Cultivate Simple Podcast in iTunes Chiot's Run on Facebook Chiot's Run on Twitter Chiot's Run on Pinterest Chiot's Run on Flickr RSS Feed StumbleUpon

It’s Official

January 10th, 2014

Well, I guess we’re finally official Maine residents, we went and switched our license plates to Maine plates yesterday.  It’s a lot of paperwork here in Maine, there are forms to fill out by hand with carbon copies – CRAZY – I haven’t seen those since doing paperwork in Colombia 10 years ago.
License plates
It’s all rather a lot of work here in Maine, there’s excise tax to pay at the town, registration fees, you also have get an inspection as well. It’s also not done according to birthdays either, so your plates need renewed whenever you got them originally. In Ohio, it’s all done according to birthdays, so you know your plates expire on your birthday, so much easier to remember.  You can also renew on-line, and for 2 years if you want in Ohio, and they send you a letter in the mail telling you it’s time. It’s definitely not a streamlined process here in Maine, a little old fashioned I suppose.  I fell sorry for the town clerks that have to do so much paperwork every year for car registrations!  Perhaps it’s only Ohio that streamlined and easy, maybe other states are just like Maine.

What’s the car registration process like in your state? 

15 Comments to “It’s Official”
  1. Lisa on January 10, 2014 at 7:09 am

    It’s horrible here in RI. We use the birthday system for license renewal, but not for registration. Wait times at our local DMV is usually hours. It’s really bad.

    P.S. I airways thought Maine had the most beautiful plate!

    Reply to Lisa's comment

  2. Adelina Anderson on January 10, 2014 at 7:33 am

    In NH it is done on our birthdays. We need to show up once a year to the town office (could mail it in, but it always shows up late) with our checkbook. For two cars we need to give them two checks for the state and two checks for the town. They hand us the plate stickers and we have to go to the dealerships for inspections and pay for more (my car gets free inspections from the dealership).

    Reply to Adelina Anderson's comment

  3. daisy on January 10, 2014 at 7:52 am

    We renew our registration by mail here and it is done by birthdays. Good for us that both of our bdays are in August when there are no major expenses!
    Congratulations on becoming official!

    Reply to daisy's comment

  4. Jennifer Fisk on January 10, 2014 at 8:22 am

    Other than the pain of writting the excise tax check, I find going to the Town Office nice. I guess it helps that the Town Office is right across the street from Hannaford. One of the clerks used to date one of my sons so we have catch up on the families time. Certainly better than going to Ellsworth to DMV where you take a number and a seat.

    Reply to Jennifer Fisk's comment

  5. Donna A. on January 10, 2014 at 8:35 am

    So far I’ve lived in New Jersey and Delaware, and the process is streamlined and simple. Now I live In California, and have yet to register… I’m scared to in fact haha! I hope it’s easy…
    Still need to get my drivers license too… I think they require if you are moving in from out of state to take the written exam, regardless of age.

    Reply to Donna A.'s comment

  6. kristin @ going country on January 10, 2014 at 8:56 am

    New York isn’t by birthday, either. There’s an inspection required every year, registration renewal every two years, and everything is done through the state.

    My husband uses carbon copy paperwork for all the vouchers he submits for his county law work. DInosaurs.

    Reply to kristin @ going country's comment

  7. Nebraska Dave on January 10, 2014 at 10:33 am

    Susy, we elected a county assessor some years ago that totally revamped the whole car license and driver’s license system. We went from the carbon copy system to website renewal in just a couple years. What used to take hours at the bureau now can be done online in just five minutes. The plate tags or the new driver’s license comes in the mail in about a week. Sounds like Nebraska is very progressive in those areas. Of course there are restrictions of age for driver’s license but that doesn’t kick in until 80 or over. And of course your address has to be the same with no moving violations. This is all for renewal but even the first time registration only takes about 15 minutes at the license bureau. All in all it has become a non anxious event for Nebraska.

    Have a great day licensing your vehicles.

    Reply to Nebraska Dave's comment

  8. whit on January 10, 2014 at 10:51 am

    Wow! Carbon copies?! Here in WA, we renew tabs by date issued. DL’s renew on birthdays. There is an inspection depending on the age of your vehicle or if you live in the city (we are outside of the inspection area zone, even though all our driving is done inside the zone–go figure.) They have very few licensing facilities here, and wait times are ungodly, so they encourage online renewal here and car dealers generally take care of getting your plates for you when you by a new car. Renewals for the car are yearly, but DL’s (also renewed online) can be renewed for up to 5 years and only a couple times online before they require you to come in to get a new picture.

    Tabs used to be insanely expensive here, depending on the value, size, and year of the vehicles you drove. Then we had a guy who’s made a living promotioning anti-tax legislation written by conservative groups, come in and sell everyone on the idea of $30 tabs for everyone. There has been a little tweaking done to the car tab legislation to collect more fees, but not enough. Our roads are so archaic and monies are so tight (pre-Great Recession) that practically all our majour improvements to bridges within the freeway system require a paid toll scheme after.

    The Maine license plates are so charming!

    Reply to whit's comment

  9. Tom Wolfe on January 10, 2014 at 11:54 am

    In Alberta it’s about as slick and modern as you could expect. So are photo radar tickets…

    Reply to Tom Wolfe's comment

    • Marcia on January 10, 2014 at 1:17 pm

      Ha, ha ha ha….oh wait…a letter from the city police..darn!

      Reply to Marcia's comment

  10. Robin on January 10, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    If your town allows it you can renew online. My town doesn’t now and probably never will be. We have a town clerk who refused for many years to set up the computer. Since we have no town office we have our business is conducted at a variety of kitchen tables. It sounds quaint to think of small town business combined with a cup of coffee and a chat until you try to catch the person at home and available at the same time you can get out. I

    Reply to Robin's comment

  11. Annie on January 10, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    Here in Alabama it’s fairly easy; at least in my county. Tags are done by the first letter of your last name. Mine is “B” so I mine is due in February. And yes, there are several letters for each month! You can do it online if you like or go to the courthouse. I just go to the courthouse because this is a somewhat rural county and the people are so nice. Rarely wait more than 5 minutes and no paperwork; they already have it in the computers. We also get a little card reminder in the mail for all our taxes and DL.

    Reply to Annie's comment

  12. Kara on January 10, 2014 at 5:46 pm

    It’s pretty easy in GA.

    The date is birthday based. You have to get an emissions inspection, which is $25 and there are Emissions Stations on every corner practically. The pass/fail information is automatically transmitted to the License office. Once you pass, you can go online, pay your registration and tax, and get your license tag in the mail about 10 days later.

    Reply to Kara's comment

  13. laura on January 13, 2014 at 7:25 pm

    Ours is once a year, we can mail it in or go online or into the DMV office. I think it was last year they fixed it so that inspections have to be done within 90 days of renewal of registration. Oh, this is in NC by the way.


    Reply to laura's comment

  14. Teri on January 26, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    Arizona is similar to Ohio, but we don’t link to birthday months, which would be handy. Our registration fees, however, are sky high. I’d trade carbon copies for lower fees, if it were an option. ;)

    Reply to Teri's comment

Comments RSS

Leave a Reply

Reading & Watching

Shop through these links and I get a few cents each time. It's not much, but it allows me to buy a new cookbook or new gardening book every couple months. I appreciate your support!


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

Read previous post:
Neglected? I Think Not

It seems everywhere you turn people are upset that some folks have outdoor animals. I've seen lots of name calling,...