Driver’s License Examination
Passage of skills, visual (20/40 visual acuity required) and written examinations are required for licensure.
A physical examination may be required and may be performed by a licensed physician, physician’s assistant, nurse practitioner, or other competent treatment personnel as determined by the medical advisory board.
A vision test must be passed (1) at the time of the 1st license renewal after age 40, (2) at every 2nd license renewal after initial renewal at age 40 until the person reaches 62 and, (3) at every license renewal after age 62.
Graduated Driver’s Licensing
Maine has a system of graduated licensing for novice drivers.
At age 15, individuals are eligible for a learner’s permit.
- Permit holders may not drive unless supervised by a driver who is at least 25 years old and has held a license for at least 3 years and is occupying the seat beside the driver.
- Permit holders must also accumulate at least 70 hours (10 at night) of parental/guardian supervised driving.
At age 16, individuals holding the permit for at least 12 months are eligible for a probationary/intermediate license. Unless supervised by a driver at least 20 years old who has held a license for at least 3 years, drivers may not:
- Transport any passengers, except immediate family during the first 270 days of licensure
- Drive unsupervised between midnight and 5 a.m.
At age 16 and 9 months, drivers are eligible for an unrestricted driver’s license.
Driver education is required for all license applicants under age 18.
Holders of intermediate licenses may be provided two decals and may voluntarily display them on their vehicle to indicate the licensee holds an intermediate license.
Driver’s License Issuance/Application
A Driver’s license is required before driving a motor vehicle in this state.
A person must apply for a driver’s license within 30 days of becoming a resident of Maine.
Applicant must pass a written exam and a physical examination by actual demonstration of ability to operate a motor vehicle.
Social security numbers are required to be collected to apply for or renew a driver’s license or nondriver identification card. Social security numbers will be used solely for identification purposes and will be kept confidential.
Person must provide acceptable documentary evidence of residence or domicile in state, exemption may include person on active duty in US armed forces, spouse or child of such, student enrolled in a university college or school.
A driver’s license is required to have the applicant’s name, date of birth, place of resident or mailing address, signature, and permanent assigned license number.
Full-face color photographs or digital images are required on all licenses except for a temporary license or a person who renews a license on or after the 65th birthday.
A person under 21 years has a distinctive color-coded license.
Driver’s License Renewal
Prior to expiration of a license, the Secretary of State will send the license holder a renewal application.
A driver’s license issued to a person under 65 expires at midnight on the license holder’s 6th birthday following the date of issuance. Until June 30, 2014 for the equalization of 6 year cycles for drivers that have chosen an 8-year renewal period, a 2 year license may have been issued.
A driver’s license issued to a person 65 or older expires at midnight on the license holder’s 4th birthday following the date of issuance.
Vision tests are required at the first renewal after the driver’s 40th birthday and at every second renewal until age 62; thereafter, at every renewal.
Any valid driver’s license issued to a person on active duty with the U.S. Armed Forces, or the person’s spouse, is effective without requirement for renewal until 180 days after the date of the person’s discharge from the service.
Types of Driver’s Licenses
A special restricted license may be issued to a person who is 15 years old, has successfully completed a driver education course, has completed 70 hours of drive time with 10 hours at night, and can prove educational, employment, or medical need. To prove need, a statement must be provided explaining that no readily available alternative means of transportation exists and use of a vehicle is necessary for transportation to and from school, work or medical facility. The license allows the holder to drive only between the holder’s residence and school, work. or medical facility.
A Class A license is for the operation of a combination of vehicles with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) or registered weight of 26,001 lbs. or more, if the GVWR or gross weight of the vehicles being towed is in excess of 10,000 lbs.
A Class B license is for the operation of a single motor vehicle with a GVWR or weight rating of 26,001 lbs. or more or such a vehicle towing a vehicle with a GVWR or gross weight not in excess of 10,000 lbs.
A Class C license is for the operation of a single vehicle or combination of vehicles that does not meet the definition of a Class A or Class B license.
A Class A or Class B license, or a Class C license with endorsements for double or triple trailers, buses, tank trucks, or hazardous materials is a commercial license.
Operation of a school bus, motorcycle, motor-drive cycle, or moped requires a special endorsement on a license.