- Location: Maine
Drivers Ed in Maine
Completion of a Maine Drivers Ed course is suggested and often required prior to obtaining your learner's permit, and ultimately receiving your Driver's License. Although not approved for the state of Maine, I Drive Safely is a good course to prepare yourself for your state's licensing exam.
To apply for a learner's permit from the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) before you turn 18, you must have completed an approved driver's education course. You can't legally drive at all without a permit, and you can't take a road test without one. So unless you want to wait until you're 18 to drive, you'll need to take and pass the course.
To apply for a driver's license when you're under 18, you also must have completed an approved driver's education course. Of course, you have to have a permit to apply for a license, and you must have taken driver's education to get the permit. So this point may be moot. Still, it's a rule and it must be followed.
Under 18 and want to ride a motorcycle? You need to pass a standard driver's education course first. Then you have to pass an approved eight-hour motorcycle-safety classroom course before you can apply for a motorcycle endorsement on your license.
If you're over 18, the initial driver's education requirement for a motorcycle learner's permit is waived. But every applicant for a motorcycle permit must complete the safety course.
To pass the BMV's licensing requirements, you need to pass a BMV-approved driver's education course. However, driver's education is provided by private businesses. So it's up to teen drivers―and their parents―to find the right driver's education program.
Driving schools are required to provide 30 hours of classroom instruction and 10 hours of behind-the-wheel instruction. Maine is unique in that the state requires a parent to be in the back seat for half an hour of the 10 hours of driving instruction the teen receives. This is to ensure that parents are involved in their child's training.
There are plenty of ways to find driver's education schools: Search on the Web, thumb through the yellow pages, or ask around. One way to find driver's education schools is to contact the Maine Driver's Education Association (MEDEA), which has listings by county of approved schools.
Whenever you're looking at driver's education schools, MEDEA suggests you do the following:
Local Drivers Education
- Ask acquantances if they can recommend a school they have attended.
- Call and visit several schools.
- Find out how much time the school takes to provide the required classroom and behind-the-wheel intruction.
- Ask to see the cars that students will be learning in.
- Does the instructor collect students at home?
- Check the school's license.
- Ask the school how many properly licensed driving teachers it has.
- Find out whether any complaints have been filed against the school or its teachers.
- Ask how to file a complaint, should you have one, and whether the school has a process for resolving complaints.
- What are the school's policies about refunds or making up missed classes? Will you sign a contract?
- Ask for references, and check them.
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