Q. Why do I need to pay an excise tax?

A. Excise tax is levied by the State of Maine and collected by municipalities for the privilege of operating a motor vehicle on public highways.  Excise tax must be paid for each registration year and the tax funds stay in the municipality in which they are paid.

Q. What type of vehicle is an excise tax paid and when?

A. Excise tax must be paid to the municipal tax collector as a prerequisite to registration or re-registration of any type of motor vehicle, camper trailer, including tent trailers, slide in truck campers, and sometimes mobile homes.

Q. What is the amount of excise tax that I will have to pay to register my vehicle?

A.  The amount of excise tax is determined by applying a mil rate to the manufactured suggested retail price (MSRP). The MSRP is more commonly called the “sticker price” or the “Monroney Label.” The Monroney Label is applied to the vehicle at the time of manufacture. It must be provided when registering a vehicle that has never been registered. Excise taxes are based on the MSRP of the vehicle when it was brand new. A mil rate is applied to the sticker price on a sliding scale with new vehicles paying a higher mil rate than older vehicles.  The mil rate starts at $24.00 per thousand dollars of value on a brand new vehicle, $17.50 per thousand for the second year, $13.50 per thousand for the third year, $10.00 per thousand the fourth year, $6.50 per thousand the fifth year and $4.00 per thousand for the sixth year and subsequent years.  For example:  If you purchased a new vehicle and the MSRP states that the vehicle costs $24,575 (this is the net amount, destination charges are excluded), this amount is multiplied by .024 which means that the amount of excise tax due would be $589.80.  Registration and agent fees are not included in this calculation. Registration fees vary depending on the type of plate you request.  If you have purchased a used vehicle our software will research the MSRP for you.

Q. Do I have to go to Motor Vehicle branch to complete the registration process?

A.  Not usually. We can register any new vehicle up to 9,000 lbs or re-register any vehicle no matter the weight.  We can not register your vehicle if your privilege to register is under suspension or if you must file an SR-22 with the Secretary of State’s office. An SR-22 is the designation by the State of Maine which indicates that the registrant must show proof of insurance and pay for the registration fee at a BMV branch office prior to having a registration issued.

Q. What forms of payment do you accept?

A.  We currently accept cash and check without any processing fee. Credit/Debit Cards (Visa, Discover, Master Card, American Express) are accepted with a 2.75% processing fee. Visa Debit cards are assessed a $3.95 flat fee (or less depending on the charge). There is a minimum $1.95 processing fee for any credit/debit card.