Dealer Licensing in Maine
In Maine, any person or business selling more than five vehicles in a 12-month period, displaying three or more vehicles for sale within a 30-day period, or buying vehicles in order to resell them qualifies as a dealer in Maine. This means you need a Maine auto dealer's license.
The process to get a Maine auto dealer's license is complicated, but it's doable. And once you obtain a dealer's license, you can do things like buy at private, dealer-only auctions and drive around with dealer plates.
If you want to become an auto dealer, you need to have a few things set before you even apply to the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) for a license:
- A lease for at least one year for your proposed place of business.
- A plot plan for the proposed location and an approved zoning form from the municipality.
- Partnership papers and/or corporation papers.
- Sales tax number.
- Liability insurance and a surety bond guaranteeing the title and mileage of the vehicles you sell.
Once you have your business in place, you're ready to apply to the Maine BMV for an auto dealer's license. You need to fill out a variety of specific forms and mail the package to the BMV in Augusta along with a nonrefundable $150 application fee.
The BMV will send an inspector to conduct an investigation on-site at your proposed business location. You will be notified in advance by the BMV as to when the inspector will arrive.
The inspector can pass or deny your application. You can be denied for any of the following reasons:
- Misstatement on the application for license
- Failure to comply with the requirements to obtain or maintain the license
- Failure to have an established place of business
- Not notifying the state 30 days prior to moving locations
- Not maintaining a surety bond or liability insurance
- Defrauding a customer
- Conviction of any fraudulent act connected with the dealer business
- Violating the Maine Unfair Trade Practices Act
- Submitting a check that is dishonored or refused
- Failure to appear at a hearing
If you pass, on the other hand, you'll pay another $150 for your dealer's license. The license must be renewed annually for $150 each year.
Here's a schedule of the current Maine auto dealer licensing and registration fees:
- Initial application filing fee: $150 (nonrefundable)
- Annual dealer license (motorcycles and light trailers): $50
- Annual dealer license (recycler): $150
- Annual dealer license (other vehicles): $150
- Motorcycle and light trailer plate: $20
- Other vehicle plate: $20
- Equipment service plate: $20
- Service vehicle and wrecker plate: $50
- Heavy wrecker plate: $200
- New-car vanity plate: $50
- Annex locations: $150
- Secondary locations: $100
For more information about dealer licensing, including detailed information about requirements, definitions, liability, record-keeping, recyclers, auctioneers, and more, see Chapter 9 of the Title 29-A legal statutes governing auto dealers in Maine.
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