The regional frequency analysis of extreme annual rainfall data is a useful methodology in hydrology to obtain certain quantile values when no long data series are available. The most crucial step in the analysis is the grouping of sites into homogeneous regions. This work presents a new grouping criterion based on some multifractal properties of rainfall data. For this purpose, a regional frequency analysis of extreme annual rainfall data from the Maule Region (Chile) has been performed. Daily rainfall data series of 53 available stations have been studied, and their empirical moments scaling exponent functions K(q) have been obtained. Two characteristics parameters of the K(q) functions (γmax and K(0)) have been used to group the stations into three homogeneous regions. Only five sites have not been possible to include into any homogenous regions, being the local frequency analysis of extreme daily rainfall the most appropriate method to be used at these locations. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.