Tax Collection - Frequently Asked Questions


Does the tax office accept credit cards?

No. Credit cards may be used for online payments, but only cash and checks are accepted in the tax office.

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How are title fees, registration fees and sales tax determined?

Title and registration fees and sales tax are set by the state. Title fee is $33, and sales tax is 5.5% of the purchase price.

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What is required to register a vehicle in Maine?

The State of Maine has authorized Cape Elizabeth to register certain automobiles, trucks and recreational vehicles. An excise tax is paid and kept by Cape Elizabeth. Other registration fees are collected, and forwarded to the State of Maine.

  • The excise tax is based on the sticker price, or original list price of the vehicle. A mil rate of $24.00 per thousand is charged to a new vehicle. Each year the mil rate reduces until the vehicle is 6 years old. The minimum rate is $4.00 per thousand.
  • A 5.5% sales tax, unless paid to a Maine dealer, is collected at the time of registration. The sales tax is based on the purchase price of the vehicle.
  • Other fees such as registration, title fee and agent fees are also collected at the time of registration.
  • All fees are payable to the Town of Cape Elizabeth in cash or check only.
  • Proof of Cape Elizabeth residency required.

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What is the required paperwork when registering a vehicle?

If purchased from a Maine Dealer:

  • Window Sticker -- Required for new vehicles
  • Title Application
  • Bill of Sale
  • Proof of Insurance
  • Odometer Reading

If purchased in a private sale:

  • Bill of Sale
  • Odometer Reading
  • Reverse side of Title signed over from previous owner(s)
  • Proof of Insurance
  • Title Application and Sales Tax Form - completed at Town Hall when registering the vehicle

If previously registered out-of-state:

  • Out-of-state Title
  • Out-of-state Registration
  • Proof of Insurance with Maine Liability
  • Title Application and Sales Tax Form -- completed at Town Hall when registering the vehicle
  • If the title is held by a lienholder, the lienholder's address for the title department is required
  • Proof of Cape Elizabeth residency required.
* Note: If a vehicle is sold or traded, the plates and registration should be retained. It may be advantageous to transfer the plates and excise credit when registering a new vehicle.
  • Paperwork for Vehicle Re-Registration
    • Current Registration
    • Proof of Insurance
    • Current Odometer Reading

For first-time registrations:

  • 1995 and newer vehicles require a Title when registering for the first time, by a new owner.
  • A first time registration of a company vehicle REQUIRES the Federal ID# of   the company.
  • Cape Elizabeth may first-time register a truck for up to 10,000 lbs GVW.

Transit Plates – Transit plates are now available at the town office.  The transit plate is used to move a vehicle from one point to another prior to registration.  The fee is $13.00 one-way and $26.00 round trip.  A current insurance card for the vehicle is required at the time of purchase.

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Can I register my vehicle online?

Yes, Cape Elizabeth is participating in the State Bureau of Motor Vehicles "Rapid Renewal" program. For more information, see http://www.informe.org/bmv/rapid-renewal/

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When are property taxes collected in Cape Elizabeth?

Cape Elizabeth collects real estate and personal property taxes twice per year, during the first weeks of April and October.

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What is the current tax rate?

The Town's fiscal year is July 1 - June 30. The current 2017-18 taxes are $18.00 per $1,000, assessed at 98% of market value. Download fiscal 2018 tax commitment summary

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What are the fees to register a boat, ATV and snowmobile?

Boats: Boats expire annually in December. The excise tax is assessed based on the year, horsepower, length and use. A $1.00 town fee is charged for a renewal and $2.00 for a new registration.

All motorized watercraft on inland waters must display the milfoil sticker. A resident milfoil sticker is $10.00.

Registration Fees:
10 HP and under $15.00
11 HP - 50HP $20.00
51 - 115 HP
Over 115 HP
$26.00
$34.00
Personal Watercraft $34.00 (Jet Ski, wave runner)

  • If purchased from a Maine Dealer, the bill of sale is required.
  • If purchased through a private sale, a bill of sale is required. Sales tax will be collected at the time of registration.

ATVs: ATVs expire annually in June. The registration fee is $33.00, plus $1.00 town fee for a renewal and $2.00 for a new registration. ATVs are not charged an excise tax.

  • If purchased from a Maine Dealer, the bill of sale is required.
  • If purchased through a private sale, a bill of sale is required. Sales tax will be collected at the time of registration.

Snowmobiles: Snowmobiles expire annually in June. The registration fee is $45.00, plus $1.00 town fee for a renewal and $2.00 for a new registration. Snowmobiles are not charged an excise tax.

  • If purchased from a Maine Dealer, the bill of sale is required.
  • If purchased through a private sale, a bill of sale is required. Sales tax will be collected at the time of registration.
Click here for ATV/snowmobile registration renewal

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When does the Town collect sewer payments?

The Portland Water District bills water and sewer customers on a monthly basis. Payments are made directly to the District. However twice per year, December 1 and June 1, Portland Water District turns over past due sewer accounts to the Town for collection. Past due sewer accounts are collected in the same manner as past due real estate taxes. As with the tax collection process, the Town may also file a sewer lien on past due accounts. Ultimately the Town may foreclose on a property for unpaid sewer bills.

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When are dog licenses due?

The State of Maine requires dogs or wolf hybrids, 6 months of age, to be registered annually on January 1st. Dog licenses are available in mid-October. The current Maine rabies certificate and neutering/spaying certificates are required. The license fee is $1 for a male/female or $6 for spayed/neutered dog. Online registrations are $1 extra. The license fee plus a $25 late fee, per dog, is assessed after Jan. 31.

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How do I obtain a hunting or fishing license?

The Town of Cape Elizabeth issues hunting and fishing licenses for residents. State law defines "Resident". The tax office will determine whether a resident qualifies for a resident license based on the definition. A driver's license or state identification card should be presented when applying for a license. A firearms hunter safety course card must be presented when obtaining an adult firearm license for the first time. If the hunter has not held an adult license since January 1, 1976, a firearm hunter safety course is required. An archery safety course card must be presented when obtaining an adult archery license for the first time. If the hunter has not held an adult license since January 1, 1980, an archery safety course is required. Click here for online hunting and fishing license registration

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What department do I call if I have questions regarding vehicle registrations and excise, tax payments, and licenses?
The tax office at 207-799-0881.

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Contact


  • Teresa D. Olsen, Municipal Agent (Motor Vehicles)
  • Linda Winker, Tax Clerk (Recreational Vehicles)
  • Antonietta J. Sweeney, Tax Clerk
  • Phone:
    207-799-0881
  • Fax:
    207-799-7141
  • Mailing Address:
    PO Box 6260
    Cape Elizabeth, ME
    04107
  • Business Hours: Mondays, 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m.; Tuesdays-Fridays, 7:30 a.m.- 4 p.m.
  • Location:
    Town Hall, 320 Ocean House Road - Directions