Buying a Car In Maine From Out Of State

You’ll need to submit various forms to the town government office and pay taxes and fees in order to register an out-of-state vehicle in Maine.
Written by Mary Cahill
Reviewed by Amy Bobinger
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If you buy a car out of state and want to register it in Maine, you’ll need to visit your local town government office and submit the original title, bill of sale, proof of residency, and proof of insurance. You’ll also be expected to pay an excise tax and registration fee. 
It’s not uncommon to buy a vehicle out of state these days—maybe you found your dream car in another state, or maybe you just found a great deal on the car you wanted. If you’re a resident of Maine, you must complete a specific set of steps to successfully register a new car where you live. The most important part of registering an out-of-state vehicle is having all of the documents required by the town government office.  
To walk you through the process,
car insurance
broker app
Jerry
has compiled a handy guide to registering a car in Maine that you bought in a different state. Here, we’ll take you through what paperwork you need to complete the registration, how to buy a car in Maine if you live outside the state, and how to cut down on
Maine insurance costs
using Jerry’s trusty comparison app. 
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How to buy a car out of state as a Maine resident

If you’ve just bought a vehicle in another state but live in Maine, you’re going to need to register it on your home turf right away so that you can drive it legally. This is why it’s so important that you get all of the necessary documents when you complete the transaction. These documents include:
  • Out-of-state title
  • Proof of Maine residency
  • $33 title application fee 
  • Motor vehicle registration fee and excise tax
Once you have all of these verifications together, you can visit your local town government office. There, you’ll complete the title application (Form MVT-2) and pay your title application fee and the applicable taxes. 
Keep in mind that the MVT-2 form is not available online, so you’ll need to fill it out on site. Also, the amount of tax you pay varies based on the MSRP of your vehicle—but generally, it ranges from $4 to $24 per $1,000 of the vehicle’s value. 
Some town government offices can complete your vehicle registration right then and there, but not all of them offer this service. If your town government office does not process vehicle registrations, you must complete your registration at a nearby
Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV)
location. If you need to go to the BMV, the town government office will provide you with a white and yellow copy of your registration application and tax receipt—you must bring this to the BMV. 
If you’re moving to Maine and want to take your car with you, you’ll have 30 days to transfer your title and registration. In addition to the documents listed above, you must bring along your vehicle’s out-of-state registration certificate
To register an out-of-state vehicle in Maine that’s leased or financed, bring all of the required documents plus the name and mailing address of the lien holder. If the vehicle is brand new, the town government office will also require you to provide the MSRP sticker or a copy of it. This is also known as Monroney Label
Once your out-of-state vehicle is registered in Maine, you will be issued Maine license plates. You’ll also need to take your vehicle to a Maine inspection station right away. If you have proof of an up-to-date inspection from your former state Maine will honor it—but you’ll need to have an in-state inspection once the time frame of your previous inspection expires.  

How to buy a car in Maine if you live out of state

If you decide to buy a car in Maine but intend to register in another state, the steps you need to take are pretty similar. First, make sure you obtain a completed title and bill of sale—you’ll definitely need these to register the car in your home state. 
From there, you should check if your state has a vehicle registration/title application form available online, that way you can fill it out ahead of time. You should also anticipate paying a registration fee and any applicable taxes in accordance with the state laws where you reside. 

What if I don’t have a physical title?

If you’re registering a vehicle in Maine with a model year of 1994 or earlier, you aren’t required to have a title for it. This is the only scenario in which the physical title isn’t necessary. Any vehicles that are model year 1995 or newer must have a title to be registered. 
A vehicle’s title shows proof of ownership and you won’t be able to register a newer car without it. In Maine, it’s illegal to sell a vehicle without a title. 
Make auto loan refinancing easy with PriceProtect™
icon4.7/5 rating on the App Store | Trusted by 5+ million customers and 7 million cars
icon4.7/5 app rating | Trusted by 5M+ drivers

Tips for buying a vehicle out of state

There are some risks associated with buying a car out of state, so it’s crucial that don’t cut any corners in the process. Here are some tips to help you safely and legitimately purchase an out-of-state vehicle: 
  • Know your vehicle’s history. Websites like
    CARFAX
    are a great source for finding out if there are any concerning factors about the car—like if it’s been in a serious accident or been reported stolen
  • Get a vehicle inspection. Maine will honor proof of an out-of-state inspection, so it might be worth it to schedule one right after you purchase the vehicle. 
  • Understand your state’s vehicle sales tax regulations. Knowing how much you will have to fork over in sales tax can help you avoid any unpleasant surprises at the town government office. 
  • Buy car insurance before attempting to register your new car. Buying a car in another state usually means that you’ll need to drive it back home. Make sure to purchase insurance right away that adheres to
    Maine’s minimum car insurance laws

How to save on car insurance in Maine

After you’ve registered your out-of-state car in Maine, you’re ready to hit the road! There’s just one more thing—are you sure you’re getting the cheapest
car insurance
available? If there’s any lingering doubt that you might be overpaying for your policy, it’s time to shop rates with the
Jerry
app. 
Thanks to Jerry, finding an awesome deal on coverage is easier than ever—and quick too! In less than a minute, our
trustworthy insurance comparison app
pulls the most affordable quotes from more than 55 of its partnering insurance companies and sends them straight to your fingertips. All you need to do is tap the quote you like the best and Jerry will help you get enrolled with your new policy, leading you to savings of over $800 per year! 
 “I moved states recently and my old provider didn’t cover me anymore, so I used
Jerry
. Jerry handled everything from fetching the quotes to purchasing the new policy. Now I save $30 a month with Progressive!” —Kay J.
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