better or worse.

It is a personal choice which state to live and nothing wrong you are proud of your state. Instead of talking other states down, talk your state up.

I could very well argue that the economic opportunity in MA is greater than most of New England states. Many out of state residents commute to Boston to work every day.

A bit off topic, sorry.

lwmitchell | 27/07/2018

Sorry, ktslab, certainly no offense intended. I love Mass and Boston and of course there are pros and cons of every state.

rajeshporaiyan | 15/08/2018


Tesla says that they won't give the certificate of origin. They agreed to do a home delivery for my M3. I am worried if registration will become an issue with out this certificate of origin. Please share your experience.


miguel | 02/09/2018

The configuration page says to agree to paying X which includes tax. How did NH. folks do it? Obviously the configurator page is not recognizing that Tax should not be included for a NH address. IOW. The configuration page does not allow one to indicate home delivery, or pickup in NY, etc....
What happens if I leave that part "unchecked" in the configuration?

miguel | 02/09/2018

Just checked with Tesla over the phone. Here is the summary:
1. No need to confirm payment until after a VIN is assigned. Leaving it unchecked does not delay match/assignment of VIN
2. Once VIN is assigned an Advisor will work with you regarding where you take delivery and the final payment.


miguel | 07/09/2018

Confirming. Anybody in NH will be routed to home delivery advisor. You do have option to drive to Mt Kisco if you choose to do so. They MAY be able to cover a one way rental there. I say "may" as I don't know if there is a limit on the distance. For me it is about a 3.5 hr drive.

The main reason is that Tesla is not considered a "car dealer" in MA (likely a car manufacturer instead).

Kahn | 06/12/2018

got paper work ie mco 2 weeks after getting delivery took it to register and was thinking i should have bought fsd and eap later as i was now going to pay higher registration fees on it.. Also the receipt they sent in the packing had a total which included the destination fee and I was also pissed I would be paying on that.

But they looked up the base cost from the vin, and only charged me on that.. Pleasantly surprised and much cheaper than I thought it would be only 987 including the extra 30 for the moose plates.. Hope this helps others.

Also check usaa for insurance .. This will off course depend on your location in nh and driving record and coverages but for me with full coverage and 1 mil liability it is only around 700 per year.

bbkiszka | 23/10/2019

I have a model 3 on order, and a home delivery adviser. The email says the registration kit comes after the car is delivered, like days after. Does the car come delivered with a dealer temp plate, or do I need to pay a visit to the Town Clerk to get a private sale temp plate?

I am concerned I may have to keep the car in the driveway until the self-registration packet arrives...

EVRider | 24/10/2019

@bbkiszka: Ask your home delivery advisor.

kurt | 24/01/2020

They no longer do home delivery to NH. They give you $150 bucks and tell you to drive to New Jersey to pick up your order. It is crazy. It made me not buy a Model 3 yesterday and I am hoping it changes before Cybertruck or I am canceling that order.

EVRider | 24/01/2020

@kurt: Why would they send you to NJ when there are Tesla service/sales centers in MA?

dougk71 | 24/01/2020

The dealership cartel wants individual states to guarantee they get their pound of flesh with every new car sale.
Tesla would rather not submit to this extortion but the result is a confusing registration and delivery process.
Michigan just days ago relaxed the prohibition on Tesla to sell or service cars. Florida is not as owned by the car dealership cartel but registration is slowed due to the high sales volume of Tesla's and the restricted number of locations where registrations are permitted. There is no quick remedy except to complain to your State government about dealership monopolies in your State. It is not just Tesla but any direct to owner sale of a new car is also opposed

kurt | 25/01/2020

The MA sales centers are not technically "dealerships" I guess. They said they do to much volume now to be able to do home delivery to NH. So you have to drive to NJ (10 hours round trip). The sales guys actually try and spin it as a positive and they "are getting great feed back" about the drive, which is preposterous. He should just say yeah it sucks.

They need to bring back home delivery or open a tesla sales center in NH. Southern NH is pretty much a suburb of Boston, it would do very well.

EVRider | 25/01/2020

@kurt: The MA locations might be too busy to do home deliveries to NH, but my question was why you can't drive to one of those locations to take delivery? They're a lot closer than NJ.

kurt | 27/01/2020

I guess it has to do with MA dealership laws, they won't do it. Very dumb.

EVRider | 27/01/2020

@kurt: I don't think it's because of MA dealership laws, because people from other New England states have taken delivery in MA. Maybe NH dealership laws? Although I thought people in NH were able to buy cars in MA in the past.

It could just be that someone from Tesla screwed up.

kurt | 29/01/2020

Yes you can buy a car from a MA dealership if you are from NH. Issue is Tesla sales centers are not technically dealerships. Try calling all 3 sales centers in MA and see what they say to you.