AUGUSTA — Bureau of Motor Vehicle data shows that customer visits per week are up 22 percent over the summer of 2021. For the first week of August, there were 11,371 total customer visits in 2022. In 2021, the same week saw 7,954 customer visits.
“Summer is a busy time at the BMV, and 2022 is busier than we’ve ever been,” said Secretary of State Shenna Bellows. “Mainers should be aware that many of the transactions they need to complete are available online – and can be done at their convenience.”
BMV branch offices are located throughout the state and are open from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. for walk-in service. Online services are available around the clock at https://www.maine.gov/sos/online_services/index.html.
Common online BMV transactions are vehicle registration renewals; driver license or state ID renewals or replacements; overlimits payments; vehicle title replacements; and motor vehicle title lien releases. The newest online transaction offered by the BMV is driver license reinstatement fee payments.
“People may not realize that summer months are the BMV’s busiest time. That’s because people tend to purchase motorcycles or new vehicles in the summer rather than winter. Additionally, we see new visitors from summer residents and students home for the summer,” said Deputy Secretary of State for BMV Cathie Curtis. “We’ve worked hard to increase online services to give Mainers greater options to save time and process their needs as efficiently as possible.”
Mainers must visit a branch in person to be issued a REAL ID-compliant license or State ID. The REAL ID-compliant credential is optional for Mainers. However, beginning May 3, 2023, those who have only a standard Maine license or State ID will not be able to use it as identification for federal purposes, such as boarding a commercial aircraft.
On average, it takes 10-14 calendar days for an ID card or diver license to be mailed to a customer, so BMV wants to ensure Mainers submit their application well in advance of their expected travel dates. For more information about REAL ID in Maine, including a checklist of the necessary documents to obtain the credential, visit www.maine.gov/sos/bmv/licenses/realid.html.
Those who choose to retain a non-REAL ID compliant Maine license or ID card, can also find information about alternative forms of ID for federal purposes at www.tsa.gov. Those who prefer to obtain a passport or passport card in lieu of a REAL ID-compliant Maine credential should plan on processing times of 8 to 11 weeks for U.S. passports.