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  • Buying and Selling FAQs in Maine

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    ME Buying and Selling FAQs

    Below, we've provided answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about buying and selling vehicles in Maine.


    What are the rules for importing vehicles from other countries?

    The vehicle must meet or be able to conform to meet U.S. standards for safety and emissions. A U.S. version will have a manufacturer's label in the engine compartment that states the vehicle conforms to U.S. standards.

    The federal government maintains a list of foreign vehicles you are allowed to import for modification and personal use. Not all foreign vehicles can be modified to meet U.S. standards.

    After bringing a vehicle into the U.S., you need to contact the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at (202) 366-5291. The agencies may need to approve the vehicle for use on U.S. roads before you can register and title it with the Maine BMV.

    The Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) will require vehicle owners to present one or all of following documents to show the vehicle was legally imported:

    • U.S. Department of Transportation HS-7 Form.
    • U.S. Customs Form 7501.
    • U.S. Customs Declaration Form CF3299.
    • U.S. Customs Declaration Forms DD1252 or DD788 for returning military personnel.

    How do I find a company that can retrofit my import to meet U.S. standards?

    The federal government maintains a national list of registered importers, including companies in Maine, that meet standards set by the .


    Can I buy foreign vehicle parts and assemble them as a made-in-America car?

    No. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration prohibits the importation of foreign vehicle parts by individuals to assemble for road use in this country.


    How much does it cost to register my new car?

    The vehicle registration fee is $35, which you pay at your city or town office. You also must pay sales tax, if the dealer did not already collect it, as well as a local excise tax, and if applicable, an additional special license plate fee.


    My vehicle registration expired. Can I order a temporary registration until I can get to my town office for the new stickers?

    You can get a temporary registration and renew your expired one without leaving your home.

    If you live in a participating city or town, you can renew online using Maine's Rapid Renewal service. You have to pay by either credit card or electronic check. You will be asked to type in your old registration number, insurance card information and vehicle mileage.

    Once you're done, you can print out a temporary registration that is good for 10 days―and until your new stickers arrive in the mail.