Town Clerk & Tax Collector

Important News and Information from your Town Clerk-Tax Collector :

Karen Castelli, Town Clerk/Tax Collector


Town Clerk/Tax Collector Postings



Table of Contents:  Scroll down to find information on the following topics

  • Tax Info from the Town Clerk-Tax Collector
  • Vehicle Registrations
  • Driver’s Licenses
  • Dog Licenses   
  • Fees: Puppies 4-7 months $7.50    Neutered or spayed dogs $7.50   Unaltered male or female dog $10.00   Senior Citizen dog owner(65 or older and applies to only the first dog) $3.00   Group License (5 or more dogs of the same owner) $20.00   Replacement tag $1.50
  • Elections and Voter Registration
  • Marriage Licenses
  • Vital Records
  • Voter Registration

All you wanted to know about taxes but were afraid to ask!

What is the Property Tax year?

The property Tax year runs from April 1st of one year to March 31st of the next year.

When are taxes due?

The Town of Nelson has adopted the optional twice-a-year billing procedure.  The first bill is mailed at the end of May, and is due on July 1st.  Depending on when we receive our tax rate from NH’s Department of Revenue, you should receive you final tax bill early to mid November.  The due date is 30 days following the billing date.

The first bill is calculated at one half the previous years’ tax rate.  The second bill is calculated at the current years’ tax rate, adjusted by the first bill amount.  All property taxes not paid by the due date are subject to an interest charge of 12% per annum.

Property owners should be aware that it is their responsibility to contact the Tax Collector’s office to notify us of an address change or for a duplicate property tax bill in the event they do not receive the original billing.  Not receiving a tax bill will not eliminate the owner’s responsibility for payment of the tax and /or interest and penalties incurred.

What happens if I can’t pay my bill in full?

If you are unable to pay your bill in full, we do accept partial payments in any dollar amount that you are able to apply to your account.  The smaller your balance, the less interest you’ll pay.  Of course, interest, penalties, and the delinquent process will continue even if you are making payments.

What is the delinquent tax collection process?

All taxes not paid are subject to 12% interest on an annual basis.  After the date of the final bill (the December tax bill) has passed, notices of delinquency are mailed to all property owners with outstanding balances on their account.  These notices are generally mailed in January and stipulate the final date to pay in full the outstanding tax bill and interest accrued before the tax lien process begins.

When the tax lien process begins, a “Notice of Impending Tax Lien” is sent by certified mail indicating the final payment date to bring the account current before a lien is placed on the property.  There is a cost associated with the mailing of these letters and the charge is added to the delinquent amount due.  Any property with an unpaid balance as of the tax lien date will have a tax lien placed on it.  The lien is recorded at the Cheshire County Registry of Deeds.  At this point, the interest rate changes from 12% to 18% annually.  The property owner has two years from the date of the lien to pay the taxes in full or a deed for 100% interest in the property is issued to the Town.

Once the lien is placed, we are required to notify mortgage holders that a lien occurred.  Depending on your mortgage contract, a tax lien could result in some type of action by your bank.  The Town does not report to any other outside agencies except the Registry of Deeds and mortgage holders.  However, property owners should be aware that the major credit reporting agencies do search these records and a tax lien can show on a credit report.

Owners and holders of mortgages on property with delinquent taxes that are nearing the two year period in delinquency are sent, by certified mail, a “Notice of impending Tax Deed” informing them of the final date to pay their taxes to avoid losing their property.

Budget Billing

We are noticing a trend in that more property owners are making pre-payments toward their next billing cycle.  We have property owners who send monthly payments to be applied to their account so that when their tax till is issued they are already paid or only owe a small balance.  Property owners do not have to make any formal arrangements with the Town to do so.  All that is needed to make a payment is to send it in to the Tax Collector’s office with a note indicating your desire to make a pre-payment and have the funds applied to your tax account.

For more information, contact the Tax Collector at 847-9043.

The Assessor’s office can assist you with:

Questions concerning your Assessment and how your bill is calculated, the Abatement Process, Property Tax Exemptions for qualifying veterans and their widows, as well as for the elderly and blind, can be answered by contacting the Town Administrator’s office at 847-0047.

New—-Tax Bill and Due amounts:

Your Tax Bill and any amounts due to the Town can be searched by going to our Town’s web page at and clicking on the link labeled “Property Taxes Review Online”.  This link will contain current payment history, however when checking, please be sure to note the “last updated date”.

All property taxes are billed and collected in accordance with State Law.  The laws governing property tax collection can be found in the state RSA’s in Chapter 80.




Vehicle Registrations

New Vehicles:  The owner must present in person a bill of sale, or a title.  Vehicles 1999 and older are exempt from  a title.  Vehicles 2000 and newer need o be titled forever.  If there are two owners, BOTH owners MUST be present to sign the title application.  Taxes on the vehicle are calculated based on the list price of the vehicle when it was new (without options).  Taxes and applicable fees are due and payable to the Town Clerk at the time of application.

Motor Vehicle Bill of Sale Form

Motor Vehicle Bill of Sale Information1


Renewals:  The owner must have the previous registration in hand at the time they are re-registering the vehicle, to avoid a $17.50 duplicate registration fee.

Transfers:  Transferring plates from one vehicle to another with same owner.  You must have the registration of the vehicle that the plates are being transferred from.

Non-Titleable Vehicles:  In order to register any 1999 or older vehicle, you will need, in addition to a Bill of Sale, at least one of the following:

a.  Valid out of state title, or
b.  Previously issued New Hampshire registrations (copy acceptable), or
c.  A completed Verification of VIN Form (TDMV 19A) (available at Town Clerk’s office)


Motor Vehicle Inspection:  On a newly registered vehicle (including trailers over 3,000 ibs.), state inspections are required within ten (10) days after the registration is processed.  Vehicles being renewed must have an inspection during their renewal month.  (There is a 10-day grace period into the following month.)

Change of Address:  Residents must notify the Department of Motor Vehicles of their new address within ten (10) days of a change.  Forms are available at the Town clerk’s office.

New Residents:  New residents to the State of New Hampshire are required to register their vehicles and obtain a New Hampshire driver’s license within sixty (60) days.

License Plates:  The following plates are available through the Town Clerk’s office:

1.  Standard 7 digit plates
2.  Conservation (Moose) plates**
3.  State Park plates**
4.  Motorcycle plates
5.  Trailer plates
6.  Vanity plates:  Passenger, motorcycle, antique, trailer, park and conservation.**


All other plates must be obtained at one of the Department of Motor Vehicle offices:
Purple Heart Plates:  You must start at the Town Clerk’s office, and then obtain the plate at the Concord office of the DMV.  Purple heart plates are now available for motorcycles.

Veteran Plates:  Veteran Plates are available at any DMV substation; however, you must start at the Town Clerk’s office.  To qualify, the registrant must provide a copy of either a DD-214, NA Form 13038, NAVPERS-553, WD AGO Form 53-55, WDAGO Form 53-98, NAVMC 78-PD, NAVCG-2510, US Dept of Veteran Affairs (VA) Verification of Service letter, NA Form 1341, or NCG Form 553, indicating that they were honorably discharged and the vehicle must be registered with the veteran’s name first.  By statute, the new Veterans plates are non-transferable and expire upon the death of the veteran.  No transfer credit is allowed.

**Conservation, Park & Vanity Plates:

Conservation plates cost an additional $30.00 per year, which is donated to a conservation fund and is tax deductible.  Vanity plates cost an additional $40.00 per year.  Park Plates cost an additional $85.00 per year.  Town Clerk’s office now issues Conservation, Park & Vanity plates.

Boat Decals:  2016 boat decals are now available.  By registering your boat in town, Nelson gets a portion of the registration fee.

Driver’s Licenses

 Drivers in NH must be at least 18 years old unless they have completed a driver’s education class.  Any driver under 18 may be licensed after reaching age 16 by presenting a certificate for successful completion of a driver’s education class and fulfilling other application requirements.  See NH State Regulations RSA 236:19, 20, 21 and 23 or for more information go on-line at


Dog Licenses

Dog License Application

Dogs must be registered by April 30th of each year. A $1/per month late penalty will be charged.
A rabies certificate is required.
Rates: Spayed or neutered $6.50 (proof required)
Not spayed or neutered: $9.00
Puppies (3 – 7 months) $6.50
Owners over 65 are allowed at $2. Additional dogs are at regular rates.


Vital Records

The Town Clerk is responsible for the recording of all vital events that occur in the Town.  Vital events include marriages, divorces, civil unions, dissolution of civil unions, deaths, and births.

How do I obtain a copy of a vital event?

Per New Hampshire state law, vital records are considered closed records and are only accessible to immediate family members.

Copies of vital record events for births, marriages and deaths dating from 1988 to the present  are available at the Town Clerk’s office, regardless of where in the State of NH the event took place.  Copies of vital records for events occurring prior to 1988 must be obtained through the NH clerk’s office where the event took place or at the Division of Vital Records Administration, 71 South Fruit Street in Concord, by mail or online:

Copies of vital record events for divorces and civil union dissolutions dating from1990 to within six (6) months from the present search date are available at the Town Clerk’s office, regardless of where in the State of NH the event took place.  Copies of these records prior to 1990 can be obtained at the court where the event took place.


Certified copy fees are $15.00 for the first copy of the record and $10.00 for each additional copy requested at the same time.  Checks are payable to the Town of Nelson.

A fee of $15.00 is collected even if the requested record is not on file with this office.

Positive identification must be shown in order to obtain copies of vital records.  Please be prepared to present ID when making requests in person.  If sending a request through the mail, a copy of your ID must be sent with the request.

For more information about New Hampshire’s Vital Records program please visit the NH Secretary of State’s Vital Records Division at

Marriage Licenses and Certificates

A couple getting married in the State of New Hampshire may apply for their marriage license in any Town Clerk’s office in the state.  They must provide proof of identification and age (both parties must be at least 18 years of age)  A state driver’s license is sufficient in most cases.  If either of the contracting parties has been previously married, that person must provide a certified copy of a divorce/annulment decree, the death certificate of a deceased spouse or a civil union dissolution.

Same Gender Marriage became effective on 1/1/2010

The license is valid for 90 days from the date of issue.

Effective July 14, 2015 the fee for a marriage license is $50.00.

Both applicants must appear together and provide the following information on the application worksheet provided when you arrive:

  1. Full Name
  2. Usual residence
  3. Birthplace
  4. Date of birth
  5. Social security number
  6. Father’s full name and birthplace
  7. Mother’maiden name and birthplace
  8. The name each party will use AFTER marriage

After the marriage occurs, the officiate completes the license and returns it to the town of application, after which the couple may obtain a copy of the marriage certificate.

To obtain the record one or both of the parties may:

  • Return to the office with ID to complete the request for the record
  • mail a signed written request with the appropriate fee, copy of ID and all pertinent information – names of parties, date and location of marriage, and address to which they want the license sent.  The fee for the certificate is $15.00 for the first copy, and $10.00 for any additional copies purchased at the same time.

Elections and Voter Registration

Residents of Nelson may register to vote at the Town Clerk’s office, and they may also register with the supervisors of the checklist at designated hours (TBD), and at the polls on election day.
Requirements include a  photo ID and verification that you are residing in Nelson. This can be mail which you have received at a Nelson address, or a receipt for rent paid for your housing.

In New Hampshire, no one is permitted to register to vote after ten(10) days prior to an election, except on Election Day.  This allows the Supervisors of the Checklist time to update and print the Checklist that will be used at the polls on Election Day.

Absentee ballots are available if you are unable to vote in person. Please contact the Town Clerk for an application to receive an absentee ballot, and the actual absentee ballot. Absentee ballots delivered in person must be received by 5:00 p.m. on the day preceding the election. Mailed ballots must be received by 5:00 p.m. on the day of the election.

If you need to check on your voter status or track your absentee ballot, please check the State of NH Voter Information Lookup:

Find Useful voting information for students at

Absentee Ballot Request 2018 (2)

Town absentee ballot request form