Motorists must obtain car registration plates in Maine as part of their vehicle’s initial registration and titling procedure. As such, car owners must apply for an ME DMV license plate through the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV), which is administered by the Secretary of State (SOS) department. Overall, when drivers apply for new registration plates, the BMV provides them with registration stickers, plates and a registration certificate.

Furthermore, vehicle owners must renew license plate stickers and registration materials once per year on a staggered basis. Nonetheless, if these credentials become damaged, it is important to replace them with duplicate tags and/or stickers that are actually legible. Explore all of the requirements and procedures pertaining to how to get a license plate in Maine by reviewing the following sections.

Types of License Plates in Maine

Car owners seeking new registration plates in Maine can choose from a variety of different tag options during, or even after, the vehicle registration process. For example, common types of car tags include basic plates for passenger vehicles, disability plates and placards, veteran plates and specialty or recognition plates. Overall, specialty plates are designed to show support to participating organizations or causes. Additionally, vehicle owners who need to get license plate credentials may apply for a temporary 10-day registration permit or transit plate through the BMV.

In general, the ME BMV license plate fees vary according to the type of car tag that you requested. In the case of commercial vehicles, farm trucks or motorhomes, licensing fees will vary by gross vehicle weight.

How to Apply for a License Plate in Maine

As a general rule, vehicle owners must visit a local municipal office or BMV branch in person to complete the process to get a license plate. Moreover, drivers must apply for license plates on their own, regardless of whether they purchased a vehicle from a dealership or private seller. In any case, when applying for new car tags, motorists must submit the following documentation:

  • The vehicle’s suggested retail price sticker, in the case of brand-new cars
  • If the motorist acquired a car from a dealership, he or she must submit the vehicle’s bill of sale or sales agreement, blue title application, proof of auto insurance and excise tax receipt, as well as a white and yellow copy of the registration application
  • If the driver acquired a car in a private sale, he or she must provide the vehicle’s bill of sale, current title certificate, proof of auto insurance, the excise tax receipt and a white and yellow copy of the registration application
  • An acceptable payment method for all of the BMV license plate, registration and sales tax fees
  • A properly designated application form, if applying for disability plates

Keep in mind that if your local municipality does not process applications for car registration tags, you must visit a local BMV branch.

How to Renew License Plate Tags in Maine

Motorists must renew license plate credentials during their renewal period. In most cases, drivers have to complete the vehicle registration renewal procedure once per year after submitting excise property taxes to their town office. However, the process of renewing license plate stickers and tags may vary according to each county.

Certain counties may allow vehicle owners to complete the license plate renewal process online through their official portals. However, if a particular town or county does not offer this method, motorists will be required to renew their credentials in person at a local BMV branch.

If you are wondering how to renew a license plate in person, it is important to note that you may be able to do so by visiting your local municipal office after paying excise tax. However, that is only possible if your city of residence processes vehicle registrations. On the other hand, if your town office does not process vehicle registrations, you must visit a BMV office after paying the excise tax. Upon renewing car tags in person, you will be asked to submit proof of having paid the excise tax, as well as your current auto insurance card.

How to Replace License Plates in Maine

You must replace license plate stickers or tags if they become illegible, sustain damages or go missing from your vehicle. Like other services related to a car’s titling and registration, this request must be processed through the state’s Bureau of Motor Vehicles. When replacing license plate credentials, you must visit a local BMV office to submit the appropriate application form and pay for any applicable replacement fees. Moreover, you must include a copy of your vehicle’s registration certificate. As an alternative, you may replace car tags in Maine by mailing to the BMV this application form along with the required supplementary paperwork.

Note: You cannot replace BMV car tags or registration stickers online. However, you may request a replacement registration certificate online through the official BMV portal.

How to Transfer License Plates in Maine

Under state law, drivers may transfer their Maine car registration tags from one vehicle to another if they cancel their current registration and transfer their license plates to a different car during the same registration year. In general, car owners must complete this process upon registering their newly-acquired vehicle in the state. If you do not transfer your car registration plates from one vehicle to another, you must file a request to cancel your current car tag, which must be submitted to the BMV by mail or in person.

Maine License Plate Fees

The applicable fees for Maine BMV car tags and registrations vary depending on the type of vehicle and type of license plate. In some cases, the weight of a vehicle may also be a determining factor in the cost of these procedures. Besides the general fees for new car tags in ME, vehicle owners must also take into consideration the costs related to renewing, replacing or transferring an existing license plate and registration credential.

License plates are issued with vehicle registrations, so the registration fee includes the issuance of your license plates. The basic registration fee is $35. Specialty plates cost an additional $25.

License Plate Lookups in Maine

Performing an online BMV license plate lookup can be helpful prior to the purchase of a used vehicle. Through this procedure, you can learn more about a vehicle’s history, including its previous owners, involvement in accidents and safety recalls, if applicable. In addition, a Maine BMV car tag search can provide you with important information about the vehicle’s engine type, manufacturer and general specifications.

Last updated on Tuesday, March 10 2020.