Plate Surrender in Maine
Surrendering your Maine license plates following an out-of-state move, or a title transfer is your choice. Though the state strongly encourages surrendering them for your protection, there are no surrender-your-license-plates-or-else mandates.
After moving into your new home and establishing residency, register your car with Maine’s Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV). Surrendering your old license plates is not required, unless mandated by your former state’s DMV.
When it comes time to register, you'll have the choice between standard plates, for no extra fee, or one of the state's many specialized plates.
For more on Maine, your new New England home, visit our relocation guide.
The BMV strongly suggests surrendering your plates as protection against them being used by someone else. However, this is only a recommendation. The BMV will not fine you or take away your lobster rolls if you do not surrender your plates.
For more vehicle-related help during your move, visit our Moving Out of Maine page.
After agreeing to sell, remove the plates from the vehicle. You can then transfer them to another vehicle under your name, provided the plates have not expired. If you don’t plan on transferring the plates, the BMV recommends surrendering the plates for your own protection. But if you choose to keep them you can sleep well at night in knowing the BMV will not come after you, threatening with fines and suspensions.
For more information, check out our Title Transfers page.
No surrendering of license plates take place when buying a vehicle. The plates stay with the owner, not the car. You’ll need to register the vehicle to obtain permanent Maine license plates.
For more information, jump over to our Vehicle Title Transfers page.