If you are a Maine resident who rides a motorcycle registered in the state, you must prove you can cover the cost of damages (either property or injury) in the case of an accident. To show proof that you ensure financial responsibility, you must carry liability motorcycle insurance, uninsured motorists coverage, and medical payments coverage.
Ways to Establish Financial Responsibility
Although other states offer a few options to establish financial responsibility, Maine only allows its resident riders to purchase motorcycle insurance. If your specific situation does not afford you the ability to purchase a policy, look into the state’s assigned risk initiative.
Read below for the state’s minimum motorcycle insurance requirements; they are no different than what is required for automobiles.
The Maine Automobile Insurance Plan can assist you if you cannot obtain coverage through regular means. That is because the state requires all insurance companies who sell insurance policies in Maine to contribute to this shared market.
Two-Wheeled Vehicles Defined
Not all vehicles must be registered or insured in the state, so if you are not sure whether your vehicle requires registration or insurance coverage, contact the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) at (207) 624-9000, ext. 52149.
Here’s how the state defines motorcycles, mopeds, and motorized scooters:
- Motorcycle―A motor vehicle with a seat or a saddle to accommodate a rider. It has either an electric motor (not less than 1,500 watts) or an engine with more than 50 cc, and is meant to travel on the ground with only 2 or 3 wheels (10 inches or larger in diameter).
- Moped―A motorized device with fully operative pedals for human-powered propulsion. It is designed for ground travel using only 2 or 3 wheels (10 inches or larger in diameter), and has either an electric motor (less than 1,500 watts) or a liquid-fuel motor not exceeding 50 cc. For more specifics on mopeds, the Maine Exam Manual.
- Motorized Scooter―Note that these do not include electric personal assistive mobility devices. Instead they are motor-powered scooters having a maximum piston displacement of less than 25 cc or an electric motor with a capacity not exceeding 750 watts. They travel on the ground using 2 or 3 wheels fewer than 10 inches in diameter.
Maine Insurance Requirements for Motorcycles
As stated above you must purchase liability motorcycle insurance, uninsured motorists coverage, and medical payments coverage from an auto insurance provider. Here are the motorcycle minimums to satisfy the financial responsibility law:
- $50,000 for the injury/death to any one person
- $100,000 for one accident resulting in injury/death of more than one person
- $25,000 for property damage
As you are getting motorcycle insurance quotes, do some research on the types of coverage that are out there. You might consider purchasing more coverage than the state’s minimum requirements (depending on the value of the assets you wish to protect).REQUEST A QUOTE
How Coverage Affects Helmet Requirements
The amount of coverage you purchase does not affect the state’s helmet requirements. Even if you have the most extensive policy, you still must meet state requirements for protective headgear.
Proof of Insurance and Financial Responsibility
You must notify the state when you obtain coverage; Maine does not have any direct-reporting system in place to notify the BMV. You can use any of the following as acceptable forms of evidence that you are insured:
- Your insurance card
- A declaration page or a letter from your insurance agent or insurance company
- An insurance binder
- A summary document of your insurance policy
Whatever acceptable form of evidence you use, be certain it displays the following:
- The amount of motorcycle insurance (state minimum liability requirements)
- The type of motorcycle insurance coverage
- The effective and expiration dates
- The policy number
- Your name
- Your motorcycle’s make, model, year, license plate numbers and VIN
Penalties for Failure to Maintain Financial Responsibility
When you register your bike, you must show proof of motorcycle insurance. However, if after you register you allow your motorcycle coverage to lapse you could face penalties such as a fine, a ticket with a charge of uninsured operation, or registration and license suspension.
If a peace officer pulls you over and cites you for no proof of insurance, you must immediately purchase a policy with sufficient coverage. After doing so, you must file proof of financial responsibility via an SR-22 insurance certificate; otherwise, the state could suspend your registration and maybe even your license.
For more detailed info about SR-22 insurance certificates, suspensions, and showing proof of insurance, contact the BMV at (207) 624-9000, ext. 52108 or write:
Bureau of Motor Vehicles
Driver License Services Division
29 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333
You can also give the Bureau of Insurance a call at (207) 624-8475 or write:
Department of Professional and Financial Regulation
Bureau of Insurance
34 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333
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Information originally published on DMV.org