It is important to provide change of address information to Maine’s Secretary of State, Bureau of Motor Vehicles. Licensed Maine drivers who change address are obligated to inform the Secretary of State, within 30 days. A licensed driver may notify the Secretary of State by telephone, at 207-624-9000, extension 52114; may convey the information in writing; or may stop by a BMV branch office and provide the information. It is important to inform the Secretary of State of any address change immediately. The Secretary of State’s Office notifies drivers of actions related to their licenses by sending them notices, mailed to the address they most recently provided to the Secretary of State under their obligation to keep that Office informed of their whereabouts. The U.S. Postal Service does not forward these notices, so leaving a forwarding address with the Post Office will not result in delivery to the new address of a notice mailed by the Secretary of State. Instead, any notice that can’t be delivered to the intended recipient will be returned to the Secretary of State. Unfortunately for intended recipients, the Secretary of State’s obligation to provide notice of administrative actions is fulfilled as soon as that Office mails the notice to the person’s last address of record—it is not necessary for the intended recipient to actually receive it.
The Secretary of State notifies drivers of such matters as the requirement to renew a license that is about to expire; the fact that a suspension is about to take effect based on an accumulation of demerit points; the fact that the person is required to file proof of insurance to avoid a license suspension; the fact that a reinstatement fee must be paid before a person’s license may be reinstated from a court-ordered suspension; and the fact that a person has been declared an habitual offender and a license revocation is about to take effect. It is critical that drivers keep the Secretary of State informed of address changes so they can be sure to receive the information they need to avoid getting into trouble with the criminal law. When a person fails to keep the Secretary of State informed of her address change, the State views it as her problem, not theirs. This often leads to the person needing a lawyer to help clean up a complicated and costly mess. We lawyers appreciate the business, of course, but it’s better for you to avoid these problems in the first place.