Motorcycle Sticker Requirements for Maine

by Marlo Peterson
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Motorcycles in the state of Maine must abide by many of the same requirements from the Bureau of Motor Vehicles that other types of automobiles must abide by in order to be eligible for street operation. Gov. John Baldacci signed a law in 2010 requiring motorcyclists to receive inspection stickers, something that had not been previously required. This change makes the process to legally drive a motorcycle much like the requirements to make a car street legal. These changes will take effect in 2012.

Current Requirements

Until the new law takes effect, the only sticker motorcyclists need to obtain is for the vehicle's registration. The process is similar to registering a car in the state of Maine--the driver has the option of either visiting a Bureau of Motor Vehicles branch or registering at a municipal office. Motorcycle drivers must pay excise tax before registration can be completed. If the motorcycle is new, the purchaser must present the retail price sticker when paying taxes. Once the driver pays all taxes and fees and proof of insurance is provided, a registration sticker will be given.

Law Change in 2012

The new law, LD 1675, was signed April 9, 2010, and takes effect Jan. 1, 2012. The law states that motorcycles must get inspected and display inspection stickers that are "completely and clearly visible from the rear." Motorcyclists are now required to store the certificate of inspection with their registration information. Also, drivers must mount inspection stickers on a special plate or on the frame of the bike itself. The law asks that motorcycle owners explicitly display stickers on their bike completely unobstructed from view. Maine currently has some 50,000 motorcycles that will be affected by this law change.

Reason for the Law Change

A study by Maine Citizens Against Loud Motorcycles, MECALM, showed that 38 percent of motorcycles are never inspected. Many of these motorcycles on the road would fail inspection due to the lack of a muffler, MECALM said. A task force is looking into other methods of reducing motorcycle noise, and plan to give a report in 2011. The inspection sticker law is a crucial first step to reducing motorcycle noise in the state, MECALM said.

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