Boater registrations in Maine are managed by the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (IFW) headquartered in Augusta. The IFW works to keep the state’s waterways safe to navigate and boat registration is one way that the department achieves this goal. Provided through a statewide network of municipal tax collectors and town clerks who serve as Recreational Vehicle Agents for the Fish and Wildlife Department, boat registration helps keep Maine’s waters pleasant for all ME boat enthusiasts. Keep reading to learn about Maine boating laws, registration requirements and safety courses.

Requirements for Boater Registration in Maine

Meeting the requirements to register a boat in Maine is the first step in registering a boat in the state. Similar to the car registration process, all motorboats of any size must follow guidelines established by the state and maintain a valid ME registration. The official registration form is called the ATV, Boat and Resident Snowmobile Registration Application.

Before registering a watercraft at the main Augusta IFW office or anywhere else, you must first pay any excise tax due in your town of residence. New Maine boat registration forms must be filed in person at the IFW’s main office or at a participating municipal or town clerk’s office.

Exemptions from Boat Registration and Titling in Maine

Common boat registration exemptions in Maine are similar to those that are exempt in other states. Knowing which boats are exempt from registration in Maine can help you avoid legal complications and possibly save you money. Some of the boats that not require registration include the following:

  • Watercraft with valid out-of-state registration showing a visible number and that will not be used in Maine more than 60 consecutive days
  • Military or public watercraft, except vessels used for recreational purposes
  • A ship’s lifeboat
  • Motorboats used by the U.S. or a state-level government used for governmental purposes
  • Motorboats from other countries that are not within Maine for over 60 consecutive days
  • Motorboats used exclusively for racing and bearing a valid racing association’s boat number

Maine Boat Insurance

If you have a loan on your boat, the lending institution may require you to compare boat insurance rates in ME and buy insurance that covers their interest in your vessel. The IFW recommends obtaining quotes from various providers and protecting yourself and your vessel with boat insurance due to the inherent risks involved in boating and the commonality of boating accidents.

There are many boat insurance programs in Maine that provide vessel coverage even though ME lacks a state-mandated requirement to purchase it. You may be able to reduce what boat insurance companies in Maine charge you by having a boating safety education card.

Maine Boat Registration Fees

Boat registration fees in Maine vary based on the size of the motor and whether your boat includes a lake and river protection sticker. The registration costs are as follows:

  • 0-10 Horsepower Motor – $26.00 with lake and river protection sticker
    • 0-10 Horsepower Motor – $16.00 without lake and river protection sticker
  • 11-50 Horsepower Motor – $31.00 with lake and river protection sticker
    • 11-50 Horsepower Motor – $21.00 without lake and river protection sticker
  • 51-115 Horsepower Motor – $37.00 with lake and river protection sticker
    • 51-115 Horsepower Motor – $27.00 without lake and river protection sticker
  • Over 116 Horsepower Motor – $45.00 with lake and river protection sticker
    • Over 116 Horsepower Motor – $35.00 without lake and river protection sticker
  • Personal Watercraft – $45.00 with lake and river protection sticker
    • Personal Watercraft – $35.00 without lake and river protection sticker

Boat registration fees in ME include a $1 agent fee, which is the same amount you will pay for a replacement boat registration document. If you also need a replacement sticker, the fee is $2. A temporary boat transfer will cost $4 to obtain.

Renewing Your Maine Boat Registration

You may renew boat registration online in Maine in certain counties by signing up with the InforME portal offered by the IFW. If you want to renew your registration by mail, send your fee payment and renewal notice to the address printed on it.

As with initial boat registrations, the renewal process requires you to pay excise tax on your vessel before obtaining your annual renewal. Your boat registration renewal notice will tell you when to renew a boat registration in Maine, but it is also easy to remember that boat registrations are valid for one year and expire on December 31 of the year of issue

Replacing Your Maine Boat Registration

To replace a boat registration in Maine requires completing another ATV, Boat and Resident Snowmobile Registration Application form. Keep in mind that you must deliver the form and fees to the IFW’s main office or your municipal or town clerk’s office. You cannot replace a boat registration online in Maine at this time.

Boater Safety Courses in Maine

A boater safety course in Maine is required of all boaters between 16 and 18 years of age must before operating a boat. Although some online classes provide adequate Maine boating safety course options, keep in mind that these classes must be approved by the IFW.

Maine Boater License

A Maine online boating license and a boating safety education card are not the same. Some boaters call a boater education card a boater license, but the boater education card does not meet the definition of a license due to its lack of expiration.

Last updated on Monday, March 11 2019.

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