UPDATE NOTICE RE: Vehicle Registrations
May 26, 2020
On May 26, 2020 the Governor signed Executive Order 53-A, which means if a person can register normally through their municipality or Bureau of Motor Vehicle Office they must do so immediately.
Residents of the Town of Canaan may register their vehicle or trailer at the Town Office during regular business hours of 8:00 a.m - 12pm; 1:00pm to 4:00 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday or Wednesdays 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m OR Online Re-Registrations at
Register Your Vehicle or Trailer
If you would like a reminder to register your vehicles, you may sign up for email reminders by emailing us your request or by completing a sign-up sheet at the town office. You will receive an email approximately fifteen days prior to when your registration expires. The email will tell you how much it will cost to re-register your car.
What do I need to register a motor vehicle?
1. Proof of Residency in Canaan (unless you are known to the clerk).
- Current Valid Maine Drivers License or State of Maine ID (not P.O. Box)
- Current utility bill
- Currently dated rent receipt, lease agreement or resident tax bill
- Bank account with your name and physical address
- Paycheck or Government Check
- Current Income Tax Return
- Current Resident Hunting/Fishing License
2. Proof of insurance for the vehicle being registered. At the time of registration, proof of insurance must be shown as required by state law. Insurance cards may be faxed by an insurance company to the Town Office at (207) 612-2037.
3. The current mileage of the vehicle to be registered.
4. For a new vehicle, the window sticker must be shown to determine the suggested retail price for excise tax purposes (see Motor Vehicle Excise Tax). If the window sticker is not on the vehicle or included with the paperwork given to you by the salesperson, please check the glove compartment or under the front seat. The dealership will place the sticker in either place, as they know it is required for the first registration. After registering your vehicle, please keep the window sticker as it must remain with the vehicle.
5. For vehicles purchased from a dealership, the salesperson will provide a blue title application. The registration agent will need information from the title application in order to process your registration.
6. For vehicles purchased from a private party, a vehicle title is required for vehicles 1995 & newer. The seller should sign the back of the title in the appropriate place. Please do not cross out, white out, or erase any mistakes on the title. Doing so will void the title. If mistakes are made, come to the front counter at the Town Office and ask for a Transfer of Ownership (MVT-16) form. Also, a Release of Lien form may be required. The title form has an area on the front showing if a lien was on the vehicle. The lien may have to be released on a separate form, and if so, that form must also accompany the title for registration. Titles are $33.00 each and the fees will be collected at the time of registration.
7. A bill of sale is also required for a vehicle purchased from a private party. The bill of sale should include the sale price, make, model, mileage, and VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) for the vehicle being sold as well as the name and address of the seller. The bill of sale is required so that state sales tax, currently rated at 5.5%, can be collected at the time of the registration.
Registrations for vehicles purchased and previously registered in another state require proof of registration from the previous state as well as proof of insurance; current mileage, title and/or lien holder information. State Law requires new residents to acquire a Maine registration within 30 days of establishing residency. Title 29-A SS257
If you are required to file an SR-22 with the State of Maine, you must pay excise tax in Canaan first, and then complete your vehicle registration at the Bureau of Motor Vehicles Branch office in Augusta or Bangor.
ONLINE RE-NEWAL you will need the following:
- Your current vehicle registration
- Your insurance card
- Your current mileage (this does not effect the registration fees)
- Credit or Debit Card
Operating a vehicle with an expired registration? The owner or operator of a vehicle stopped by law enforcement and having a registration that has expired within the last 30 days must be issued a warning, rather than a summons. The warning must state that within 20 business days, the owner or operator must register the vehicle.
- A traffic infraction for which a fine of not more than $50 may be adjudged if the vehicle was registered and has expired for more than 30 days but less than 150 days
- Or a Class E crime if the vehicle was registered or registration has expired for more than 150 days or more.