Table of Contents
- What Are the Basics?
- How Do I Sign the Title?
- What If I’ve Lost the Title?
- What Information is Included in the Bill of Sale?
- Why Do I Need to Include the Odometer Reading?
- Why Do I Need A Bill of Sale?
- May I Transfer Plates?
- What If I Don’t Transfer Plates to a New Vehicle?
- What If I Am Giving The Car to Someone Rather Than Selling It?
- How Do I, As Executor, Transfer the Car to An Heir?
What Are The Basics?
When you sell a car in Maine, you must comply with certain legal requirements to ensure the sale is properly documented and to avoid penalties. You must sign the title and the bill of sale and remove the plates. You must also pay any lien already on the vehicle. Maine does not allow the sale of a car with a lien on it.
How Do I Sign the Title?
You sign and print your name in the seller’s section of the reverse side of the title and give it to the buyer, along with a bill of sale. You will also provide a copy of the lien release, if applicable.
What if I’ve Lost the Title?
You cannot sell a vehicle newer than a 1994 model without a title. If you’ve lost it, you’ll need to obtain a duplicate title from the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles. While you can do this online or by mail, these methods have a longer turnaround than applying in person. Fill out a request to reissue a title application and pay a $33 fee. If you need the title in a hurry, you’ll pay a $10 rush fee.
What Information is Included in the Bill of Sale?
- Name and address of the seller.
- Name and address of the buyer.
- A description of the vehicle, including the VIN, year, make, and model
- The odometer reading at the time of sale
- The purchase price
- The date of the sale.
- Signature of the vehicle seller.
Maine requires a bill of sale form that includes this information.
Why do I need to Record the Odometer Reading?
Maine laws require you to provide an accurate odometer reading at the time of sale to show whether the vehicle has passed its mechanical limitations and is on a second or third cycle. If the actual odometer reading is inaccurate, you must estimate what you believe the reading should be.
Why do I Need a Bill of Sale?
Maine’s laws require a bill of sale. It also protects you from liability should the vehicle later be involved in an accident. The bill of sale also can settle legal disputes between you and the buyer should they arise later.
May I Transfer Plates?
License plates cannot be transferred to a new owner. However, you may transfer them to another vehicle that you own as long as the names on the registration are the same, you no longer own the previous vehicle, and you pay a transfer fee.
What if I Don’t Transfer Plates to a New Vehicle?
The plates expire when you sell the vehicle unless you apply to use them on another vehicle you own.
What if I Am Giving the Car to Someone Rather than Selling It?
If you are giving the car to someone, such as a relative, you still sign the title, fill out the bill of same, and remove the license plates. You note, however, by sales price that the item is to be a gift.
How Do I, As Personal Representative of the Deceased, Transfer a Car to an Heir?
You must first title the car in your name and then transfer the car to the heir. You indicate