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License Plates & Placards in Maine

SUMMARY: Maine License Plates

Maine license plates are issued when you register your vehicle, so you'll apply for license plates by registering your car. Once you have tags, you'll need to renew your registration in order to renew your license plates. You can replace your license plates if they're missing or damaged, and you can transfer your tags from your current vehicle to a new one.

Keep reading for information about Maine license plates.

Are you eligible for disabled parking? Get application information on our Disability Placards and Plates page.

Looking for unique license plate options? See our pages on Types of ME Specialty Plates and Applying for Specialty Plates for complete details.

Types of Maine License Plates

Most vehicles in Maine require license plates issued by the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV), including:

  • Passenger cars.
  • Trucks and vans.
  • Motorcycles.
  • Recreational vehicles (RVs).
  • Trailers.

Most vehicles have to display a license plate on the rear of the vehicle and another on the front. However, motorcycles and trailers only need a rear plate.

Your rear license plate must have registration expiration decals on the right side of the plate.

In addition to the standard Maine license plate, you can apply for a specialty plate. The ME DMV offers several types of specialty plates, including occupational and organizational plates.

If you have a disability, you may be eligible for a disability license plate for access to disabled parking.

Temporary Tags

Maine car dealers can give you a temporary registration plate valid for 14 days when you buy a motor vehicle or trailer. Dealers may charge a fee to provide this tag.

NOTE: If you are a non-resident member of the Armed Services, you can use the temporary plate for 20 days.

You can apply for an extension of 20 days if you have not yet registered your vehicle or received your registration from the BMV.

Apply for License Plates

You'll apply for a license plate in Maine by registering your vehicle with the ME BMV.

You must complete the registration process yourself, even if you bought your car at a dealership. If you move to Maine, you have 30 days to register your vehicle.

For more details, see our page on Vehicle Registration in Maine.

Renew Your Maine Tags

Your tags must be renewed before the expiration date shown on the validation stickers.

The ME BMV does not send a renewal reminder unless you request one, which can be done online.

When you renew your registration, you'll receive a new expiration sticker for your license plate.

See our Registration Renewal page for more information.

Replace Lost, Stolen, or Damaged Plates

If your Maine license plates have been lost, stolen, or damaged, you need to request replacements within 24 hours.

If your plates are lost or stolen, you must create a temporary plate showing your tag number to attach to your vehicle until your replacements arrive.

To apply for replacements, you need to submit:

Submit your application in person at a BMV office or participating municipal office.

Transfer or Surrender Vehicle Tags

You can transfer your Maine license plates as long as you register your new car in the same year you cancel the old registration.

You'll have to pay:

  • Any difference in registration fees.
  • An $8 transfer fee.

You'll transfer the plates when you register your car for the first time.

You may be required to surrender license plates to the Maine BMV if you no longer need them. Send a notarized Plate Cancellation Request (Form MVR 60) to the address listed on the form.

Contact the BMV at (207) 624-9000, extension 52149 for more information.

Fees for Maine License Plates

The fees below DO NOT include taxes, services charges, or other fees you may need to pay.

  • New standard plates and yearly renewal:
    • Passenger car: $35.
    • Motorcycle: $21.
    • RV: See the BMV fee chart. Fees are based on vehicle weight, type, year, and model.
  • Replacements:
    • License plate only: $5.
    • License plate with stickers: $5.50.
  • License plate transfer: $8 PLUS any difference in registration fees.

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