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Maine License Plate Search

Cars, motorcycles, vans, and trucks in Maine must be registered with the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. Upon registration, license plates and titles are issued for a vehicle.

Sample Maine License Plate

Sample Maine License Plate

Some custom plates require a special application for eligibility. Personalized plates require time to review and approve.

Types of License Plates in Maine

When you register your vehicle with the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV), there are assorrted license plates to choose from.

The standard license plate issued by the state of Maine has a scenic background with black lettering. If you have no preference for license plates, these are the plates you’ll receive when you register your vehicle at the BMV.

Otherwise, you can personalize your plate or choose from a list of custom plate designs.

If you have a disability, you may also be eligible for disability plates and placards. This enables you to park in designated handicapped zones throughout the state.

Regardless of the type of license plate you obtain, you are required to place the registration stickers in the designated corners. Ensure that your stickers remain visible at all times. If they fall off, you must get them replaced.

Custom License Plates in Maine

Are you a member of a charity, local collegiate, or organization and want to express your support on the back of your car?

You can choose from the following list of custom license plates available in Maine:

  • Lobster Specialized License Plate
  • Maine Agriculturalist License Plate
  • Support Animal Welfare License Plate
  • Breast Cancer Awareness License Plate
  • Support Your Troops License Plate
  • Wabanaki License Plate
    Note: These plates are only available for Passamaquoddy, Maliseet, Micmac, and Penobscot aboriginal people.
  • Maine Black Bear License Plate
  • University of Maine License Plate
  • Medal of Honor License Plate
  • Purple Heart License Plate
  • Ex-Prisoner of War License Plate
  • War Veterans License Plate
  • Classic Car License Plate
  • Antique License Plate

Most of these specialty license plates cost $20 to order and $15 to renew. This fee is in addition to any required registration fees. Check with your BMV office for more custom plates and pricing.

Personalizing License Plates in Maine

You are permitted to personalize standard, custom, and disability license plates. However, you must follow these guidelines from the BMV:

  • No vulgar or profane language
  • No suggestion of association with public groups (e.g., police)
  • No copies of registered license plates
  • Can use letters, numbers, and spaces
  • Requires up to 7 characters (min. 1 letter)

You can check the availability of license plates online. You will also be required to pay $25 to order.

Applying for License Plates in Maine

If you have recently purchased a new vehicle, or if you have become a new resident with an out-of-state car, you must apply for license plates at your county’s BMV.

Even if you purchased a vehicle at a dealership, you are required to process your registration in person at the BMV.

You’ll need temporary plates to drive your vehicle legally. These can be obtained from the BMV or a local dealership and are valid for 14 days only.

You have 30 days to register your vehicle if you recently moved to Maine.

Renewing License Plates in Maine

You should receive a reminder in the mail which notifies you that your license plates are about to expire. You should renew your vehicle's registration in advance, because failure to do so leads to additional fees.

You can renew your vehicle’s license plates online, in person, or by mail. When you receive your new decal stickers, you can place them on top of the old ones.

Transfer & Surrender License Plates in Maine

If you no longer need your license plates, such as when you move out of state or sell your car, you can surrender them to the BMV. To do this, you can send your old license plates by mail or drop them off in person.

If you purchase a new vehicle, you are permitted to transfer your license plates. You’ll require the following:

  • Application forms
  • Registration documents for new vehicle
  • Proof of ID
  • Valid Insurance
  • Payment for transfer fee: $8

For more details about transferring your plates, contact the BMV in Maine.

Lost, Damaged, or Stolen License Plates in Maine

If your Maine license plates have been lost, damaged, or stolen, you should have them replaced right away.

When you go to the BMV, you’ll require the following:

  • Form MV-9: Notice of Loss of Plates and Request for New Plates
  • Surrendering any plates remaining on your vehicle
  • Additional documents (vehicle’s registration, proof of insurance, etc.)
  • Payment for replacement fees:
    • Replacement License Plate: $5
    • Replacement License Plate + Sticker: $5.50

You should contact the police to prevent abuse of your old plates.

Summary of Fees for License Plates in Maine

Here you’ll find a summary of some of the fees required for registering your vehicle in Maine. Please contact your local BMV office for updated pricing and fees for the vehicle that you intend to register:

  • Standard License Plate Fee (same as renewal fee):
    • Passenger Car: $35
    • Motorcycle: $21
  • Personalized License Plate: $25
  • Specialty License Plate: $20 (or more)
    • Renewal: $15 (or more)
  • Replacement License Plate: $5
  • Replacement License Plate + Sticker: $5.50
  • License Plate Transfer Fee: $8

How to look up Maine license plates

Remember, you can search for available license plate numbers using this free license plate search tool. Not only can you find available plates in Maine, but also in any state throughout the USA.

You can also use this tool to obtain additional information about a vehicle. If you’re purchasing a used car, you can discover if the vehicle you are about to buy was stolen or is from the original owner.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to look up Maine License Plates and report bad drivers:

  1. Open a web browser
  2. Go to
  3. Enter the plate number, and select state
  4. View the report
  5. View images submitted by the community
  6. View videos submitted by the community
  7. Add comments
  8. Add pictures of the vehicle
  9. Add videos related to the vehicle