Maine’s licensing laws use a graduated system for teens seeking to become licensed drivers. Teen drivers are subject to various restrictions depending on their age and driving experience.
A 15-year-old who has completed an authorized driver’s education course is eligible for a learner’s permit. To obtain the permit, the teen must submit an application to the local Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) office with proof of residency, citizenship, and written parental consent. The applicant must also complete the vision and written examinations. Written tests and licenses can also be issued by authorized driver’s education facilities.
Learner’s permit holders are authorized to drive only while supervised. Maine requires the supervisor to sit in the front seat, be at least 20 years old, and have held a driver’s license for at least two years. Anyone driving with a learner’s permit is prohibited from using wireless devices while operating a vehicle.
Restricted learner’s permit. A teen who is enrolled in but has not completed driver’s education can obtain a restricted learner’s permit. The applicant must pass all the same tests but is only allowed to be supervised by a licensed driver’s education instructor.
After holding a learner’s permit for six months, a teen can take the driving test and apply for a driver’s license. The applicant’s parent must certify that the applicant has completed 70 hours of supervised driving (at least ten of which must have been done at night).
While considered a valid driver’s license, a license issued to a minor holds certain restrictions for the first 270 days. The holder is not permitted to drive between midnight and 5 a.m. and cannot transport any non-family member passengers unless accompanied by an authorized supervisor.
Violation of any restrictions will result in an additional 270 days of restrictions and a fine of $250 to $500.
Even after the 270 days of restrictions have expired, driver’s under 21 years old are still subject to other restrictions. All driver’s under the age of 21, including those with the intermediate license, are prohibited from using a cellphone while driving. Additionally, any moving violation conviction will result in driver’s license suspension: 30 days for a first offense, 180 days for a second, and one year for a third offense. Violators must also complete a four-hour driver improvement program prior to license reinstatement.
All driver’s under 21 years of age are also prohibited from having any bodily alcohol content. A violation can result in a one-to-two-year license suspension and refusing testing can result in 18 to 36 months of suspension.
Maine provides a special restricted permit for 15-year-olds who have a verified educational-, medical-, or employment-related hardship. The applicant must still complete all other requirements, including 70 hours of driving time, driver’s education, and the driving test, but are exempt from the six-month waiting period.
Before any driver can operate a vehicle in Maine, the vehicle must be properly insured. In Maine, the mandatory insurance requirements are:
Failure to provide and display valid insurance is a traffic infraction and carries a $100 to $500 fine. The driver’s license and vehicle registration will also be suspended until proof of valid insurance is obtained. Violators are required to maintain evidence of vehicle insurance for three years after reinstatement.