Registration Renewal in Maine
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Renew ME Registration
You must renew your vehicle's registration annually to avoid any legal tangles. You must also maintain car insurance. If you're in the market for lower rates, you can compare quotes from a range of different carriers at our Insurance Center. To find out the next steps in renewing your registration, scroll down to our section called Check Your Renewal Notice.
Register a Vehicle in ME for the First Time
If you just purchased a new vehicle or recently moved to the state, you must register your vehicle for the first time. You can learn what you need and where to go at our car registration page.
Register a Non-Operational Vehicle
You do not have to notify the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) when taking your vehicle off the road. Before you begin driving it again you must:
The BMV does not send formal renewal notices, but you can sign up for an e-mail reminder.
Reminder or not, you're responsible for remembering to renew your registration by the last day of the month in which it expires. You're also responsible for keeping up with your vehicle's annual safety inspection and, if you live in Cumberland County, it's annual emissions inspection.
The registration fee for a passenger vehicle is $35. You must also pay an excise tax, which is based on your vehicle's original value. The excise tax is similar to an insurance rate in that you can expect to pay more if your vehicle is new or a high-end model.
Avoid Late Fees and Penalties
There are no late fees for filing late, but you are at risk for a ticket if the police catch you driving without a valid registration.
You can only use this option if your municipality participates in the state's Rapid Renewal online program. If yes, here's what to do:
- Make sure your vehicle is up to date with smog and safety inspections.
- Have your current registration.
- Have your insurance card.
- Have you vehicle's current mileage.
- Be able to pay with an electronic check or either a MasterCard or Visa.
- Have a printer. The receipt will serve as your temporary registration, valid for seven days.
- Visit the state's Rapid Renewal page, select your municipality, and follow the instructions.
Your new registration and tab should arrive in the mail within seven days.
- Determine whether it's time for a smog and safety inspection.
- Have proof of insurance.
- Have white and yellow copies of the registration application.
- Pay excise tax at your town office and collect the receipt.
- Submit all documents (including the receipt) to your town office. If your municipality does not participate in the state's registration program, you must instead deliver all the above documents to any BMV office.
- Pay the registration fee.
You cannot renew by mail.
Place your registration decal on the rear bumper. Accompanying instructions will explain where to affix it.
The BMV recommends contacting an accountant or a tax attorney for information on whether you can claim all or part of your registration fee as a tax deduction.
Road safety means more than wearing a seat belt and adhering to posted speed limits. It also applies to vehicle maintenance. For instance, rotating and changing the tires, changing the oil regularly, and taking your vehicle in for annual tune ups will keep your vehicle safely running.
Other Topics in This Section
- Register Car
- Registration Renewal
- Registration & Insurance
- Replacing a Lost Registration
- RV & Motorhome Registration
- Custom Built Car Registration
- Boat Registration and Licenses
- Title Transfers
- Replacing a Lost Title
- Salvaged Vehicles
- Special Vehicles
- Drivers with Disabilities
- License Plates & Placards
- Smog & Emission Checks
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