Tuesday, February 14, 2023


BMV Unveils Plan For New Standard License Plate Featuring 1901 Maine Flag Design

AUGUSTA — On Tuesday, Secretary of State Shenna Bellows and Deputy Secretary of State for the Bureau of Motor Vehicles Cathie Curtis presented the BMV’s proposal for a license plate reissuance to the Legislature’s Transportation Committee. The new plate, replacing the current chickadee, would feature the design of the 1901 Maine flag.

“License plates serve not only to identify vehicles, but are a way of expressing our love for our state,” said Secretary Bellows. “We’re excited to present this new design proposal for the coming license plate reissuance.”

The Maine general issue plate was issued in 1999 with the chickadee design; 24 years ago. This has resulted in plates which have significantly deteriorated, many beyond identification. Many plates cannot be read accurately creating a safety and compliance concerns. Law enforcement may not be as effective as many crimes are prevented or solved through the identification of license plates. Automated toll collection may also be reduced when plates cannot be read.  Additionally, vehicle visibility at night and in adverse weather conditions are reduced when the plates lose their retro-reflectivity.

“The BMV developed this plan with input from municipal officials, who do much of the license plate issuance in Maine, and our plan is to issue the new plates as Mainers register their cars between March 2025 and the end of February 2026,” said Deputy Secretary Curtis. “Mainers across the state have embraced the 1901 flag and we think they’ll love the new plate design as much as we do.”

The proposal features a plate with the buff background of the 1901 flag, with a navy blue star and dark green pine tree on the left side of the plate. Also in navy are MAINE at the top of the plate with VACATIONLAND below. The characters of the license plate would be in black.

The Transportation Committee will consider the proposal over the next several weeks, after which it will go to the full legislature for consideration. A copy of the report is here.