Rep. Arata's News from the Legislature: Lyme Disease Awareness Month, BMV-Issued Licenses, State IDs Extended, & Search Your Name for Unclaimed Property

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Town of New Gloucester

385 Intervale Road, New Gloucester, ME 04260

(207) 926-4126 (phone) / (207) 926-4136 (fax)

Town of Poland

1231 Maine Street, Poland, ME 04274

(207) 998-4601 (phone) / (207) 998-2002 (fax)


Maine CDC Urges Precautions against Tick-borne Diseases

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC) urges Maine people to take precautions against ticks during May, Lyme Disease Awareness Month.

This year's Lyme Disease Awareness Month theme is "Tick Tock," which reminds Mainers to slow down and take time to practice tick and tick-borne disease prevention.  Deer ticks, which can carry the germs that cause tick-borne diseases such as Lyme, anaplasmosis, and babesiosis, are most commonly found in wooded, leafy, and shrubby areas, meaning most Mainers are at risk every day.  Individuals and families spending more time outdoors, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, should take steps to limit their exposure to ticks.

Ticks are already active in Maine.  The following four strategies help to prevent exposure to ticks and the diseases they carry.

  1. Use caution in areas where ticks may be found.
  2. Use an EPA-approved repellent such as: DEET, picaridin, IR3535, and oil of lemon eucalyptus.
  3. Wear light-colored clothing that covers the arms and legs, and tuck pants into socks.
  4. Perform tick checks daily and after any outdoor activity.

Healthcare providers reported at least 2,150 confirmed and probable Lyme disease cases to the Maine CDC in 2019.  The most commonly reported symptom was an erythema migrans or "bullseye" rash.  Other common symptoms include arthritis, fatigue, chills, fever, headache, and swollen lymph nodes.

The Maine CDC continues to help educate Mainers on ticks and tick-borne diseases. Some of these activities include:

  • Educational Videos:  The Maine CDC has short videos on multiple tick-borne disease topics. These include tick identification, how to perform a tick check, tick-borne diseases, repellents, and how to choose a residential pesticide applicator.  All videos can be viewed through the Maine CDC's YouTube Channel;
  • Traditional and Social Media Messaging:  Check out the CDC's Facebook and Twitter Information about ticks and tick-borne diseases will be posted throughout the month.  Find informational materials on the Maine CDC Web site; and
  • Virtual Education:  With in-person instruction suspended for the 2019-2020 school year, the Maine CDC's third through eighth grade tick education is now virtual. Video presentations, games, and activity books are available online here.

For more information, visit

The Maine Tracking Network (MTN) offers a variety of Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, and babesiosis data in the online "Data Portal".  It includes:

  • near real-time tick-borne disease data for 2020, and preliminary data for 2019;
  • tick-borne disease data at the town-level from 2014 to 2018 (The MTN will publish 2019 data early this summer);
  • tick-borne disease data by county, gender, and age for 2001-2018; and
  • tick submission data from 1989-2013, through a collaboration with the Maine Medical Center Research Institute's Vectorborne Disease Laboratory.

Tick identification and testing is available through the Tick Lab at the University of Maine Cooperative Extension.  More information can be found at

  • Tick identification is available for free.
  • Tick testing is available for $15 with a three-day turnaround time. The tick testing service is available only to Maine residents.
  • This testing service is for surveillance purposes only. Contact your healthcare provider for concerns about tick-borne illnesses.
  • Tick testing data is available as tables, reports, and maps, and include real-time updates. This data can be found here.


BMV-Issued Licenses, State Ids Extended

The Secretary of State announced that many credentials issued by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles that expire within the current state of emergency period will be extended.

An executive order issued Monday, March 23, extended a waiver for all driver’s licenses, driver permits, State identification cards, commercial driver licenses, dealer licenses, salvage motor vehicle recycler licenses, driver/rider school licenses, and instructor licenses that expire during the period of emergency, which began March 15, 2020.

Additionally, driver license vision test requirements are waived during this period, which allows many driver license and State ID holders to use the online renewal service.

This executive order also suspends registration requirements for vehicles and trailers after transfer of title or ownership.  This action will allow private sales to continue during the BMV closure, as staff are not available to process new registrations.

The Bureau of Motor Vehicles closed on March 17, 2020.  Waivers will expire within 30 days after the end of the emergency period, per the executive order, and the Bureau of Motor Vehicles will process transactions upon reopening.


Search Your Name for Unclaimed Property

You could be among the thousands of Mainers owed money by the State.  The Maine Office of the State Treasurer is holding on to $249 million that belongs to Maine residents.  Unclaimed property is money that is considered lost or abandoned when an owner cannot be located and includes uncashed checks, money from old utility accounts, bank accounts, life insurance policies, insurance payments, and stocks and dividends.


  • Total Properties on Web site: 800,000 property listings
  • Total Amount of the unclaimed property fund: $249 million
  • Largest Property available to claim: $714,000
  • Claims Paid in FY 2018: 29,440
  • Amount Paid in FY 2018: $18.5 million
  • Average paid claim amount: $629.72