Maine car registration is a process handled by the Department of the Secretary of State Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV). Auto registration services may be completed in-person at any of the 13 local BMV branches, or at one of Maine's 500 participating municipal offices. However, new car registration applications cannot be processed at all local municipal offices. Additionally, the process of how to get car registration documents varies depending on whether a vehicle is purchased from a dealer or private party. To learn more about getting car registration documents, review the sections provided below.
Maine Vehicle Registration Information Required
New car registration in Maine requires motorists to complete a car registration application. Applicants must provide information such as the vehicle's odometer reading, proof of vehicle ownership (for used vehicles) or a sales agreement for vehicles purchased from dealerships.
Where to Register a Car in Maine for the First Time
Maine DMV car registration documents must be submitted in-person at a participating municipal office or at one of the 13 BMV branches located throughout the state of Maine. If motorists prefer to get car registration documents at their local municipal office, they must contact their local municipality to verify whether the municipality participates in the BMV car registration program. If they do not, auto registration services in ME must be completed at a BMV branch.
"Where do I register my car if I need to pay excise tax?", motorists may wonder. According to state law, excise tax must be paid through a local municipal office before registering a vehicle. However, excise tax amounts vary depending on the year of the vehicle and the vehicle Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP).
How to Register a New Car in Maine
The process of how to get car registration certificates for vehicles purchased from dealers differs slightly from the process of registering privately-purchased vehicles. First, Maine DMV car registration laws require motorists (including out-of-state motorists) to pay excise tax on the vehicle through a local municipal office. When submitting car registry documents at a local municipal office or BMV branch, the excise tax receipt must be presented along with other required registration documents.
Getting car registration documents may be performed at a participating town office or BMV branch. Once drivers establish where they will register their vehicles, they must submit the vehicle's Bill of Sale (or a sales agreement from the dealership), a blue title application (for vehicles newer than year 1995), the vehicle's odometer reading, proof of auto insurance (in the form of an insurance card, binder or copy of the insurance policy) and a white and yellow copy of the vehicle registration application. New car registration applications must be obtained in-person at a participating municipal office or BMV branch.
When submitting ME registration of vehicle documentation, all applicable registration fees must be paid. Auto registration fees vary depending on the license plate type. To obtain disability plates, an Application for Disability Plates/Placard must be completed, along with a physician's signature. Vanity plates are also available.
How to Register a Used Car in Maine
Getting car registration documents is slightly different when a vehicle is purchased from a private seller. First, motorists must visit a local town office to pay excise tax on the vehicle. The excise tax receipt must be submitted when registering the vehicle. If the town office handles vehicle registration documents, Maine car registry documents may be obtained at this time. If not, the motorist must visit a local BMV branch to complete the registration process.
The following vehicle registration information is needed when registering a vehicle:
- The vehicle's title (signed over to the new owner). All vehicles newer than year 1995 require a title.
- A signed Bill of Sale.
- The vehicle's odometer reading.
- Proof of auto insurance.
- A white and yellow copy of the ME auto registration application.
"When I register my car, which fees do I need to pay?", motorists may ask. Privately-purchased car registration fees include a title application fee (for vehicles newer than year 1995), vehicle registration fees and a 5.5 percent Maine sales tax (depending on the purchase price of the vehicle). However, exact auto registration fees vary depending on the type of license plate selected and whether vanity plates or disability plates are obtained.
To obtain registration of vehicle documents as a new resident, motorists must visit a town municipal office to pay excise tax on the vehicle within 30 days of moving to the state of Maine. In addition to the car registry documents listed above, motorists must also submit the vehicle's out-of-state auto registration document and the vehicle's out-of-state title, along with proof of auto insurance, a receipt of excise tax paid and a white and yellow copy of the Maine vehicle registration application. If there is a lien on the vehicle, motorists will need to provide their local municipal office (or BMV branch) with the lien holder's contact information. Out-of-state residents must also pay all applicable car registration and title application fees. Sales tax is not due on vehicles purchased out-of-state; however, a Use Tax Form must be completed.
Temporary Maine Vehicle Registration
Temporary motor vehicle registration permits (transit plates) are issued for a period of up to 10 days. However, temporary auto registration transit plates are not to be used in lieu of ME vehicle registration certificates. They may be used to operate a vehicle for one round-trip or a single one-way trip throughout the state. Temporary car registration permits may not be extended.
To get car registration information regarding passenger vehicles or commercial vehicles, motorists may contact the BMV at the telephone numbers provided below:
Passenger Vehicle Registration: 207-624-9000 Extension 52151
Commercial Vehicle Registration: 207-624-9000 Extension 52151