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How Do I...? - Motor Vehicles

How do I find public transportation?

Find a transit provider in your county on the Department of Transportation Explore Maine website.

How do I pay a traffic ticket?

You may pay tickets by mail to the Violations Bureau, in person at the Maine District Court at 85 Park Street in Lewiston, or you may use the PayTixx system to pay online at http://www.paytixx.com/ or by phone with a credit card. To pay by phone, call (866) PAY-TIXX (729-8499). For more traffic violations information, see the violations FAQ.

How do I register my car?

For step by step instructions about how to register your car, visit the BMV website at http://www.maine.gov/sos/bmv/registration/reginfo.htm .

How do I renew my vehicle registration?

Reminders are not sent out, so remember to renew by the end of the month a year to the date you registered. Go to the town government office and bring your old registration certificate and your up-to-date insurance papers to renew and pay your fee. If it has expired, you must register as soon as possible: there isn't a late fee, but you will be in danger of receiving a warning, then a summons, if found with an expired registration. If nothing has changed on your registration (such as your name or address) you can do rapid online registration in participating cities in Maine. Vehicle Registration Renewal Online (Rapid Renewal)

How do I check the status of a registration renewal?

To check your renewal status, call the BMV at (207) 624-9000, extension 52149.

How do I change my address or name on my vehicle registration?

If you are in Maine, you can change your address or name by visiting your municipal office or a Bureau of Motor Vehicles branch office with your current registration and your new address or name change proof. They will make the change and provide you with a new registration on that visit. If you are out of state or would like to handle this through the mail, complete a copy of the address change form (available at your municipal or branch office or, in the case of the out-of-state registrant, mail us a notarized letter with your new address or proof of name change), and mail it to Bureau of Motor Vehicles, ATTN: Reg Address Change, 101 Hospital St, Augusta, ME 04333. We will mail back a copy of your corrected registration. There is no cost for this service.

How do I get a copy of my vehicle registration certificate?

You can obtain a duplicate registration certificate for a registration that has not yet expired by using our on-line service. You can also obtain a duplicate registration from your municipal office or any branch office of the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. The fee on-line is 3 dollars; at the town or branch is 2 dollars.

How do I obtain new license plates with my current registration?

Use the BMV form for new plates or duplicate plates - the form is available on the BMV website at http://www.maine.gov/sos/bmv/forms/index.html . It costs $11 for a set of plates and a new sticker. If you believe they have been stolen it is advised that you write a letter of cancellation and obtain new numbers. If the registration is under more than one name, all parties must sign the letter and have it notarized.

How do I find out about vehicle safety inspections?

Maine requires all motor vehicles to undergo a safety inspection once a year. Vehicles registered in Cumberland County are also required to undergo an emissions test. You can get a safety inspection at many local mechanics and auto repair shops - make sure the shop is licensed by the state to conduct safety inspections. Inspections are regulated by the Maine State Police. For more information, call (207) 624-8939 or visit the State Police website at http://www.maine.gov/dps/msp/vehiclesinspections/motorvehicle_inspections.html .

How do I obtain disability license plates?

An application is filled out by your doctor and mailed to the Secretary of State or taken to a local BMV Branch Office. The form is available on the BMV website at http://www.maine.gov/sos/bmv/forms/index.html . To be eligible for disability plates, you must have a permanent disability. Disability placards may also be obtained and these are issued free of charge.

How do I register a motorcycle?

The process for registration is the same as for a car, but the fees are different. There is a $21 registration fee and for motorcycles 300ccs or greater a title is needed. For detailed instructions, visit the BMV website at http://www.maine.gov/sos/bmv/registration/mcreg.htm .

How do I obtain a learner's permit?

To get a permit, you must be at least 15 years of age and have successfully completed an approved driver education course, then complete a written knowledge examination and a vision screening. The permit allows you to operate a vehicle when accompanied by a licensed driver who is at least 20 years old and has held a valid license for two consecutive years. The permit is generally valid for 18 months. In most cases the driver education provider will have the forms processed for you through the Bureau of Motor Vehicles and you will receive your permit in the mail. For detailed information, visit the BMV website at http://www.maine.gov/sos/bmv/licenses/permit.html .

How do I obtain my first driver's license?

To obtain a driver's license you must successfully complete a driver knowledge examination and vision screening. You must be at least 16 years of age and have completed an approved driver education course. If you are 18 years of age or older you are not required to complete driver education. You must successfully complete a road test. If you are under 21 years of age, you are required to complete 35 hours of practice driving, which must include five hours of night driving, and have held your instruction permit for at least six months. For detailed information, visit the BMV website at http://www.maine.gov/sos/bmv/licenses/getlicense.html .

Note: The first license issued to a new applicant under 21 years of age is provisional for a period of two years. In addition, if you were issued a license on or after August 11, 2000 and are less than 18 years of age, you are prohibited from carrying passengers other than immediate family members for a period of 90 days, unless you are accompanied by another licensed driver who is at least 20 years of age and has held a valid license for the past two years. If you are at least 21 years of age, your first license will be provisional for a period of one year. If a person is convicted of a moving violation that occurred while operating with a provisional license, the license will be suspended for 60 days. Second and third offenses involve more severe penalties.

The Class C and motorcycle license/permit examination costs $10 and a Photo License (six-year license) is $30.00.

Am I required to take a driving school class before I can apply for a driver's license?

If you are 18 years of age or older you are not required to complete driver education, but you must successfully complete a road test.

What do I do if I fail either the written or driving part of the test?

You can retake the exams. Should you fail either the written or road test you will be instructed at that time on how to proceed with applying for a retest.

How do I renew my driver's license?

You will receive a notice in the mail four to six weeks prior to expiration. If you have a digital license and meet other eligibility requirements, you may now renew your license online. Or you may visit a BMV Branch Office, a mobile unit site or third-party agent and pay the necessary fees for renewal.

BMV Branch Office Locations

Current license fees are available online.

If your license has already expired: You won't have to retake any tests if you renew any time up to five years after your license expires. After five years, however, you'll have to retake the driving and written exams.

How do I change my address on my driver's license?

Maine law requires you to notify the Secretary of State within 30 days of any change in your name or address. As of April 18, 2008, you are required to show proof of your Maine residential address to BMV branch office personnel before an address change request can be processed. For more information about this requirement, please visit our website at ( http://www.maine.gov/sos/bmv/licenses/residency.htm ) or call 624-9000, ext. 52114.

How do I replace a lost or stolen driver's license?

If you have a digital license, you may now order a replacement license online. Or visit your local branch office with two proofs of identity.

How do I convert my out-of-state driver's license?

You cannot transfer your previous license directly. You need to fill out the Maine license forms at a BMV branch office, take a vision screening, and pay the license fee. If your previous license was current, you do not need to take a road or written test. BMV Branch Office Locations - http://www.maine.gov/sos/bmv/locations/index.html

How do I obtain a non-driver state ID card?

Any Maine resident may apply for an official state non-driver identification card. State ID cards are issued at all motor vehicle branch offices and mobile unit sites. The fee is $5.00. Bring two forms of identification -- one must indicate your date of birth and the other must bear your written signature. BMV Branch Office Locations - http://www.maine.gov/sos/bmv/locations/index.html

How do I get a license for driving a motorcycle?

You can have the motorcycle license added onto your regular license. There is a different learner's permit, test and license for motorcycles. However, the license is usually an addendum to your regular automobile license.

In order to obtain a motorcycle endorsement on your Maine license you will need to take a rider course. The course you will need is a 15 hour hands-on course called the Basic Rider Course (BRC). To find a listing of BRC courses available in your area, please visit http://nm.msf-usa.org/msf/ridercourses.aspx?state=ME . Upon successful completion of this course, the state will waive the road test.

The other alternatives would be to enroll in a classroom-only course and this course is offered in Maine only. The MMSEC course is an 8-hour classroom-only course and is designed to introduce the new rider to techniques to minimize risk to riders. These courses are made available through a variety of providers such as driving school. You can also check with motorcycle dealers to see whom they use. After you complete this 8-hour course, you will be eligible to receive an instruction permit. Once you obtain your instruction permit and when you feel ready, you can apply to take a road test.

How do I obtain a copy of my driving record?

BMV offers an online Driver's Record service so that you can obtain a copy of your record immediately - http://www.informe.org/bmv/drc/ . There is a $7-$10 fee for each record, depending on whether you request a 3 year or 10 year record. Alternatively, you can obtain a copy of your driving record by mail from the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. Instructions are online at http://www.maine.gov/sos/bmv/licenses/drrecord.html .