Driving Without a License in Maine

What does it mean to drive while your license is expired, revoked, suspended or cancelled?

What does it mean to “drive without a license” in Maine?

Driving without a license can refer to three scenarios. You’re stopped for an offense and:

  • You have a license but it’s not in your possession. In other words, you were licensed to drive but lacked proof, an infraction that may be dismissed once you can prove that you possessed a valid license at the time of the incident. (Note: you may have to pay a fine.)
  • You never applied for a license (or your license expired). Title 29A § 1251 states that, “A person commits an offense of operating a motor vehicle without a license if that person operates a motor vehicle … without being licensed." Violators may subject to a fine of $250.
  • Your license was cancelled, revoked or suspended by the authorities. Maine Title 29-A §2412-A states that if he reason for the suspension is a DUI, there is a minimum fine of $600 and seven days in jail. For non-DUI suspensions or revocations, there is a $250 fine for first offense and $500 fine for second and subsequent offenses.

Who doesn’t have to have a valid Maine driver’s license?

Maine exempts the following persons from having to possess a valid Maine license:

  • A nonresident who is 16 years of age or older and who has in that person's possession a valid license or learner's permit issued by that person's state or province. A nonresident operator shall adhere to all restrictions applied to the license or learner's permit issued by that person's state or province. A nonresident who is not yet 16 years of age may not operate a motor vehicle;
  • A person on active duty in the United States Armed Forces, if that person possesses: a valid license issued by that person's state of domicile; or for a period of 45 days after return from duty outside the United States, a valid license issued by the United States Armed Forces in foreign countries;
  • A spouse of a member of the United States Armed Forces while accompanying that member on active duty assignment to this State, and who is not a resident of this State and who has a valid license issued by another jurisdiction; and
  • A person operating a motor vehicle in a parking area under the supervision of an instructor during career and technical education.

How do you fight the charge?

Fighting a “driving without a license charge” can be difficult. Once the district attorney or prosecutor alleges that you drove without a valid license, the burden of proof is on you to prove that you did possess a valid driver’s license at the time of your offense. If you don’t evidence of a license, you lose! Depending on your circumstances, you may benefit from the advice or negotiating skills of an attorney.

Can an undocumented immigrant obtain a driver’s license in Maine?

An undocumented immigrant is not permitted to obtain a driver's license in Maine.


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