- Location: Maine
Renewing Your License in Maine
Renewing your driver license?
Perfect time to compare car insurance rates.
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To drive a car legally, you must have a valid, unexpired license. To find out how to renew your license, scroll down.
You must also have adequate car insurance. In this state, that means covering liability, uninsured motorists, and medical. If you need more insurance or don’t have any yet, shopping online is a convenient option.
Most people have a Class C license, which is good for passenger cars and trucks; or a motorcycle license. You must renew either every four or six years. The state staggers the length of licenses to help reduce wait lines at BMV offices.
Commercial drivers have completely different renewal methods, especially if you have a haz-mat endorsement.
If you’re not sure whether your license is Class C or not, you can always look it up on your driving record.
It’s against the law to drive with an expired license. If it’s been less than a year since it expired, you may be able to renew it without taking the written test again. Contact your local BMV office for more information.
If you aren’t sure whether your license is valid, check your driving record.
After you get your license back, you’re going to see a hike in your insurance rate. The more serious the reason for the suspension, the higher it will go. Now would be a good time to see if the competition will give you a better deal on car insurance.
Those with a digital license can replace it online; otherwise, you have to go into a physical office. No matter what, it’s important to get a new license as soon as you notice it’s missing. This prevents ID theft.
You'll get a notice at least 30 days in advance. It tells you whether you must appear in person, or if you can use the online system.
Anyone with a digital noncommercial Class C driver's license may renew their license, or replace a lost license, through the Rapid Renewal website. All you need is your Social Security number and a valid MasterCard or Visa, as well as a printer connected to your computer.
You’ll print a temporary license valid for 60 days. Your new license will be mailed and arrive within two to three weeks.
The BMV Rapid Renewal system is not available to everyone. There are restrictions:
- You must have a digital license―the pink-highlighted license with a digital photo. If you do not have a digital license yet, you cannot use Rapid Renewal.
- If it’s time for a vision screening, you have to go into an office. Vision screenings are required at every second renewal at age 40 and up.
- You can't renew a suspended license.
- You can't renew a commercial driver's license (CDL) online. You must go to a BMV office.
- You can't renew an out-of-state license.
- You must be at least 23 years old.
- If the digital photograph on file was taken before you turned 23, you need to have a new photo taken and cannot use Rapid Renewal.
- If you changed your name since your last renewal, you cannot use Rapid Renewal.
Although the above method will soon be reinstated, the BMV has temporarily suspended online license renewal due to the passing of Public Law Chapter 648: An Act to Enhance State Credentials.
Under the Act, Mainers must “provide valid documentary evidence of legal presence in the United States.” The Act also contains a state residency requirement. In most instances, both requirements are satisfied through personal presentation of a certified birth certificate to the BMV. Other documents might also satisfy this new requirement.
Furthermore, licenses and IDs will no longer be valid after expiration of a non-citizen’s visa, passport or other federally issued document.
You may not renew by mail.
If you're restricted from using Rapid Renewal for any of the above-listed reasons―or if you don't have a credit card―you need to renew your license the old-fashioned way, by heading to the BMV.
Bring with you:
- Proof of your Maine physical address.
- Proof that you're a US citizen or have legal presence.
- Proof of Social Security number if your number is not on file. Or, if you do not qualify for a Social Security number, provide proof confirming why.
- Cash, check, money order, Visa or Mastercard to pay renewal fee.
You may be required to pass a vision test.
As long as you’re getting your renewal in order, why not take a refresher traffic course? That way, you’ll know all the newest laws and brush up on your skills. Some insurance companies even offer discounts for doing so.
Check with your provider to see if they offer this discount. If not, consider doing some comparison shopping online.Other Topics in This SectionArticles