To sell a vehicle privately in Maine, you must be able to provide your buyer with the vehicle's official title and a bill of sale that states the vehicle's selling price and odometer reading. Maine doesn't allow transfer of vehicle ownership if a lien is listed on the title unless proof that the lien has been satisfied is also provided. Learn which documents you'll need to complete your vehicle sale.
Confirm you have your title on hand before selling your car. The state of Maine doesn't offer an instant title — you have to wait for it. Having to wait for a title can cause a potential buyer to walk away from the sale.
Apply for another title if you can't find yours. Fill out a duplicate application form, which you can retrieve from a local BMV office, or from the Maine BMV website. Bring the application, which must be signed by all owners, to a BMV branch — you can find branch locations on the BMV website.
Read the title over to make sure no lienholder is present. A lienholder, which is listed if a bank loan existed on the car, is found on the front of the title. Once the lien is satisfied, the bank should sign and stamp in the space provided, or supply you with an official bank statement saying the loan was satisfied.
Sign your title over to the purchaser. Your signature is required on the back of the title on the fourth line (exactly as it appears on the front) where the seller's information is requested. If a co-owner is listed on the front of the title, he must sign next to your name also, as his name appears on the front of the title.
Create a bill of sale for the buyer, which is required for the state of Maine. The bill of sale includes all relevant vehicle information, including the VIN (vehicle identification number), year, make, model, mileage and selling price. It also states the name and address of the buyer and the seller (you) and must be dated and signed by both parties.
Give the title, bill of sale and lien release to the buyer to complete the transaction.
Ensure that the buyer doesn't leave with your Maine plates. If you plan to transfer the plates to a new car, bring your current registration with you to a BMV office and complete the plate transfer when you register the new car; otherwise, the plates must be returned.
Cancel your registration if you're not transferring plates. Fill out a Cancellation Form, which you can find online at the Maine BMV website or at a local office. The Cancellation Form must be notarized, which can be done at a motor vehicle office.
Notify your insurance company of the ownership change as soon as possible.
Accept payment only in the form of cash or bank check. If accepting a bank check, verify the authenticity of the check by looking up the phone number to the bank on your own and calling to verify funds. Don't accept a personal check.
- Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles: Registering a Passenger Vehicle
- Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles: Applying for a Title, Registrations & Titles
- The Unofficial DMV Guide: Maine Title Transfers
- Donate a Car 2 Charity: Maine Title Processing Information
- Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles: Cancelling or Reactivating a Registration
- Dealertrack. "Electronic Lean & Title." Accessed Sept. 8, 2020.
- Direct Auto Insurance. "Car Titles." Accessed Sept. 8, 2020.
- Notify your insurance company of the ownership change as soon as possible.
- Accept payment only in the form of cash or bank check. If accepting a bank check, verify the authenticity of the check by looking up the phone number to the bank on your own and calling to verify funds. Don't accept a personal check.
Shanan Miller covers automotive and insurance topics for various websites, blogs and dealerships. She has extensive automotive experience, including auction, insurance, finance, service and management positions. Miller has worked for dealer sales events around the United States and now stays local as a sales and leasing consultant for a dealership.