maine driver information
Maine is home to the pine tree, the majestic moose, and, less famously, the violation free credit. Read on to get a better understanding of driving regulations in the Pine Tree State.
Maine driver information
Number of licensed drivers: 1,014,000
Registered vehicles: 1,056,000
Licensing and registration authority: Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles
Moving violations, demerit points, and OUIs in Maine
Maine tracks its drivers through driving records, which record past violations and accidents.
Moving violations in Maine could add 2–6 points to a driver's record, depending on the severity of the offense. Failing to stop at a red light, for example, could earn 4 demerit points, while more serious violations, like driving the wrong way, can add 6 demerit points. Points are removed from a driver's record after one year.
Accruing 12 points or more could lead to a license suspension.
Violation free credits
You could receive a violation free credit for each year without a traffic violation or suspension, up to a total of 4 credits. Credits remove points from your driving record.
Maine Driving Dynamics Course
Once a year, Maine will let you take this 5-hour course (or any other approved driver course) to remove 3 demerit points from your driving record.
Call the Maine Bureau of Highway Safety at (207) 626-3840 for more information.
Penalties for OUI
Drivers with a BAC of .08 or higher could be found guilty of operating under the influence (OUI). A first offense can lead to $500 in fines and a 90-day license suspension. If speeding is involved or there is an excessively high BAC (.15 or above), a 48-hour jail sentence could also be implemented.
Implied consent law
When you drive in Maine, you're agreeing to take a blood or breath test whenever requested by police or the courts. Refusing a breath test could lead to a license suspension (for up to 6 years) and 96 hours in jail.
An SR-22 document certifies that you're carrying the amount of insurance required by the state of Maine. This document may be required if you've been convicted of a major traffic offense, like an OUI or driving without insurance.
Cell phones and texting while driving
Although talking on a cell phone is permitted as of August 2012, texting and driving is against the law in Maine.
Distracted driving is also restricted, so if your cell phone becomes a distraction, you can be ticketed.
All texting and cell phone use is prohibited for novice drivers.
Driving hazards and stolen cars in Maine
Maine's a big state that has more than its share of driving dangers.
Moose and deer collisions
Maine has the largest moose population in the U.S. outside of Alaska. Though there are more reported collisions with deer in the state each year, moose are larger — and potentially more dangerous.
According to a Maine DOT report, moose collisions accounted for 15 percent of total animal-car collisions but caused 50 percent of total reported injuries.
Reporting a car accident
It's always a good idea to call police to the scene of an accident. But Maine law requires you to do so only when the accident caused an injury or more than $1,000 in damage.
Stolen cars in Maine
A recent National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) report revealed that the most stolen vehicles in Maine were:
- 1998 Chevrolet Pickup (full size)
- 1998 Ford Pickup (full size)
- 2002 GMC Pickup (full size)
- 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee
- 1994 GMC Pickup (full size)
- 2001 Dodge Caravan
- 1998 Subaru Legacy
- 1999 Dodge Pickup (full size)
- 1999 Toyota Camry
- 2002 Ford Explorer
Where cars are stolen most often
Bangor had the highest rate of car thefts in 2011, though more than 3 times as many cars were stolen from the Portland area (118 in Bangor, 393 in Portland).
Comprehensive coverage, which is optional unless your loan or finance company requires it, offers financial protection in case your car is stolen.
Maine drivers license
You're required to register your vehicle and get your Maine drivers license within 30 days of becoming a legal resident of the state.
Drivers in the military
If you're a Maine resident who's deployed overseas or in another state, your registration remains valid during your deployment and an additional 45 days after your return home. If you're a resident from another state deployed in Maine, you can use a valid license from your home state while deployed here — or a valid military license when operating military vehicles.
Young driver requirements
- Minimum permit age: 15 years old
- To obtain a permit, complete a state-approved driver education course and a driving knowledge exam
- You may drive as long as you are accompanied by a licensed driver over 20 who has held their license for at least 2 years
- Minimum holding period: 6 months
- Minimum intermediate license age: 16 years old (18 without a drivers education course)
- Complete 35 practice hours with a parent or guardian (5 of which must be at night)
- During the first 6 months, you should not transport any passengers except immediate family, unless supervised by a driver over 20 who has held their license for at least 2 years
- Driving should be avoided between 12 a.m. and 5 a.m.
- Minimum age restrictions lifted: 18 years old
Maine car insurance information
Find out about your state's car insurance requirement with our handy guide
Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles
You can view additional title, license, and registration information at the state's website.