How to Get a Maine Driver’s License
The Maine Graduated Driver License program, or GDL, will give you time to learn how to drive in a controlled way. There are three stages to this program, from no Maine license to a full license.
Completing the Maine GDL takes about a year. First, you’ll complete a Maine BMV approved driver training course for your learner’s permit. Then, 70 hours of supervised driving for a Maine intermediate license. Drive with it for nine months, and you’ll receive your full Maine license.
The steps below have the details you’ll need to know in order to get your full, unrestricted Maine license.
Get Your Maine Learner’s Permit
You can start the process to get your Maine license at 15 years old. To get ready for driving, you can download the Maine Motorist Handbook and Study Guide and start reading through it.
This is the point also where you’ll need to get driving instruction. Driver education programs consist of 30 hours of classroom instruction and 10 hours of behind-the-wheel instruction. Once you’ve completed the required amount of instruction, you can apply for your Maine learner’s permit.
At your local BMV (Bureau of Motor Vehicles) location, you’ll need to fill out an application, bring in proof of identity, and pay a fee of $35 by debit card or check.
Before being issued your ME learner’s permit, you’ll have to provide proof you’ve completed a Maine BMV approved driver education course, and pass a vision screening and a written test. This test consists of 30 questions, and you must get 24 correct in order to pass. The test will cover rules of the road, signs, pedestrian and bicycle safety, operating under the influence laws, and distracted driving. Consider working through the Maine BMV’s study guide before taking the permit test.
If you fail, your BMV exam proctor will let you know when you are able to retake the test.
When you pass, you will be given an official paper which is your Maine driver’s permit. You’ll need to have that with you every time you’re behind the wheel.
When you’re ready to enroll in driver education, find a driving school to get started.
You have to have your Maine learner’s permit for at least 6 months before you can apply for an intermediate license. During that time, you’ll need to have 70 hours driving practice with 10 hours of those being at night. There are also limits to your permit and they are:
- If a permit is issued to a person under 21 years of age that person must hold the permit for 6 months before applying for a road test and are prohibited from using a cellular phone while operating with a permit.
- If a permit is issued to a person under 21 years of age, they must log 70 hours of driving and 10 of the hours must be done after dark.
- If a permit expires, the person must take an exam for a new permit, but will not be required to wait before applying for a road test. The restriction from using a cellular phone still applies.
- You must be accompanied by a supervising driver who is at least 20 years old and has held a license for at least two years.
Get Your Maine Intermediate License
Receiving your Maine intermediate license requires that you’ve completed certain requirements. Those are reaching the age of 16.
Driving Skills Test: You will be required to pass a driving test with a BMV evaluator who will make sure you can perform basic driving tasks safely.
Once you’re ready, you can schedule a driving skills exam by mailing a road test request card to the main office of the Bureau of Motor Vehicles at 29 State House Station, Augusta, Maine 04333. You will receive an appointment at your nearest Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles testing location. Before you take the test, you should check out the Top 10 Automatic Fails on Driver Tests, so you’ll know what not to do on test day.
If you fail this test, you will be told why you did not pass and what you should practice before testing again. You’ll be given a receipt to send in to request your next test.
Vision Test: You will need to take a vision test. If you need glasses be sure you’re wearing them.
The application fee for your license is $55 for a REAL ID 6 year license and $30 for a regular 6 year license
Your Maine intermediate license will be mailed to you and will have your photograph on it. They take your picture the day you pass your driving skills test. This license will come with the following restrictions:
No carrying passengers other than immediate family members (grandparent; step grandparent; parent; stepparent; spouse; child; stepchildren; brother; sister; stepbrother; stepsister) unless accompanied by a licensed operator who meets the requirements of Title 29-A, 1304, subsection 1, paragraph E. For the purpose of this paragraph, “immediate family member” includes the following when living with the immediate family:
- A foreign exchange student;
- A person who is under court-appointed guardianship of an immediate family member; and
- A child whose parent is deployed for military service and is under guardianship of an immediate family member as provided on a United States Department of Defense Armed Forces Family Care Plan, DA Form 5305 or its successor form.
- Operating a motor vehicle while using a mobile telephone.
As you continue to learn how to operate a motor vehicle in different conditions, there are certain hours when you won’t be able to drive. Those are
- Between the hours of 12 a.m. and 5 a.m.
Get Your Maine Unrestricted Full License
At a certain point, the state feels that you’ve been able to receive enough supervised driving experience that you can go out on your own. Therefore, once you reach 16 years and 9 months old and have had your restricted license for 9 months, you can get your full Maine license.
This means that previous restrictions are lifted. However, you will not receive an updated Maine license until that one expires. After you renew your license, you will receive your full, unrestricted license in the mail.
Whether you’ve just finished your Maine graduated licensing process, or are just starting out, you might also want to consider a telematic companion application to better understand your driving habits, and how to improve them.
The best option is the DriverZ Virtual Coach. Download it today to sharpen your S.P.I.D.E.R.Senses™ to build the driving skills that will keep you safe for a lifetime, track your supervised driving hours, and access bespoke driver training based on your specific needs.
Frequently asked questions
Here are answers to some common questions you might have as you start out on your ME licensing journey.
Can I drive with an out-of-state instructional permit in Maine?
Maine does allow drivers to travel through the state with permits from other states, as long as the parameters of the out-of-state permit are followed and the permit is always in the immediate possession of the driver.
Can I replace a lost or stolen learner’s permit?
You can replace a lost or stolen learner’s permit on Maine’s Driver’s License Renewal page for a simple replacement, though you may need to call in and resolve the situation by phone or in person if there are complications.
Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles information
For comprehensive information on everything related to the Maine graduated licensing program, visit the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles. You can also call any of the Maine BMV phone lines Monday – Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
Prepare for your license journey by reviewing the State of Maine Motorist Handbook and Study Guide.