Are Remote Car Starters Technically Illegal Under Maine Anti-Idle Laws?
Mainers do it every winter and summer without even thinking about it -- start our cars ahead of time.
Obviously, during winter, we start our vehicles early to kill the chill before we hop in and drive to our destination, while also trying to help make any frost or snow easier to clear off the windshield.
In summer, especially on brutally hot days, we start our vehicles early to beat the heat before hopping in and driving. It's a pretty simple and common sense thing.
But are we actually breaking the law by using our remote car starters ahead of getting in our vehicles?
Car Idling in Maine
It seems stupid, it seems weird, and it seems super outdated -- but idling your car in Maine is actually illegal.
According to an article in Reader's Digest, Maine is one of the 32 states that has anti-idle laws in place.
Diving deeper, according to Maine Statute Title 38, Section 585, Subsection 3:
An owner or operator of a gasoline-powered motor vehicle, except a private passenger vehicle, may not cause or permit such a vehicle to idle for more than 5 minutes in any 60-minute period except as provided in subsection 4.
And one of the exemptions provided in Subsection 4, Exemptions?
Subsection 3 does not apply for the period or periods when: A motor vehicle idles when operating a defroster, heater, air conditioner or installing equipment solely to prevent a safety or health emergency and not as part of a rest period.
Remote Car Starters in Maine
So, all that said, are remote car starters technically illegal in Maine because of the anti-idle laws? Not as long as you're starting it with the purpose of using the defroster, heater, or air conditioner, then you're all good according to Maine State Law.