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Green Driver State Incentives in Maine

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Maine drivers of fuel-efficient vehicles—hybrid cars, electric vehicles, alternative fuel vehicles, and more—can save some green for driving green. Read more below on how Maine encourages locals to adopt eco-friendlier driving habits.

Note that environment-related incentives and laws are ever-evolving, so be sure to bookmark this page as well as check with your local Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) and the Alternative Fuels Data Center for up-to-date information.

Maine Registration Emission Testing Exemptions for Fuel Efficient Cars

Maine does not require vehicle emissions testing for first-time ME vehicle registration or registration renewal, unless you live in Cumberland County, in which case, your vehicle must undergo an enhanced inspection detailed in the subsection below.

Maine does require an annual safety inspection for all ME-registered vehicles—with the exception of low-speed vehicles. For more on this, scroll down to the section titled "Maine Safety Inspection Exemptions."

For more in-depth details about emissions and the state's safety inspection requirement, consult our section titled Smog & Emission Checks.

To find a nearby inspection station, use the locator widget at the bottom of this page.

Exemptions for the Class E Enhanced InspectionCumberland County Residents

You must take your vehicle in for a Class E Enhanced Inspection if all three of the following are true:

  • You live in Cumberland County.
  • You drive a gasoline-powered vehicles (hybrids, included).
  • Your vehicle requires vehicle registration* in Cumberland County.

However, if you drive a fully electric vehicle, you might be exempt from this enhanced inspection. For more on emissions test exemptions, contact your local Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) branch office or Maine's Motor Vehicle Inspection Program at (207) 624-8939.

*Please note, Cumberland County residents who own a vehicle that doesn't require Maine registration can still opt for (and request) a Class E inspection.

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ME Auto Insurance Incentives for Fuel-Efficient Cars

Owning a green vehicle—hybrid cars, hybrid SUVs, electric cars—might earn you lower premiums on car insurance. That's because the State gives auto insurance providers the green light to credit or refund any apportionment of a clean fuel vehicle's insurance coverage.

Your eco-friendly car is eligible if it's powered by any of the following energy sources:

  • Compressed natural gas.
  • Liquefied natural gas.
  • Liquefied petroleum gas.
  • Hydrogen.
  • Solar energy.
  • Dynamic flywheels.
  • Certain alcohol fuels.
  • Electricity.

To learn if you qualify for this incentive, consult your car insurance company about potential green vehicle discounts.

Also note that some car insurance companies also reward green driving habits. Inquire about:

  • Economy car discounts.
  • Low-mileage discounts.
  • Pay as you drive discounts.

If you drive low mileage per year you could get a discount. Just owning or leasing a eco-friendly vehicle can get you up to a 10% discount on car insurance.

If your current Maine auto insurance carrier doesn't reward eco-friendly driving, find one that does. Compare auto insurance rates online and save some green for going green.

Maine Tax Incentives for Fuel Efficient Cars

Currently Maine does not offer any state tax incentives for owners of fuel efficient cars. It does, however, offer tax incentives for biofuel and biodiesel producers.

If you have questions regarding how to take advantage of federal and state incentives, consider consulting with a tax attorney, your local IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center, or Maine Revenue Services.

Federal Tax Credits for Fuel-Efficient Vehicle Owners

Owning fuel efficient cars might qualify you for federal tax credits, complements of the IRS. Qualifying eco-friendly vehicles include:

  • Electric cars (EVs).
  • Hybrids.
  • Plug-in hybrids (PEVs).
  • Diesels.
  • Alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs).

For additional information on federal tax credits, consult fueleconomy.gov.

Maine Safety Inspection Exemptions for Low-Speed Vehicles

Owning a registered low-speed vehicle might exempt you from Maine's annual safety inspection. To qualify, your vehicle must meet the following requirements:

  • It must be registered in Maine.
  • It must display a special low-speed license plate.
  • It must meet state and federal safety standards.

Maine defines a low-speed vehicle as a motor vehicle that:

  • Has 4 wheels.
  • Can reach a speed of at least 20 MPH but not exceed 25 MPH.
  • Weighs fewer than 3,000 lbs.

All-terrain vehicles (ATV) do not qualify as low-speed. For more on the Maine annual safety inspection, see the state site. For more on low-speed vehicles, see Maine Revised Statutes Title 29-A, sections 501 and 1925.

Vehicle Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) Weight Exemption

Because having an auxiliary power unit to reduce idling adds extra weight, Maine gives a break to those with qualified heavy duty vehicles. If your vehicle has a qualified APU, it may exceed the gross vehicle and axle weight limits—set by the State—by up to 400 lbs. Read more on this exception to the fine schedule in the Maine Revised Statutes: Title 29-A (Section 2360).

Transportation & Climate Initiative of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic States

Maine is one of the participating states of the Transportation & Climate Initiative (TCI). This collaboration of Northeast and Mid-Atlantic jurisdictions aims to grow the clean energy economy, shrink oil dependence, and reduce transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions. As an eco-friendly driver, you might be interested in TCI's efforts to enhance the environment.

Find a Nearby Maine Inspection Station

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