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A certificate of title issued by the state of Maine is a document that proves legal ownership of a vehicle. A title must be obtained when an individual purchases a new vehicle. A title transfer must also be completed when a used vehicle is sold or gifted, or when a vehicle changes hands as a result of the death of the vehicle's owner.
OBTAINING A TITLE FOR A NEW VEHICLE:
For new vehicles, the licensed dealer that sold the vehicle typically will accept and submit the required titling information and fees on behalf of the buyer. However, buyers wishing to handle the titling independently can do so. Those interested in applying for a new title without the dealer's assistance should refer to the Applying for a Title page on the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) website.
TRANSFERRING A TITLE ON A USED VEHICLE:
Sale/Purchase or Gift of a Used Vehicle
When you purchase a used vehicle that is less than 16 years old, or obtain one as a gift, the title must be legally transferred into your name. This is done by obtaining the following documents, and submitting them along with the appropriate fees to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles:
- An application for title, which can be obtained from any BMV motor vehicle branch office or from the main BMV office.
- The existing certificate of title, with the assignment completed by the seller or donor (signing the title over to you), and notarized.
- If the title does not indicate the date of sale and selling price, a completed bill of sale signed by both current and new owner and notarized, may be required.
- An Odometer Disclosure Statement.
- Other documents as specified in the title application form.
Along with the appropriate transfer of title documents above, you will need to submit the appropriate required title fee.
- $23 title fee.
- $10 for immediate issuance of title, if applicable.
Please contact a BMV motor vehicle office to calculate the total amount due.
Transfer of Title Following Death of Vehicle Owner
In the event of the death of the vehicle owner, the title is often transferred to the heirs or someone else identified in the owner's will. The procedures and fees for this type of transfer are similar to those outlined above. In addition, it is important to determine how the estate of the deceased has been settled by the heir(s).
In some cases, the heirs may need to complete an Affidavit of Surviving Spouse or Personal Representative and provide copies of both the death certificate and the will (or a notarized statement of its contents), if there is one.
For more information on title transfers following the death of a vehicle owner, refer to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles website, contact the local BMV motor vehicle branch office, or call 207-624-9000
Appropriate title transfer documents and fees should be submitted to the local BMV motor vehicle branch office or mailed to the headquarters office:
Bureau of Motor Vehicles Title Examination and Information Unit 29, State House station,
Augusta, ME 04333-0029
- Contact the local BMV office if you wish to add, remove or change a name on a vehicle title for reason other than those discussed above.
- If there is an existing lien on the vehicle, there will be additional requirements for transferring the title
- A valid title provides proof of ownership of the vehicle. However, remember that a title transfer does not entitle the new owner(s) to legally operate the vehicle. For this, refer to the appropriate license and registration information.