Car Registration in MainePage Overview
All vehicles must be properly registered to legally drive on public roads. If you live in or are moving to Maine, you must register your vehicle(s) with the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV).
If your vehicle is currently registered in Maine and you need to renew, please visit our Registration Renewal page.
New residents to Maine have 30 days from the date they establish residency to register and title their vehicles with the Maine BMV. You may be able to complete your entire Maine vehicle registration at the municipal town office―contact your local office to determine if this is possible. If you’re applying for disability plates, have your physician sign the Application for Disability Plates/Placard (Form PS-18) before going to the municipal town office.
If your town office does not participate in the vehicle registration program, you will need to visit a BMV Branch Office after paying your vehicle excise tax at the town office.
- Registration certificate from your previous state.
- Title from the previous state if the vehicle is newer than 1995.
- The name and address of the lien holder (if applicable) is required on the registration application.
- White and yellow copies of the registration application from the town office.
- Excise tax receipt (provided at the town office).
- Proof of car insurance.
- A completed Maine Use Tax form (this form, along with your out-of-state registration, exempts you from paying sales tax on your vehicle).
- Payment for the $33 title application fee for vehicles 1995 or newer.
- Payment for the registration fees based upon license plate. Specialized plates cost more than standard plates.
You may be able to complete your entire vehicle registration at the municipal town office; however, not all offices participate. If the town office does not participate in the vehicle registration program, visit a BMV Branch Office with all the below documents for your specific process, only after going to the town office to pay your excise tax.
If you’re applying for disability plates, have your physician sign the Application for Disability Plates/Placard (Form PS-18) before going to the municipal town office.
Obtain Auto Insurance
You must be properly insured to register or operate a vehicle in Maine. If you're in the market for a new provider, use our Car Insurance Center to compare rates from a number of different car insurance companies.
Vehicles Purchased From a Dealer
In Maine, the dealer does not take care of all the vehicle registration paperwork. The new owner of the vehicle must do it.
To register, visit your local municipal town office and:
- Pay the excise tax (varies by municipality/county).
- Provide the Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) sticker, or a copy of the sticker, if the vehicle is brand new.
- Bring vehicle sales documents:
- Bill of Sale.
- White & yellow copy of your registration application.
- Excise tax receipt (provided by town office).
- Blue title application, for vehicles newer than 1995 only. (If your local municipality does not participate in the BMV's registration program, take the above listed sales documents to your local BMV office.)
- Show proof of auto insurance.
- Pay the registration fees based upon the type of license plate you choose.
Vehicles Purchased From a Private Individual
Go to your local municipal town office and:
- Pay the excise tax (varies by municipality/county).
- Pay the 5.5% Maine sales tax (based on the price of the vehicle).
- Bring the following vehicle sales documents:
- Bill of Sale signed by previous owner.
- Properly signed-over title (vehicles newer than 1995 only).
- White & yellow copy of vehicle registration application from the town office.
- Proof of car insurance. (If your local municipality does not participate in the BMV's registration program, take the listed sales documents to your local BMV office.)
- Pay the $33 title application fee for vehicles 1995 or newer.
- Pay the vehicle registration fees based upon the type of license plate you choose.
If you are receiving a vehicle as a gift, selling your own vehicle, or donating it, go to our Title Transfers in Maine to get more information.
Non-resident members of the military stationed in Maine must maintain current registration and insurance in their home state.
If you decide to make Maine your permanent home, follow the steps listed above under "New to Maine."
If you are a Maine resident stationed outside of the state either permanently or for a period of more than 30 days, you will need to provide certification from your commanding officer confirming that you are out of state in order to be exempted from Maine excise tax. Contact the main office of the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles at (207) 624-9000 for information on how to register your vehicle from your permanent duty station.
If you purchased and registered a vehicle overseas while on active duty, you must register it in the state of Maine.
Need more information? Visit our Drivers in the Military page.
Maine vehicle registration fees vary based on vehicle type, size, and type of license plate. The most common fees are:
- Passenger vehicles: $35
- Motorcycles: $21
- Disability plates: $35
- Mopeds: $9
Some specialty plate registrations―including agriculture, university, and "Support Your Troops" plates―cost an additional $20 fee upon first registration and $15 at each renewal. Visit Maine’s list of registration fees to see which may apply to you.
Regular license plates will be given to you at the town office or BMV Branch Office when you register your vehicle.
Disability plates are available with a signature from your physician on the Application for Disability Plates/Placard form PS-18.
Special license plates―including those for veterans, breast cancer awareness, animal welfare, and conservation support, among others―are available for an extra charge.
Vanity plates are also available for a fee of $25. Check the availability of vanity plates before requesting one during registration.
Learn more on our License & Placards page.Recommended ArticlesOther Topics in This Section