Maine Court Records
What are Maine Traffic Tickets?
Maine traffic tickets are official notices issued to motorists who break the traffic laws of the state. These notices provide information on the offender, the alleged violation, and the amount due for the violation or infraction. Common offenses include texting while driving, expired registration, speeding, and seatbelt violations. In Maine, the Judicial Branch Violations Bureau and its county divisions handle traffic tickets and fine payment. The licensing authority in charge of maintaining driver records, imposing license penalties, and assigning demerit points on offenders is the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV).
Records that are considered public may be accessible from some third-party websites. These websites often make searching more straightforward, as they are not limited by geographic location, and search engines on these sites may help when starting a search for a specific or multiple records. To begin using such a search engine on a third-party or government website, interested parties usually must provide:
- The name of the person involved in the record, unless said person is a juvenile
- The location or assumed location of the document or person involved
Third-party sites are independent of government sources and are not sponsored by these government agencies. Because of this, record availability on third-party sites may vary.
What Does a Traffic Citation Mean in Maine?
A traffic citation has the same meaning as a traffic ticket. It refers to being written up by law enforcement for minor or severe violations of the traffic laws. While popularly known as a traffic ticket in Maine, the official term is Violation Summons and Complaint (VSAC).
How Do I Pay a Traffic Ticket in Maine?
In Maine, all traffic ticket recipients have 30 days from the infraction date to pay for the traffic ticket. The state has a centralized payment process, no matter the city or town where the alleged infraction occurred. Parties may pay in-person at the appropriate courthouse, by mail, by phone, or online. To pay in person, the offender may visit the courthouse with jurisdiction over the case. Contact information, office hours, and directions to the courthouses can be obtained on the Find a Court page. Tickets can be paid by mail using a check or money order made payable to the Treasurer, State of Maine. Below is the mailing address for mail-in requests:
P. O. Box 480
Lewiston, ME 04243–0480
Similarly, the interested party may also pay by phone on (866) 729–8499. The Odyssey PhonePay is available 24/7 to the public. Payments can be made with a Visa, MasterCard, or Discover credit or debit card. However, there is a 2.89% service charge per transaction. Paying a ticket is an admission of guilt, and as such, the guilty party is likely to incur driver penalties from the BMV. Also, parties who miss the due date on the ticket may pay additional late fees.
Can You Pay Maine Traffic Tickets Online?
Yes, offenders can pay Maine traffic tickets online. The Maine Judicial Branch provides a unified payment platform where involved parties can resolve their tickets online, regardless of where the ticket was issued.
How do I Pay a Ticket Online in Maine?
To make online payments of tickets in Maine, members of the public may use the Odyssey Portal. Users must enter their traffic ticket numbers or their first, last, or middle names (or business names). The portal accepts credit and debit card payments. As tickets are primarily handwritten, it may take a few days before the traffic ticket is available on Odyssey. However, if the waiting time extends more than a few days, the party may contact the Violations Bureau at (207)783–5422.
It is impossible to make partial payments to the Violations Bureau using this platform, only complete payments. Individuals may make partial payments using the mail service.
What is the Maine Traffic Ticketing System
The Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles uses a point system to determine demerit points and penalties due to motorists convicted of traffic violations. This system is established under Title 29-A: Motor Vehicles and Traffic of Maine statutes. This law mostly addresses moving-violation penalties. Penalties are prescribed based on an accumulation of demerit points, the offender’s age, and the offense status (whether it is a first, second, third, or subsequent violation). These penalties include license suspensions, revocations, fines, and traffic offender programs. However, motorists who fail to appear in court at an allotted time or fail to comply with a court order may also be subject to license restrictions and other penalties. Instances whereby a license may be revoked include:
- Habitual Offenders
- Vehicular Manslaughter (which is permanent if alcohol was involved)
Suspensions may range from 30 days to 1 year, and higher. The BMV may suspend a driver’s licenses for the following offenses:
- OUIs (operating under the influence)
- Failure to appear in court for a citation
- Failure to stop for a police officer
- Leaving the scene of an accident
- Operating without a license
- Giving false information to a police officer
This list is by no means exhaustive; a comprehensive list is available on the Motorist Handbook and Study Guide.
Suspensions may also result from the buildup of demerit points. The highest demerit point in the state is 8 points for operating after suspension. The least is 2 points for a varying number of offenses, including illegal U-turn, failure to signal, following too close, and crossover violations.
How Do I Know if I Have a Traffic Ticket in Maine?
The Odyssey Portal can be used to search for existing traffic tickets in Maine. Interested parties may find out if they have a traffic ticket by entering their first, middle, or last names. Also, the Violations Bureau may be contacted via phone on (207) 783–5422 to obtain this information. This helpline is available from Monday to Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Furthermore, parties may order driving records from the BMV to view their traffic convictions, suspensions, revocations, and adjudications. These records are accessible by any member of the public. Each written request must include the requester’s name (as on the license), date of birth, current address, and the complete records fee (payable by check or money order to the “Secretary of State” for mail requests). Three and 5-year records cost $5 and $10, respectively. Certified copies attract an additional $1 fee. Faxing the documents to the receiver requires an extra $2. This request can made online or via mail to the address below:
Bureau of Motor Vehicles
Driver License Services Division
29 State House Station
Augusta, Maine 04333–0029
However, some convictions and suspensions may not be available on these records. The requesting party may contact the Violations Bureau for these copies, also known as the actual abstracts.
How Can I Find a Lost Traffic Ticket in Maine?
Because the State of Maine operates with a unified traffic system, it is easy to find lost or misplaced traffic tickets. Parties who know the applicable courthouse may use the Find a Court tool to contact the court and locate the lost traffic ticket. The Traffic Violations Bureau may also be contacted on its central line for assistance, (207) 783–5422. Alternatively, interested parties may search for the tickets on the Odyssey Portal.
How Long Does a Traffic Ticket Stay on Your Record in Maine?
Maine statutes do not provide for the removal of traffic tickets or convictions from an individual’s records. However, demerit points only stay on a driver’s record for a year. It may be possible to reduce points by partaking in driver improvement programs once every 12 months. These programs deduct three points from the driver’s total points. The BMV may also award one credit point every year for parties who remained conviction or suspension free.
Is a Summons Worse Than a Ticket in Maine?
When individuals receive a summons in Maine, they must appear in court on a specific date and time or risk facing additional penalties. Tickets are resolved by paying the specified fine; unless the party opts to contest the ticket, in which case, they must make a court appearance. Summarily, the severity of a summons or ticket depends on the nature of the violation, and so a summons is neither better nor worse than a traffic ticket.