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How to Register a Vehicle in Maine

Maine law requires that motor vehicle owners must register their vehicle with the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles before taking it on the road. Both new and second-hand vehicles must be registered, regardless of whether they are purchased from a dealer or an individual. In addition, new Maine residents who have registered their vehicle in another state must register their vehicle in Maine. The initial vehicle registration must be done in person, and registration renewals must be done annually, either in person or online.

INITIAL REGISTRATION

If you are registering a motor vehicle in Maine for the first time, you must complete the following steps:

For vehicles purchased from a private party, you need to:

  1. Pay excise tax. Contact the local municipal office for more details on this.
  2. You will need to submit
  3. A signed Bill of Sale.
  4. The title, if the vehicle is 15 years old or newer.
  5. The white and yellow copy of the registration application and excise tax receipt (from your local town office).
  6. The 5% Maine sales tax on what you paid for the vehicle.
  7. A vehicle title/registration form.
  8. Vehicles registered in Cumberland County need to get an emissions test. Vehicle inspections must be performed at an inspection station or by an inspector that has been licensed by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. Find out more about vehicle inspections in Maine. Once the vehicle passes inspection, you will be issued an inspection certification.
  9. Visit your local municipal office, and bring the completed title/registration form with you, along with the inspection certification. In addition, you will need to provide proof of insurance, and the odometer reading, if the vehicle is less than 10 years old.
  10. If you live in a municipality that does not participate in the registration program, you will need to take all the documents to the BMV branch office.
  11. For vehicles that have been registered in another state, you must also bring the original, out-of-state title. If the title is unavailable, bring the registration document, along with proof of sales tax payment.

For vehicle purchased from a dealer you need to:

  1. Pay excise tax. Contact the local municipal office for more details on this.
  2. You will need to submit
  3. The green dealer's certificate which proves that sales tax was paid.
  4. The blue title application, if the vehicle is 16 years old or newer.
  5. The white and yellow copy of the registration application and excise tax receipt (from your local town office).
  6. Vehicles registered in Cumberland County need to get an emissions test. Vehicle inspections must be performed at an inspection station or by an inspector that has been licensed by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. Find out more about vehicle inspections in Maine. Once the vehicle passes inspection, you will be issued an inspection certification.
  7. Visit your local municipal office, and bring the completed title/registration form with you, along with the inspection certification. In addition, you will need to provide proof of insurance, and the odometer reading, if the vehicle is less than 10 years old.
  8. If you live in a municipality that does not participate in the registration program, you will need to take all the documents to the BMV branch office.
  9. For vehicles that have been registered in another state, you must also bring the original, out-of-state title. If the title is unavailable, bring the registration document, along with proof of sales tax payment.

REGISTRATION FEES

When registering your vehicle at the local municipal office, you will be required to pay certain fees, typically as follows:
  1. The registration fee, which varies depending on the manufacturer's model year or the vehicle's total weight.
  2. Title application fee which is $33.
There may be additional fees when you register, depending on your county. Contact the BMV branch office for the specific requirements.

RENEWING YOUR VEHICLE REGISTRATION

Owners of motor vehicles in Maine are required to renew their vehicle registration annually, and can do so in person or online. See our Registration Renewal section for complete details.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

  • If you are a non-resident active duty member of the U.S. Armed Forces or a non-resident full-time student attending a Maine college or university, you are required to title or register your vehicle. You will need to show proof of military ID if you are in the armed forces. You will also be exempted from paying excise tax on vehicles if you are in the military.
  • The process for registering a motorcycle is generally the same as a car registration; however, there are different procedures for boat registration and custom car registration.
  • Auto Insurance is needed to legally operate all vehicles in Maine.
  • See also Renewing Your Vehicle Registration.
  • See also Title Transfers and Car Insurance.

Reviews of How to Register a Vehicle in Maine

I am importing a Toyota Rav 4 from New Your and having it shipped toBangor where I will pick it up, hopefully soon. I do not have a pick up date yet. I will need a transport sticker for Maine so I can get it to the border and then register it in New Brunswick. I noticed you are closed on Wednesdays and wondered if I got the transport ahead of time, how long is it good for before it expires, just in case I had a call on WEdnesday. I could drive down a day ahead and get one if allowed. Please advise. Thanks Donna

 

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