With one of the lowest density of driver’s per capita in the US, you might even think that Maine roads are empty. That might be the case, except for the wealth of tourists. Getting your license in the state of Maine for new underage teenage drivers requires going through a Graduated License Program (GDL) like most other states.
The learner’s permit in Maine allows teenagers at least 15 years old to receive a driving education before applying to the next provisional phase. In fact driver’s under 16 years old must complete the driver’s education course before getting their provisional license of must wait until they are 18 years old for the provisional license.
The instruction permit only allows driving during the mandated driver’s education course. Before you receive the instruction permit you must also complete a vision and written test. Once you have completed your driver’s education course, you will then be allowed to move onto the provisional license before you turn 16, but only after holding your learner’s permit for a minimum of 6 months. Those that do not take a course, must wait until they are 16, but will still be required to take a driver’s education course to get a full license before the age of 18.
Maine allows Juvenile Provisional licenses only after teens take and pass a mandatory driver’s education course before the age of 15. After the age of 16 you can apply and get a provisional license but will be restricted from getting your full license until you have either reached the age of 18 or completed the mandatory driver’s education course.
During the provisional phase, drivers are also expected to complete 70 hours of driving behind-the-wheel with at least 10 of those hours being at night before getting a full unrestricted license. The restrictions of the provisional license include not transporting any passengers that are not immediate family, driving between the hours of 12 a.m. and 5 a.m. or using a mobile phone while operating the vehicle. When driving with a licensed adult the passenger and night time driving restrictions are waived.
Full Unrestricted License, Juvenile Provisional
A full license in Main can actually be attained at 16 years old, a surprisingly young age especially for a GDL program. This can be achieved by getting a learner’s permit at the age of 15, a provisional license at 15 ½ and then completing your hours behind the wheel, the driver’s education course and the road test as well as waiting 180 days after receiving your provisional license. Drivers must also not violate any of the restrictions of the provisional license. This license if gained before 18 years old is considered a Juvenile Provisional License for a period of two years. Any moving violations during this period result in an automatic 30 day license suspension with subsequent offenses facing stiffer penalties.
Drivers that start the process at 18 will need to complete 35 hours of behind the wheel driving with 5 being at night and wait 180 days before applying for a road test and full license. Those over the age of 21 do not need to wait for 180 days and can immediately apply for a road test and achieve a full license.
Out of State
Acquiring a Maine license for new residents to Maine is an easy process that you must do within 30 days of moving to Maine. Simply visit a Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles near you with proof of US citizenship and Maine residency, pass a vision test, surrender your out of state license and pay the required fee.
This is not an IOU. In Main operating under the influence of drugs or alcohol have a zero tolerance policy for underage drivers. If you have a BAC more than 0.0% as an underage driver your license will be suspended for 1 year, however if you refuse the chemical test the first offense is an 18 month suspension. Driving under the influence is taken seriously and should be avoided at all costs.