license commission

Letting of Motor Vehicle License


Photograph of a car

Letting of Motor Vehicle License

Issued by: License Commission

Governed By: Massachusetts General Law, Special Acts of 1930, ch. 121.

Process Length: About 4 to 6 weeks.

Fee: $175 hearing and newspaper advertising fee; $121 license fee


Step 1:

The applicant must obtain and complete the application form and Licensed Premises Inspection Approval form.

Step 2:

The applicant will then submit the Licensed Premises Inspection Approval form to the Inspectional Services Department (ISD) for zoning approval.

Step 3:

The applicant must submit the following to the License Commission:

  1. completed application form
  2. the Licensed Premises Inspection Approval form
  3. a copy of the Articles of Organization if the applicant is a corporation, or a copy of the Business Certificate obtained from the City Clerk's Office
  4. sketches or plans designating street and number, entrances, and exits

Step 4:

The License Commission will schedule a hearing on the second or fourth Tuesday of the month. The applicant pays a $125 a hearing and newspaper advertising fee. The applicant must notify abutters (according to the latest Assessor's list) by sending a copy of the advertisement by certified mail (return receipt requested) within three days after advertising, and at least ten days before the hearing. The applicant must submit certified mail receipts to verify contact with abutters.

Step 5:

The applicant must submit the Licensed Premises Inspection Approval form and sketches or plans for approval from ISD's building inspector. If the applicant has a current Certificate of Occupancy, this sign-off is not required.

Step 6:

The Fire Department will automatically inspect the site based on the License Commission hearing agenda.

Step 7:

If approved by the License Commission, a license will be issued once the license fees are paid and ISD's building inspection approval is submitted.

Visiting City Hall

Cambridge City Hall

795 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge MA, 02139
Ph: 617-349-4000
TTY: 617-349-4242

Hours of Service

Monday: 8:30am-8pm
Tuesday-Thursday: 8:30am-5pm
Friday: 8:30am-12pm

Louis DePasquale
City Manager

Lisa C. Peterson
Deputy City Manager