Tiny Home Definition & Motor Vehicle Laws

Statewide, Maine


Name Tiny Home Definition & Motor Vehicle Laws
Municipality Statewide
Zoning Districts
Effective Date 03/18/2020
Municipal Code LD1981 – "An Act Regarding the Regulation of Tiny Homes"
Code Link http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/bills/bills_129th/billtexts/SP068302.asp
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.

Key Contacts

Office of Legislative Information
100 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333
(207) 287-1692


Source:  https://legislature.maine.gov/

Updated:  April 2021 – Loran

THIA will be constantly updating the legislation data. Check back often. Suggest A Correction if you are aware of any missing or incorrect information. AND keep scrolling to learn more about getting guidance.



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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