How To Lookup Maine License Plates
To look up a license plate, you can use an online search portal to get a free report, which may include basic vehicle details like the make, model, and year. There are strict laws governing who can access motor vehicle records and how they may be used. Maine has an online request form that individuals can use to get a copy of their own driving record. They have also set up a system called InforME for businesses, government agencies, and others to search for and purchase license plate records. You must apply to use this service and prove you fall into the allowable categories. When applying, you must have your name, address, phone number, and business information. Using this service, you can see more personal details like the vehicle owner's name, address, phone, and sometimes more.
Maine Vehicle License Plate Regulations
For most passenger vehicles, Maine requires you to have two license plates. One affixed to the front and one to the rear of the vehicle. Additionally, Maine's license plate laws require: "Registration plates, including the numbers, letters, and words, must always be plainly visible and legible."
Vehicle registrations are required to be renewed annually on a staggered basis. They expire after one year in the same month that they were issued. Municipal excise taxes (property taxes) must be paid before you can register your vehicle.
Maine has an online system you can use to renew your vehicle registration and pay your excise taxes all in one. When renewing online, you must have:
- Your current vehicle registration.
- Your insurance card.
- Your vehicle's current mileage.
Maine License Plate Options & Specialty Plates
Along with the standard Maine license plate, the state offers its residents a few varieties of specialty plates to choose from. Some examples are:
- Agriculture Specialty Plate.
- Barbara Bush Children's Hospital Plate.
- Breast Cancer Support Services Specialty Plate.
- Conservation Specialty Plate.
- Lobster Specialty Plate.
- Maine Black Bears Specialty Plate.
- Sportsman Specialty Plate.
- Support Animal Welfare Specialty Plate.
- University of Maine System Specialty Plate.
- Wabanaki Recognition Plate.
- We Support Our Troops Specialty Plate.
Commemorative & Special Emergency Response Plates
- Bicentennial Plate.
- Emergency Medical Services Plate.
Veteran Plates And Programs
- Available Veteran Plates & Criteria.
- Commemorative Veteran Decals.
Maine also has disability plates and placards for those individuals who require them. Maine drivers can also request personalized messages on their plates, but it must be approved, and it costs extra.
What is the Driver's Privacy Protection Act (DPPA) in Maine?
Maine has very strict Driver's Privacy Protection Act (DPPA) laws (Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 29-A, § 251) and further restricts the federal laws. According to the Maine.gov website, "The DPPA does allow for the release of personal information from motor vehicle records if used in connection with vehicle safety, vehicle theft or emissions and for market research, product recalls and court proceedings. Those agencies with access to personal information for these purposes are:
- law enforcement agencies.
- insurance companies.
- motor vehicle dealers.
- businesses and employers to verify personal information for employment.
- towing companies to notify owners of towed vehicles.
- private detective and security agencies."
Additionally, Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles emphasizes "states cannot release personal information on motor vehicle records to sales and marketing organizations and the general public, unless an individual specifically agrees to the release by completing an ‘opt-in' form."
Maine License Plate Search Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Lookup License Plate Numbers in Maine?
It is only legal to lookup license plate numbers in Maine for a very short list of reasons. You can certainly look up basic information such as make, model, and year with a free lookup. But you must be very careful about obtaining driver details like name, address, phone number, photographs, medical information, or anything else that is restricted by DPPA laws.
What Information Do I Need?
When using the Maine license plate lookup system, you must first sign a DPPA agreement. When doing so, you must fill out your name, address, phone number, business name, and type of company that you work for and for what purpose you are using the records.
How to Look Up a Maine License Plate Using the VIN?
If you are an authorized user in Maine, you can look license plate records up using the plate number, driver's license number, or VIN. However, you must first go through the approval process to gain access. If you are looking for vehicle information, you can use a third-party resource or the national title registry database to find out if the vehicle has been in any accidents and if there are open recalls on it.
How to Locate an Owner of a License Plate in Maine?
Maine does not allow you to look up the owner of a license plate unless you qualify under DPPA rules. If you have a run-in with a vehicle and need to make restitution with the owner, the best option is to notify the police and let them look up the plate number and contact the owner. Otherwise, you could be subject to heavy fines and even jail time.
What Would Be an Example of a Legal Use of License Plate Information?
Maine restricts the national DPPA laws even further and only allows a few different types of businesses/individuals to access motor vehicle records and license plate files. According to their DPPA agreement, you have to be one of the following to access records:
- A government agency or law enforcement personnel.
- Someone using the information for motor vehicle safety, emissions, recalls, or theft.
- A business that needs to verify the accuracy of information or check on a CDL license.
- A court representative or attorney in relation to a civil or criminal court case.
- A research company that is doing statistical analysis.
- A vehicle insurance company.
- A towing company that needs to notify an owner that their vehicle has been towed.
- Licensed private investigator.
- An employer, with a consent form for verifying information.
- Private toll facility.
- Anyone with a signed consent form.
- You can get a copy of your own record.
How Do I Look Up Maine License Plates for Free?
Anyone can look up Maine license plates for free online. But the information you get may be limited to only the model, make, and year of the truck or car. Sometimes you can find the manufacturer, engine type and other mechanic details as well. There are public records online databases where you can perform a license plate lookup, but you must be very careful about how you use that information.