If you own a vehicle in Maine, you are responsible for completing a Maine car registration renewal every year. This renewal keeps your registration and license plates current and prevents you from facing consequences from driving with expired credentials. You may opt to receive an emailed renewal notice from the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles a month before your registration is set to expire so that you can ensure that you complete the renewal on time.

In Maine, you have two options for a BMV car registration renewal: in person or online. Each of these options has slightly different requirements, and it is also important to keep in mind that not everyone is eligible to renew a car registration online. Be aware of what the eligibility requirements are and what the specific steps are for each renewal so that you are completely prepared. To learn more about how to renew your car registration in Maine, read the sections below.

Requirements for Car Registration Renewal in Maine

You may initiate a motor vehicle registration renewal up to 60 days before your registration expiration date. You may also complete your registration renewal after it expires. However, if you choose to renew online, you must renew no later than seven months after the expiration.

Additionally, you must be a resident of Maine and you must own the vehicle that is registered under your name. You must also be prepared to pay all applicable BMV registration renewal fees. Overall, your registration will typically expire one year from the month it was issued.

What do you need to renew your car registration in Maine?

There are certain items and/or information that you need to renew auto registration in Maine in order for the process to go smoothly. If you opt to renew online through the Maine Rapid Renewal system, you must have:

  • Your current vehicle registration document.
  • Your auto insurance card.
  • Your vehicle’s current mileage.
  • Payment for the applicable fees and taxes.

If you opt to renew in person at your local municipal office or BMV branch office, you must have:

  • Evidence of insurance – ID card, policy or binder.
  • White and yellow copy of registration application and excise tax receipt from town office.

Maine Vehicle Registration Renewal Notice

Maine does not automatically send out a vehicle registration renewal notice before the expiration date of your registration. This is a service that you must sign up for. To do so, you must provide the Maine BMV with your email address, plate type expiration date and registration number.

Once your request has been processed, you will receive an email reminder notice approximately one month before your expiration.

Maine Car Registration Renewal Notice Lost or Not Received

As mentioned above, notices to renew your car registration are not automatically sent out to residents, and you must sign up for this service. It is every vehicle owner’s responsibility to keep track of his or her registration expiration date and renew registrations by the deadline.

Maine Car Registration Renewal Options

In Maine, you can choose between two available renewal methods, depending on which methods your town participates in. You may have the option to choose between either a BMV registration renewal online or in person.

How to Renew Your Car Registration Online

Before renewing your car registration online, you must determine if your town participates in the online Rapid Renewal system. Contact your local municipality to verify if you can complete an online renewal and to find out what payment methods are accepted.

In general, you may only renew online if the following is true:

  • You have an excise-taxable vehicle.
  • You can pay the fees with a valid credit or debit card or an electronic check.
  • Your registration has not been expired for more than seven months.

Once you meet the above requirements, you must:

  1. Provide your tax receipt number found on your registration document.
  2. Provide proof of auto insurance.
  3. Provide current vehicle mileage.
  4. Authorize payment of the renewal fee.

When you are finished with the online renewal transaction, you can view and print a receipt for your records.

How to Renew Your Car Registration in Person

Everyone is eligible to renew an expired car registration in person at qualifying locations throughout Maine. If your local municipality town office participates in the registration program, you may renew there. Otherwise, you must visit a Maine BMV branch office. Contact your local municipal office to find out if you can renew your registration at its office.

To process the renewal in person, you must first visit your local town office to pay the excise tax. Then, you may either complete the process at that town office or you must visit your local Maine BMV. Regardless of the location, you must do the following:

  1. Provide evidence of auto insurance, such as an ID card, policy or binder.
  2. Provide white and yellow copy of registration application and excise tax receipt from town office
  3. Pay the appropriate registration fees

Military & Out of State Vehicle Registration Renewal in Maine

Members of the U.S. military and out-of-state Maine residents can complete a BMV car registration renewal online if their license plates are soon to expire. The online option allows anyone not currently located in Maine to process the renewal without needing to visit a town office or BMV office.

Keep in mind that there are not any special grace periods or exceptions for out of state or active duty military applicants.

Maine Vehicle Registration Renewal Fees

The Maine vehicle registration renewal cost includes both a Maine excise tax and a registration fee. The excise tax varies depending on your vehicle’s value and the town in which you reside, so you must contact your local municipality office to inquire about that amount.

The registration fees also vary depending on the type of vehicle that you have and/or the type of license plates you want. A few of the most common types and fees are as follows:

  • Passenger vehicle: $35.00
  • Custom vehicle: $35.00
  • Motorcycle: $21.00
Last updated on Monday, March 9 2020.