How to Transfer a Car Title in Maine?

A certificate of title proves car ownership. When purchasing or selling a used car in Maine, transferring the title is one of the most important steps.
The title transfer needs to be a safe and legal process, especially in private party car sales. Our handy title transfer guide gives you everything you need to know when signing over a car title in Maine.

To learn more about the importance of the certificate of title, read our complete guide to car titles.

Vehicle Title Transfer Process In Maine

A transfer of the vehicle's title makes the purchaser the new owner. There are two stages to a title transfer:

1. The seller and buyer meet in person. The buyer pays for the automobile. Both parties must complete and sign the physical certificate of title. The purchaser is now the legal owner of the vehicle.
2. The buyer registers the newly bought vehicle and formally transfers the title to their name with the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV).

The first step is the most important (the meeting between the seller and the buyer). The second step is an administrative formality.

As the car seller, you will formalize the transaction when you transfer ownership of the car by signing the title over to the buyer. The seller is officially done with the car, once they take the license plates off the car.
As the buyer, you become the legal owner as soon as the seller transfers the title to your name. You will finalize with the Maine BMV to get the title and registration in your name. You’ll also get new Maine license plates and used car insurance.
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Signing the Physical Title

It’s time to do the actual ownership transfer. This is the step where the seller signs the title over to the buyer. It's probably the most important part of the whole transaction, right after the buyer pays for the car. There are some key details you need to pay attention to when signing a ME vehicle title.

Important Info for Signing the Title Certificate

Always keep the following in mind when signing the title certificate:

Only use black or blue ink. Any other color will void the title.
Do not erase anything or use white-out.
Mistakes make the document invalid.
Always write neatly.
Only use full, legal names.

Front of Title

The front of a Maine title has a section for the lien holder.

1. The lienholder will release the lien by entering the required information (if applicable).
How to Transfer a Car Title in Maine .png

Back of Title

The back of the title has sections for the seller (red), and the buyer (teal). Here is the process for filling out the back of a Maine title.

1. In the red rectangle marked “1” the seller enters the buyer's name and address, and the car purchase price.
2. The seller enters the exact odometer information and signs and prints their name in the red field.
3. The buyer will enter the name, address, and zip code of the lienholder to appear on the new lien and then enter the date of the lien and their signature (if applicable).
How to Transfer a Car Title in Maine.png
Congrats! You’ve completed a Maine vehicle title transfer. Pretty easy, right?

Finalize Transferring Your Vehicle Title with Maine BMV

You’ve done the deal and are the proud owner of a new-to-you vehicle. Your work is not yet done. The Maine BMV requires everyone to title and register their vehicles.

To complete a vehicle title transfer, you will need to provide the following documents to the Maine BMV office:

A vehicle title application or manufacturer certificate of origin (form MVT-2)
Bill of sale
Proof of a release of lien (if applicable)
An odometer disclosure statement
Proof of a valid ME vehicle insurance policy
Payment for the title transfer fee: $33
Payment for the Maine car sales tax of 5.5% of the vehicle’s purchase price
Payment for passenger vehicle registration fees: $35

If you can't do the tile transfer in person, bring the above-mentioned documents to your local BMV branch office or mail them to the BMV’s Title Unit at:

Title Examination and Information Unit
Bureau of Motor Vehicles
29 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333
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Maine License Plates and Registration

The Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles requires all residents to title and register their vehicles to legally operate on the state’s roads and highways.

Some states allow the license plates to remain with the vehicle when sold. Unfortunately, the state of Maine requires that the license plates be taken off the car. Regular license plates will be given to Maine residents by their local BMV when registering the vehicle.

Maine Title Transfer FAQ

Can you transfer ownership of a vehicle without a title in Maine?

No, you will not be able to transfer ownership of a vehicle in Maine without a title. Fill out an application for a duplicate vehicle title to get a new title.

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