Cash for Clunkers Program popular with Mainers

3 mins read

Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicle employees are busy responding to requests from would-be car buyers under the federal government’s very popular “Cash for Clunkers” program. Implemented by the Obama Administration, the program helps consumers buy or lease a more environmentally-friendly vehicle from a participating dealer when they trade in a less fuel-efficient car or truck. The program is designed to energize the economy; boost auto sales and put safer, cleaner and more fuel-efficient vehicles on the nation’s roadways.

Maine citizens are requesting copies of registration and title documents to support their new car purchases under the program; and, motor vehicle employees are working diligently to fulfill those requests.

Bureau officials noted that the Registration Unit is averaging over 100 additional calls per day from people looking for copies of their prior year registration.

To be eligible for the Cash for Clunkers program, the purchaser must provide documentation that they owned the qualified vehicle for at least the past twelve months. Documentation may include the current vehicle title and the current registration, or registration documents for at least twelve consecutive months, plus proof the vehicle has been insured for the past twelve months.

“Many people are opting to use the 12 consecutive months of registration as proof,” noted Garry Hinkley, vehicle services division director for the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. “As a practical matter, that means showing their current registration plus the immediately preceding expired registration. Some people did not keep or cannot find their last expired registration needed to complete the twelve month so they are calling the BMV to obtain a copy. The bureau maintains historic records in a microfiche system, and the research and retrieval process takes some time. There are limits as to how many staff can work in the retrieval and printing process simultaneously,” Hinkley said.

Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap, whose department includes the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, urged potential car purchasers to try to locate their ownership documents prior to car shopping. Dunlap said that the bureau is able to provide registration copies usually within 24 hours. “However, this coming Friday, Aug. 7 is a state government closure day, and the BMV offices will not be open for customer service.” Dunlap said.

State government closure days were instituted as a budget balancing measure for the 2010-2011 biennium. State government offices including the BMV offices will be closed for twenty days over the next two years.

Copies of vehicle registrations can be obtained by calling the BMV at 624-9000 x 52149.

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  1. Doesn’t anyone out there care that their neighbors are getting new cars they can’t pay for, with OUR tax money?

  2. This clunkers program bothers me. With anything the government does there is always a down side —-always. Usually no one looks down range a bit and FORSEES the negative results of government give aways. All people seem to see is the glowing promise and immediate pay off offered by the politicians. I will not list my impressions of this program. I am more willing for readers to put their thinking caps on and think about these economic questions.

    (1) how does this hurt the poor?–it does you know.

    (2) Is it wise to take older vehicles off of the road and destroy perfectly usable machinery and send it off to the scrap yard?

    (3) Is this an economic program using borrowed money, or is it an environmental program using borrowed money (principally from the Chinese) , which the tax payers and their heirs will have to pay back either with higher taxes of hyper inflation caused by monetizing our currency, which will destoy the savings of the American middle class?

    (4) If this program is such a great idea why not extend it to TV sets, washing machines, houses (tear down perfectly good older houses and build new ones), tractors, riding lawn mowers, airplanes, boats of all sizes, bull dozers, household furniture, bridges and roads? Why stop there if this “destroy useful things and make new ones” is such a great idea?

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