Maine Public Traffic Records
Maine Public Traffic Records
Maine public traffic records, sometimes called driver records, are documents that contain a licensed driver's traffic-related activities and sanctions. For example, a driver's traffic violations, motor vehicle accidents, convictions, and departmental actions (license suspensions, revocations, and cancellations).
In the state, the Bureau of Motor Vehicles and courts create and maintain public traffic records. These agencies are also responsible for disseminating the records to interested members of the public.
Are Traffic Records Public in Maine?
Yes, traffic records originating from the State of Maine are open to the public under the Freedom of Access Act (FOAA). Regardless, certain information may be restricted from public review per the federal Driver's Privacy Protection Act (DPPA). This includes a driver's name, photograph, home address, license number, phone number, social security number, and medical or disability data.
Typically, the restricted information on a traffic record cannot be accessed unless the owner gives express consent or the requester qualifies for permissible use under the DPPA (i.e., the requester can offer a legitimate reason for their request).
What do Maine Traffic Records Contain?
Maine traffic records typically contain the following details:
- A licensed motorist's name and address
- Driver's license number
- Traffic offenses and convictions
- Traffic collisions
- Driver's license suspensions and revocations
- Driver's license status
Does a Citation Go on Your Record in Maine?
Yes, a citation may appear on an individual's driving record in Maine. However, as a rule, the Bureau of Motor Vehicles reports citations issued because of an accident and citations that led to a conviction. This reporting can substantially impact a person's driving privileges, license points, vehicle insurance premiums, and even job (if one's job description mandates a clean driving record).
Types of Traffic Citations in Maine
In Maine, several traffic violations can cause police officers to issue a citation or traffic ticket to an individual. However, though the state has criminal and civil designations for traffic offenses, individuals can only receive citations for civil traffic offenses (also called traffic infractions). One typical example of a traffic infraction is speeding, i.e., when an operator violates a posted speed limit within the state.
When cited for a traffic infraction in Maine, the usual consequences are a fine, the suspension of a driver's license, or both. According to the Maine legislature, the fine assessed for a civil traffic violation is not less than $25 or more than $500, except stated otherwise. Additionally, offenders may be ordered to perform community service—usually when they cannot afford to pay the traffic fine or reach an agreement with a state representative before a trial.
Note that when a traffic violation carries a criminal element (wanton or aggressive driving behavior, death, serious bodily injury, repeat offense, etc,), it would likely lead to an arrest, not a citation. Examples of such crimes include:
- Operating while suspended or revoked
- Failure to yield (if it results in an at-fault collision)
- Refusing to stop for or eluding a law enforcement officer
- Operating under the influence (OUI)
Maine Traffic Citation Lookup
The Maine Judicial Branch Violations Bureau and courts share responsibility in resolving traffic citations/tickets in the state. As such, anyone who wishes to look up traffic citations in Maine should direct their inquiries to the Violation Bureau at (207) 783-5422 from Monday through Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. or the courts.
Generally, interested parties can visit a presiding court or use an online portal to look up traffic citations. Persons who want to visit or contact a court for citation information can use the judicial branch's directory to obtain the court's contact number, street address, and working hours. Meanwhile, those who prefer remote inquiries can access the courts' Odyssey Portal to search for a traffic citation.
How to Lookup my Maine Traffic Records
There are three ways by which an individual can look up their traffic records in Maine: online, mail, or in person. Regardless, all requests must be made to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV), Maine's official custodian of driver and traffic records.
Online: The Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles provides a Driver Record Check site for record owners to look up their traffic records. An individual can navigate to this site with a web browser and input the following information, as it appears on their driver license, where prompted:
- First name
- Last name
- Date of birth
- Driver's license number
- Record type
The BMV dispenses two types of traffic/driver records: A 3-year record billed at $7, and a 10-year record billed at $12. Requesters should also note that:
- Per the Driver's Privacy Protection Act, their residential address will not be displayed in the search results.
- Certified records are not disseminated online. Parties interested in a certified record should contact the BMV at (207) 624-9000, ext 52116.
- The fee is non-refundable.
- Any requested record must be printed as it cannot be saved.
- Payment must be made with a valid credit card. The accepted cards are Mastercard, Visa, and Discover.
Mail: Interested parties can send a written request to the address below:
Bureau of Motor Vehicles
Driver License Services Division
29 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0029
Each requester must include their full name (as it appears on their Maine driver's license), date of birth, current residential address, and the appropriate fee (payable in check or money order to the Secretary of State):
- $5 for a 3-year record.
- $10 for a 10-year record.
Once the BMV receives this request, the department will mail or fax the record back to the owner (an additional $2 is required to receive a copy by fax). However, the record will not include the driver's accident reports, convictions, revocation notices, or license suspensions. If requiring this information, an individual should indicate and include an additional $5 fee in their request. For a certified copy, an additional $1 should be included.
In-person: The subject of a traffic record can walk into any Bureau of Motor Vehicles branch or mobile unit to look up their record. This service is billed the same as a mail request (see above). However, checks, money orders, and credit cards (Visa or MasterCard) are accepted for in-person requests.
Maine traffic case records may also be available from third-party websites since they are considered public records. Unlike government sources or websites, third-party websites do not have geographical limitations. Hence, interested parties may access these websites from anywhere in the world. However, some third-party websites may require registration or subscription to access traffic record
Maine Traffic Violations
A Maine traffic violation is any infraction of the state's motor vehicle laws. These violations can range from minor offenses like speeding or running a red light to more serious offenses, such as reckless driving or DUI. Depending on the severity of the offense, a traffic violation can result in a warning, a fine, or even jail time. Repeat offenders may face harsher penalties, including license suspension or revocation.
Maine's traffic laws are designed to keep both drivers and pedestrians safe. When these laws are broken, it can result in serious accidents or injuries. This is why motorists are advised to be aware of the state's traffic laws before getting behind the wheel.
Maine License Plate Lookup
License plates are a significant part of Maine traffic records because they can be used to identify the vehicle and its owner. They are handy for investigating other traffic offenses, such as speeding or reckless driving. Maine license plate lookups are available through the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV). The BMV maintains a database of all registered vehicles in the state, which is open to the public. To look up a license plate, you will need the plate number and the vehicle's make, model, and year. You can also search by the owner's name if you have that information. The BMV's website has a searchable database that you can use to lookup license plates.
How to View Traffic Case Records for Free in Maine
Persons interested in viewing traffic records for free in Maine can access the Odyssey Portal maintained by the Maine judicial branch. Details such as a traffic ticket number, case number, or a case party's name will be required to search the portal and retrieve a case record.
An alternative is to contact or visit the court that presided over the case. At the court, individuals may inspect records or collect copies at the court clerk's office. Certain courts also provide a Public Access Computer (PAC) for such inquiries (PACs are typically available in courts that offer eFiling services).
How Long do Traffic Offenses Remain on a Public Record in Maine
The Maine legislature does not establish a timeframe within which traffic offenses remain on a person's public driving record. Ordinarily, this period is determined by the severity of the offense. Nevertheless, the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles maintains three- and ten-year driving records.
How to Remove Traffic Records from Public Websites in Maine
Traffic records are public information in Maine. Therefore, they can be found and acquired from government websites and third-party websites (e.g., a data broker website).
Typically, to remove traffic records from a government or public website (especially traffic-related criminal records), the record owner can petition a court to seal (hide) or expunge (erase) their record. However, Maine does not have an official expungement or sealing process for adult traffic conviction records. In the state, only juvenile records can be sealed. For this reason, it is quite difficult for people convicted of traffic offenses in Maine to wipe their records off public sites. As a last resort option, individuals can attempt to change or update their addresses and phone numbers on publicly available records. This way, although the record will be accessible, their privacy will be protected.
It is worth mentioning that many websites that disseminate public data offer opt-out services to record holders. As such, upon completing a website's opt-out process, an individual can successfully remove their records from a particular site. However, individuals are encouraged to search such sites regularly, as a record may reappear with new information.
Do Motoring Offenses Affect Criminal Records in Maine?
Yes, motoring ("traffic") offenses can affect a person's criminal record in Maine. However, the general rule is that a person must have been convicted of a criminal traffic offense for such offenses to impact their record. For example, driving while suspended/revoked, hit and run (involving serious injury or death), or operating under the influence (OUI).