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April 18, 2008
Contact: Don Cookson

Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap Announces State Residency Requirement
"Effective Immediately"

Augusta- Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap has announced that starting Tuesday, April 22, anyone seeking to acquire a new Maine driver license or new Maine non-driver identification card, or seeking to renew an existing license or ID card, will need to provide documentary proof they are a Maine resident before such a credential will be issued to them. "The goal of this new law is clear- to make sure people who get new Maine licenses, new non-driver ID cards, or renewals of existing licenses or ID cards do in fact reside here in Maine . It marks the first time in our State's history such a requirement is part of State law."

Dunlap says "a number of different documents will be acceptable proof of residency, as long as they contain two key items- the applicant's full legal name and physical address. This new requirement adds a high level of security to Maine licenses and non-driver ID cards issued from this point forward."

Dunlap added "It's important to note that because of these new documentary requirements in Maine law, the State's on-line license renewal and duplicate request services are being temporarily shut down, as they are incompatible with this new law. We hope to determine a workaround to let this popular service be re-instituted as soon as possible."

The new requirements will be enforced at all Bureau of Motor Vehicles branch offices and mobile locations starting Tuesday, April 22, at 8:00 AM . Below is a summary of documents which will be acceptable for the purposes of proving residency within the State of Maine , as well as an explanation of all exceptions to these requirements.

Residency Requirements

LD 2304 "An Act to Require That A Person Be a Maine Resident in Order To Be Issued a Maine Driver's License"

Emergency - Effective - Close of Business 4/18/08


This law amends the following motor vehicle statutes:

29-A section 1301 sub 11, Application for driver license

29-A section 1410 sub 1, Non-Driver ID cards

A license or ID card may not be issued, duplicated or renewed, unless that person presents acceptable documentary evidence of the person's residence or domicile in Maine. There are a few exemptions:


  • A person that proves they are on active duty in the US Armed Forces
  • The spouse or child of a person that has proven they are on active duty in the US Armed Forces
  • A student enrolled in a university, college or school within Maine

An applicant must provide proof that they qualify for the exemption. Some examples are:

  • Military ID
  • Military dependent ID card
  • Military service location orders
  • Certified school record/transcript
  • College ID card with no visible signs of irregularity
  • Form I-20 issued to an F-1 student (issued and signed by the school)
  • Form DS2019 issued to a J-1 scholar (issued and signed by the school)

Proof of residency

A PO Box or other mail drop i.e. Mail Boxes Etc., etc is not acceptable proof of residency.

The physical street address does not have to appear on the license but a physical address must be captured in the BMV computer system.

Acceptable Documentary Evidence

Acceptable documentary evidence of a person's residency or domicile in Maine must include the applicant's legal name* and physical address in Maine. Acceptable documentary evidence includes, but is not limited to:

1. A tax return, W-2 form or paycheck stub

2. A utility bill or a letter from a utility company showing application for service

3. A contract to which the applicant is a party

4. A document issued by a governmental entity


Some specific examples are listed below, but this is not an all inclusive list:

  • A tax return
  • W-2
  • Paycheck stub
  • Contract in their name - mortgage agreement, lease,
  • Tax bill
  • Document issued by a government entity
  • Recent Maine Driver's License with a physical address
  • Maine Resident Hunting and or Fishing License
  • Maine Vehicle Registration or other credential
  • Utility Bill
  • Rent Receipt
  • College ID card with no visible signs of irregularity
  • School or college transcript
  • GED

*If the documentation is in a former name, the legal document indicating the name change must also be provided.

Affidavits may be submitted if Acceptable Documentary Evidence is Unavailable

Affidavits will be available at the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. If an affidavit is used it must be the one provided by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

A person that can not provide acceptable documentary evidence but resides in Maine or is domiciled in Maine may submit affidavits from 2 individuals who have personal or professional relationships with the applicant and knowledge of the person and the person's residence or domicile which may include a shelter in Maine .

If the applicant is a minor, only one affidavit is required if it is signed by the applicant's parent or guardian.

Unacceptable Affidavits

An affidavit may be rejected if it is insufficient to meet the requirements.

Examples of insufficient affidavits:

  • Incomplete
  • Unverifiable (i.e. hand writing is illegible, unreadable)