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It's the Law

Annual Excise Tax

Owners of any vessels located in Maine, including documented vessels, must pay their annual excise tax.

  • Maine residents pay the tax to the town where they reside.
  • Nonresidents or corporations pay the tax to the Maine town where the vessel is principally moored, docked, or located.

These vessels are not required to pay the excise tax:

  • A lifeboat or raft carried by another vessel
  • A vessel that is for sale by a dealer
  • A commercial vessel that has no established base of operation in Maine
  • A vessel that is not in Maine for more than 75 days
  • A manually propelled vessel 20 feet or less in length
  • A vessel exempt from property tax

Proof that the excise tax has been paid must be submitted with the registration application or renewal.

Any vessel exempt from registration but required to pay annual excise tax must display a sticker that shows the excise tax has been paid.

Where To Register

Initial Registration: The Fish & Wildlife Office in Augusta is the central office for vessel registration. Also, many Maine municipal tax collectors or town clerks are Recreational Vehicle Registration Agents for the Fish & Wildlife Office.

  • To register a vessel at the Augusta office or in a town other than your town of legal residence, first pay your annual excise tax in your town of residence. You must have a receipt that shows the excise tax has been paid, or your vessel cannot be registered.
  • For applications or agent information, call 207-287-8000.

Renewals: Vessel registrations may be renewed online if your town is part of the program. Visit:

Registration Questions?

Call the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife at 207-287-8000.