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  • New to Maine

    Moving to Maine? It's something lots of people think about. The state slogan―"The Way Life Should Be"―and the license plate motto―"Vacationland"―didn't come out of nowhere.

    Maine is a special place. There are few other places in the United States where you can live on the coast but be a short drive from world-class skiing, cosmopolitan cities, and miles and miles of unspoiled forest.

    Maine's still the rural vacationland of many people's dreams, but it's also a place where more and more people each year are choosing to make their year-round homes. You can still get a lobster by the sea at hundreds of Maine restaurants, but you can also experience five-star dining at gourmet establishments. You can go to the beach or the mountains, but you can also go to great art museums. Use this page as a guide for everything you need to know about moving to Maine, starting with motor vehicle information and moving onto general links.

    Motor Vehicle Information

    How to Get a Driver's License

    If you're moving to Maine from another state, the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BVM) will recognize your current driver's license and extend your driving privileges as a Maine resident without requiring you to take another road test. However, you will have to visit a Maine BMV office to apply for a new license, pay the current license fee, and pass a vision exam.

    If your out-of-state license has expired, or if you've never had a driver's license before, your first step is to visit a Maine BMV office to apply for a learner's permit and take a written exam. Once you have a permit, you can register for a road test. Pass the road test and you can get your first Maine driver's license.

    Registering Your Car

    In Maine, you don't usually regsiter your vehicle through the Maine BMV. Instead, you need to visit your local municipal offices to transfer or obtain a new registration and license plates. Be prepared to pay sales tax, if it's a new vehicle, and excise tax to the municipality before they will give you your new plates.

    If your municipality does not handle registration (most do), you'll instead need to go to a Maine BMV office.

    Renewing a Maine Driver's License or Registration

    Renewing a Maine driver's license or registration can be done online, if no information has changed and you live in a participating city or town. If you have moved or have a new vehicle, or if your city or town does not participate in online renewals, you need to visit your friendly local BMV office to apply.

    One important thing to remember about Maine registration renewals: No one will remind you if it's about to expire. It's up to you to remember and get it done, or risk traffic fines and possibly worse.

    Insurance Rules

    You need to meet Maine's minimum insurance requirements to drive in the state. You will be required to show proof of valid insurance―usually an insurance card―before you will be allowed to register or renew the registration for a motor vehicle. Driving without insurance in Maine is a crime.

    Organ Donor Program

    When you obtain or renew a Maine driver's license, you can choose to become an organ donor. This means you will allow organs or tissues from your body to be harvested for transplants in the event of your death. Your Maine license will reflect your organ donor status.

    Paying Traffic Tickets

    In Maine, you can pay your traffic tickets in person, by mail, or online. You can also challenge the ticket and ask for a hearing before a Maine District Court judge.

    Other Links for Maine Newcomers