|Name||Tiny Home Definition & Motor Vehicle Laws|
|Municipal Code||LD1981 – "An Act Regarding the Regulation of Tiny Homes"|
|Authority||Committee on Transportation and the Governor|
In September 2019, The Secretary of State office announced that the Bureau of Motor Vehicles would no longer register, assign a vehicle identification number or title tiny homes on wheels. This emergency law amends that decision.
This law fits into Maine Law Title 29-A – Motor Vehicles and Traffic. It first definitions a Tiny Home:
Title 29-A; Section 101; Subsection 80-C – Tiny Home is enacted to read:
80-C. Tiny Home. “Tiny Home” means a living space permanently constructed on a frame or chassis and designed for use as permanent living quarters that:
- Complies with American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standard A119.5 on plumbing, propane, fire and life safety and construction or National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standard 1192 on plumbing, propane and fire and life safety for recreational vehicles;
- Does not exceed 400 square feet in size;
- Does not exceed any dimension allowed for operation on a public way under this Title; and
- Is a vehicle without motive power.
For a fee of $100, the Secretary of State shall issue certificates of title for new tiny homes beginning with model year 2020. The Secretary of State shall issue a certificate of title for a used tiny home of any model year that was previously issued a State of Maine certificate of title. A certificate of title issued pursuant to this subsection remains in effect unless cancelled pursuant to Section 669. Certificate of titles can also be cancelled if/when the tiny home becomes affixed to real property owned by the owner of the tiny house.
If a tiny home has a title from the Secretary of States Office, it is not under the jurisdiction of a local code official except for zoning. Most tiny homes are built to either or both RV standards (NFPA 1192 or ANSI A119.5) and IRC Appendix Q. If the tiny home is titled by the Secretary of State, it will not require an inspection by a local building official. If the tiny home is built on site or does not have a title issued by the Secretary of State it would fall under typical building code jurisdiction.
Office of Legislative Information
100 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333
Updated: April 2021 – Loran
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Building Code — Legislation that speaks to how to construct a tiny house.
Zoning Code — Legislation that speaks to how the lot will be used.
ADU — Accessory Dwelling Unit
DMV — Division of Motor Vehicles
IB — Industrialized Buildings
IRC — International Residential Code
PUD — Planned Unit Development
RV — Recreational Vehicle
SF — Single Family Dwelling
T — Transitional Housing
UDO — Unified Development Ordinance
Please Suggest a Correction if you find broken links or misinformation.
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