How to Get a Temporary License Plate in Maine

Drivers may get a temporary license plate for a newly purchased car from the car’s licensed dealer.
Written by Olivia Rose
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
A licensed dealer in Maine may issue a temporary license plate valid for 30 days. Driving with a temporary license plate issued by anyone other than a licensed dealer in Maine is illegal and could result in fines and other penalties. 
To make sure you’re set up to follow all of Maine’s laws regarding temporary license plates, we're going to walk you through the details of temporary plates in Maine.
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Does Maine issue temporary plates?

Yes—the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) allows licensed dealers to issue temporary license plates, sometimes referred to as temporary plate attachments or temporary registration plates. 
With a valid temporary license plate issued by a licensed dealer in Maine, you may drive your car for 30 consecutive days without paying a regular fee. This gives your dealer time to complete the title transfer and
vehicle registration
process for your purchased car. 
MORE: Car inspection in Maine

What’s the problem with temporary Maine license plates? 

As in any state, temporary license plates are an issue because they pose the possibility of being fraudulent. Drivers in Maine pay online to purchase a fraudulent temporary license plate, similar to buying an illegal fake ID. 
But don’t be fooled—attaching false plates, permitting the attachment of false plates, manufacturing or reproducing plates, and altering registration plates are all strictly illegal in Maine and punishable by law. 
MORE: Selling a car in Maine
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How to get a temporary license plate in Maine

You can legally get a temporary license plate in Maine in some situations. In general, you should only get a temporary license plate from your dealer. 
If you bought your car from a licensed dealer, the dealership may issue you a temporary plate that is valid for 30 days. If, after the 30 days, you are still waiting on your title and registration to finalize, you can request that the Secretary of State extend the period for an additional 20 days. 

Temporary registration permits in Maine

Let’s say you buy a car on Craigslist and the seller is legally required to turn in the plates, so the car is plateless when you buy it. How are you supposed to legally drive it home?
In Maine, the Secretary of State may
issue a temporary registration permit
so that you can legally move a vehicle that theoretically should—but does not—have valid registration and/or plates. The Secretary of State may never issue a temporary registration permit valid for longer than 10 days, so keep that in mind. 
The cost of a temporary registration permit in Maine is $12 to $25, depending on how you will be transporting your car. 
If you operate your car outside the routes stipulated in your temporary registration permit, you commit a traffic violation and will be fined $25 to $200. 

Can I drive a car without plates if I just bought it in Maine? 

Yes—just purchase a temporary registration permit.This allows you to drive without plates on your car. Just make sure you stick to the routes articulated in your permit and don’t drive your car without plates beyond the specified time frame. 
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How to find affordable car insurance in Maine

No matter what kind of car you plan to drive in Maine, you’ll need to be sure you’re set up with the best (and most affordable) car insurance. And that’s where
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