Gift Obligations: Gift Certificates, Stored Value Cards, etc.
Businesses that issue gift obligations (gift cards, gift certificates, stored value cards etc) in Maine must file Unclaimed Property Reports by May 1st of each year. The dormancy period for unused gift obligations is two (2) years after December 31st of the year in which the obligation began or the most recent transaction occurred, whichever is later, including the initial issuance and any subsequent addition of value. The amount unclaimed is sixty per cent (60%) of the gift obligation’s dormant value. Holder reimbursements may be claimed at any time.
Recent federal law changes may impact certain Maine law regarding gift cards, stored-value cards, pre-paid debit cards, etc. and is currently being reviewed. As clarification becomes available, information will be posted here.
NOTE: Paper gift certificates continue to be governed by Maine law.
LAW CHANGE EFFECTIVE NOVEMBER 1, 2008
Beginning November 1, 2008, if any gift obligation or stored value card which the merchant is required to honor is redeemed in person as part of a purchase and a balance of less than $5 remains following redemption, at the consumer’s request the merchant redeeming the gift obligation or stored value card must refund the balance in cash to the consumer. This paragraph does not apply to prefunded bank cards.
Read M.R.S.A. § 1953 (G).