Selling a Car in Maine

When you’re selling a vehicle in Maine, you need to follow some requirements that are specific to the state. We’ve collected the appropriate information here on these requirements so you can have everything you need for a successful vehicle sale.

1. Title Information

In Maine, you can only sell a vehicle if you have complete ownership of it. In other words, any “lien” (loan) on the vehicle must be paid off before you can sell the vehicle.

Before you sell your vehicle, make certain that you have the actual title. If you cannot find the title, you’ll need to request a replacement title from the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV). Note that the form must be notarized before it can be sent to the state and that you will also need proof of registration, insurance and Maine ID. You will need the physical title so that you can fill out the necessary information for the buyer as proof of the transfer of the vehicle. Both your signature and the buyer’s signature will be necessary, and these must be notarized as well.

In Maine, vehicles must be titled if they are model year 1995 and newer.

2. Bill of Sale Requirements

Maine requires you to put together a Bill of Sale when you sell a vehicle. The Bill of Sale also needs to be notarized, and it should include the following elements:

  • The new owner’s name
  • The full address of the new owner
  • The seller’s name
  • The full address of the seller
  • The date of the sale
  • The sale price
  • A full and detailed vehicle description, including the vehicle’s make, model, year, series number (if applicable) and body type (2-door, 4-door, sedan, etc.), as well as the vehicle identification number (VIN)
  • The vehicle odometer reading at the time of sale
  • The signatures of the seller and new owner

It is important that you make certain to get all your information notarized, as you will be paying an excise tax on selling the vehicle, as well as a 5 percent sales tax on the purchase price of the vehicle. In other words, it’s expensive selling a vehicle in Maine, so make sure you have your specifics for tax time.

3. Inspections

Maine requires annual inspections for cars before they can be registered. Vehicles in Cumberland County are also required to have smog emissions testing if they are gasoline-powered vehicles. Fully electric vehicles are exempt from this requirement. It is your responsibility to make certain that the inspection and, if applicable, emissions test are current before you sell your vehicle.

4. License Plates

In Maine, when you sell your vehicle, the license plates stay with you and not the vehicle. However, once the sale has been completed, you must either turn the plates into the BMV or request a transfer of the plates to your new vehicle. You must do so within 30 days.

5. Odometer Disclosure Requirements

Maine requires people to formally disclose the odometer reading when they sell their vehicle or whenever a new title is required on the vehicle for any reason, as long as the vehicle is 10 years old or newer. You can use the state’s official Odometer Form to record the information.

6. Other Information

If you have questions or want more details on vehicle selling, check out the website for the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles.