How To Transfer a Car Title in Maine

How to Transfer Car Title in Maine

Are you a Maine resident looking for a new or pre-owned vehicle? Or perhaps you're saying goodbye to your trusty car and transferring ownership to a new owner? Either way, transferring the title is a necessary step to establish ownership.

But don't worry - transferring the title in Maine is a straightforward process that involves providing necessary information, paying required fees, and submitting relevant paperwork at a local Bureau of Motor Vehicles branch office.

Whether you're buying, selling, donating, or gifting a car, this article covers everything you need to know about how to transfer a car title in Maine, so you can navigate the process with ease and confidence.

How To Apply for a Certificate of Title in Maine

To acquire a Maine certificate of title, you can get an application by reaching out to the Title Unit in Augusta or visiting any of our motor vehicle branch office locations.

The application requires completion and the owner's signature, after which it must be sent via mail, including the appropriate fee, to the Title Unit in Augusta.

It can also be taken directly to a branch office location. The previous title or certificate of origin must be included alongside the application.

If an owner decides to transfer vehicle ownership, (excluding cases involving creating a security interest), they must have a title before transferring it to another owner. If this is the case, the owner must furnish the transferee with a duly released lien if one had been issued to a lienholder.

The certificate of title will be turned over to the owner unless a lienholder has been named.

The Secretary of State holds the authority to decline the issuance of a certificate of title or certificate of salvage under the following circumstances:

  1. Failure to submit the required fee.
  2. Reasonable doubt on the part of the Secretary regarding the applicant's ownership status.
  3. Presence of false statements within the application.
  4. Insufficiency of mandatory information or documents within the application.
  5. Request for additional data.

If a title isn't available, a notification will be sent via mail, outlining what was missing and providing instructions for the proper completion of the application.

Documents Needed To Transfer Car Title in Maine

To effectively execute the transfer of a vehicle's title in Maine, it is imperative to ensure possession of the necessary paperwork. The following documents are required:

  1. A vehicle title application (Form MVT-2): This form cannot be accessed online. A visit to the nearest Maine BMV office is necessary to obtain it, where you can complete the form in person.
  2. Bill of sale: To acquire the appropriate bill of sale form, you can click here for a downloadable version. The buyer and seller must be present during the completion of this document.

Depending on your unique circumstances, there might be a need to furnish additional information when visiting your local Maine Department of Motor Vehicle (BMV) office.

How To Transfer Car Title in Maine When You Buy From a Dealer

When buying a vehicle from a dealership in Maine, it is customary for the dealer to assume responsibility for managing the titling paperwork on your behalf.

However, if the dealership neglects this task, the onus falls upon you to furnish the following:

  1. The Manufacturer's Certificate of Origin (MCO) for newly purchased vehicles or the existing title of a used vehicle.
  2. A vehicle title application is obtainable at your nearby Maine BMV office.
  3. Submission of payment encompassing all relevant titling fees and taxes as applicable.

How To Transfer Car Title in Maine If Bought From a Private Seller

When engaging in a vehicle purchase from an individual, commonly referred to as a private party transaction, transferring the vehicle's title necessitates acquiring specific documents from the seller. These documents include the following:

  1. The vehicle title or Manufacturer's Certificate of Origin (MCO) if the vehicle is from the model year 1995 or newer. The title must be accurately assigned to you as the vehicle's new owner.
  2. A meticulously executed bill of sale, signed by you and the vehicle's seller, is evidence of the transaction.
  3. If applicable, proof of a lien release must be obtained to establish the absence of any outstanding financial claims on the vehicle.
  4. An odometer disclosure statement can be recorded on the reverse side of the vehicle's title or MCO; alternatively, you can utilize a separate Odometer Information Sheet (Form MVT-32).

Furthermore, you must be prepared to furnish the following additional documents:

  1. Evidence of a valid vehicle insurance policy specific to the state of Maine.
  2. Completion of a comprehensive vehicle title application, which can be acquired from your local Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) office.
  3. Full payment encompassing all relevant taxes and fees associated with the transaction.

Please note that adhering to these document requirements is crucial in ensuring a smooth and legally compliant transfer of the vehicle's title in a private party transaction.

How To Transfer Car Title in Maine If You're the Seller

When selling your vehicle to another individual, it is incumbent upon the buyer to undertake the responsibility of transferring ownership at their local Bureau of Motor Vehicles office.

As the seller, your role entails furnishing the buyer with the documentation and signatures essential for completing the vehicle titling process in Maine. To fulfill these obligations, you must adhere to the following steps:

  1. Thoroughly complete the vehicle title or Manufacturer's Certificate of Origin (MCO) while duly assigning ownership of the vehicle to the buyer.
  2. Execute a comprehensive bill of sale, providing a detailed transaction record between yourself and the buyer.
  3. Present the buyer with an odometer disclosure statement inscribed on the rear side of the vehicle's title, or employ the BMV Odometer Information Sheet (MVT-32) for this purpose.
  4. If applicable, furnish proof of any lien releases. It is imperative to note that the sale of a vehicle encumbered by a lien is prohibited in Maine.

By fulfilling these obligations and adhering to the required procedures, you can ensure a smooth and lawful transfer of ownership in the vehicle-selling process.

How Much Does It Cost To Transfer Car Title in Maine?

In Maine, vehicle title transfer fees vary depending on the specific circumstances. The fees associated with transferring vehicle titles in Maine include the following:

  1. First-time vehicle title application:
    • No lien: $33
    • One lien: $33
    • Two liens: $33
  1. Duplicate vehicle title: $33
  2. Corrected vehicle title: $33
  3. Expedited vehicle title (incurred for expediting the title process): $10
  4. Transferring vehicle title to a surviving spouse: Free of charge

A sales tax of 5.5% applies to the vehicle's purchase price.

To avoid incurring additional fees due to penalties, it's important that you have the necessary payment ready at the time of the transaction.

Maine Emissions Requirement

In Maine, specific criteria dictate the requirement for vehicles to undergo an emissions check. Should your vehicle fall within any of the following categories, it becomes imperative for it to pass a smog check successfully:

  1. New residents of Maine who have yet to register their vehicles for the first time. If your vehicle bears an inspection sticker from a different state, a smog check must be conducted promptly upon the expiration of the out-of-state smog check sticker.
  2. The expiration date of the Maine smog check sticker is imminent.
  3. The Maine state police law enforcement issued an order requiring your vehicle to undergo a smog check.

If your vehicle falls within any of the categories mentioned above, it's important that you make the necessary arrangements to have a comprehensive smog check performed.

How To Apply for a Duplicate Title in Maine

If the original certificate of title is misplaced or stolen, it is permissible to obtain a duplicate copy.

To acquire a duplicate document, it is imperative to complete the corresponding application, sign it (if there are no existing liens), and dispatch it via mail along with the requisite fee to the Title Unit located in Augusta. Alternatively, the application can be submitted at a designated branch office.

For those seeking prompt processing of their duplicate title application, an expedited option is available upon payment of an additional fee of $10. This enables the request to be fast-tracked and promptly addressed.

Frequently Asked Questions

What documents are required for transferring a car title in Maine?

The essential documents for transferring a car title in Maine include the vehicle title or Manufacturer's Certificate of Origin (MCO), a completed bill of sale, an odometer disclosure statement, proof of lien release (if applicable), proof of valid Maine vehicle insurance policy, and a completed vehicle title application.

Can I transfer a car title if there is a lien on the vehicle?

Generally, a car title can be transferred even if there is a lien on the vehicle. However, it is essential to ensure the lien has been appropriately released and provide the buyer with the necessary documentation indicating the lien release. Failure to address the lien adequately may hinder the title transfer process.