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Old 07-21-2007, 10:51 AM
 
Location: Maine
5,054 posts, read 8,024,760 times
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I found the info on transferring registration but I don't understand this "sliding scale" thing. We have annual registration here, as well, but I never know how they figure it. I think it's a standard rate here, as we pay the same $85 every year, based on the town/county we live in. It seems to have little to do with the car's age.

Can anyone tell me what we will pay (estimated) for our car. It's a 2004 Hyundai Sonata, originally priced at $21K.

Thanks!
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Old 07-21-2007, 12:06 PM
 
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Don't be surprised if you have to write a check for between $180 and $210, just guesstimating. Maine is very expensive when it comes to registering vehicles. It does go down every year that you own the vehicle, but not by much.
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Old 07-21-2007, 12:47 PM
 
Location: Maine
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Oh, that's not bad. I was expecting closer to $1000 from what the website says. It said on a $20K brand new car $1000 sales tax and $500 excise tax. Not sure what "excise" is. Thanks!
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Old 07-21-2007, 02:47 PM
 
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Excise tax is your registration fee. You pay it annually in Maine. On a brand new $20K car, $500 sounds about right. Yours is 3 years old so I think my guess is going to be pretty close.
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Old 07-21-2007, 06:27 PM
 
Location: West Michigan
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Yeah the actual registration fee is set at $25, but you have to pay the excise tax every year to the town or city you live in. I am not sure how it is figured either, but each town is a bit different. I own the exact same year/model/options in a Suburban as a friend of mine does, he pays just under $300 a year in excise and I pay $126. The excise goes down a bit for I believe 8 or 10 years then stays there for the life of the vehicle. I do know that excise tax and registration here costs more than I paid in Michigan for the same vehicles, and the Insurance is higher as well through the same company (Haven't quite figured that one out yet because we drive less miles and there are less cars on the road.)
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Old 07-22-2007, 08:26 AM
 
Location: Waldo County
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All of this information is available on the Maine State website. It really is not the mystery that people seem to insist on making it. Here is a summary:

In Maine any vehicle that is less than fifteen years old must be titled. So registering a vehicle that is less than fifteen years old will require a new, Maine title. The out of state title will be turned in, and a new Maine title issued by the State of Maine. The current title fee is shown on the web site.

When you go to register the vehicle, you must go the town hall where the vehicle is garaged. There you must pay an Excise Tax on the vehicle. This is NOT a registration fee, but is a form of personal property tax that is paid on every vehicle that is registered every year. This tax remains in the local town. Excise tax is based on the vehicle's cost new, and is depreciated accordingly to a standardized table that each town has. There is no magic here: every town should be the same, and the only reason why one town could differ from another is that the town clerk made a mistake in looking up the specific vehicle make, model or equipment as shown in their little red (I think it is) book. Excise tax rates go down each year until they reach a minimum amount and this minimum will depend on the specific vehicle being taxed.

At town hall you will be required to show proof of insurance. Proof of insurance will be a Maine insurance card issued by the insurance company, and your insurance card (usually just a piece of paper about 3"X4") must be on the approved form by the State Bureau of Insurance and Secretary of State. Once insured in Maine, insurance companies automatically issue these documents.

A registration form must be completed and then either taken to the nearest Registry of Motor Vehicles Office, or in some cases, right in town hall, the registration process can be completed and plates issued. The registration fee will be the same for every standard passenger vehicle, but for commercial vehicles and trucks it will vary according to the truck's weight.

When a new vehicle is purchased, the cost of registration is the same, but he cost of excise tax will be a shocker. Also, vehicles purchased or leased in Maine will incur Maine's sales tax.

Basically the cost of REGISTERING a vehicle in Maine is pretty much the same within a few dollars of almost anywhere else. Maine does have a local EXCISE tax and this can make Maine registration more or less expensive than elsewhere. If you go to the New Jersey or Maryland or California state web pages, most of the same information about registering cars is there and you compare the dollar cost. I have done this a few times since this thread pops up quite a bit, and Maine isn't particularly expensive compared with other states.

Now as far as insurance is concerned, Maine is generally pretty cheap especially outside of the more urban areas of the state. There are a few states with rural areas where rates are lower, but in order to compare insurance costs you must compare the coverages and those vary somewhat from state to state. If there is MUCH difference from one state to another, then there is either something wrong with the policy rating, or the territory used, or maybe shopping for a different insurance company might be in order. There can be quite a lot of difference between one insurance company and another. As a former insurance agent, whenever I hear that someone came here from some other state and found their insurance cost to be a lot higher than it was where they came from, I automatically assume that either something changed, or they "forgot" to mention that they had been caught for speeding a couple of times, and were now being surcharged.
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Old 07-22-2007, 11:37 AM
 
Location: Maine
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That does seem quite expensive, if you pay sales tax on the vehicle every year. We pay tax, title and license once per vehicle purchase, then the annual registration renewal of around $85. I guess this is an extra expense that needs to be factored into our cost of living. Thanks so much for the info!
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Old 07-23-2007, 05:49 AM
 
Location: Waldo County
1,220 posts, read 2,595,526 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elcarim View Post
That does seem quite expensive, if you pay sales tax on the vehicle every year. We pay tax, title and license once per vehicle purchase, then the annual registration renewal of around $85. I guess this is an extra expense that needs to be factored into our cost of living. Thanks so much for the info!
No, no, no. You do NOT pay the "sales tax" every year. The sales tax is paid when the vehicle is purchased. It is currently 5% of the net sales price of the vehicle, and is either paid to the dealer who pays it to the STate or it is paid at the Registry of Motor Vehicles. This is no different than any other state that I know of.

The EXCISE tax is a personal property tax. This is paid when the vehicle is registered and it is a tax that remains in the town that the vehicle lives in. This tax goes to pay for local road maintenance and other town needs. It goes down in amount every year along with the value of the vehicle. This is no different than many other states. Massachusetts for instance, has had a vehicle excise tax for decades.

For renewal of a registration, the excise tax must be paid, and the registration fee itself...the cost of the plates...begins at $25 for most private passenger vehicles and light trucks.
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Old 07-23-2007, 08:37 AM
 
Location: Maine
5,054 posts, read 8,024,760 times
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Well, I'm sure that's part of what makes up our $85 a year here. I guess it will just be somewhat higher in Maine if the excise tax starts at $500 or so and then works it's way down. Hope it goes down quickly!
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Old 07-23-2007, 08:52 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
21,794 posts, read 28,218,684 times
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When transferring each of our vehicles from Ct tags to Maine tags; the fees [registering and excise tax] were surprisingly low.

I had really expected to pay much more [like I had been paying in Ct]. We love these lower registration fees

Also when I was at the DMV, the clerk asked me if I wanted the 'veteran' plates. Knowing that in Ct, they would have cost me an extra $40, I said no. I knew that the last time I was stationed in Ca, a veteran's plate would get your car egged, I had no idea of how badly the locals here felt about servicemembers.

Anyway the clerk seemed surprised that I did not want them, so she went on to explain that they are 'free', and they even have a selection of combat medals depending on which theater you want to admit to having served in. She really urged me to get the veteran plates, and she said that in Maine folks do not hate the military like people do in other states.

So I went ahead and got the veteran plates with a Kosovo sticker [the sticker costs $2].

I am very pleased with Maine's Vehicle fees.
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