Safety Laws in Maine

Seat Belts

In the state of Maine all passengers of a vehicle must wear seat belts unless:

  • The passenger is older than 1 year old and there are more people in the vehicle than seat belts.
  • The driver or passenger has a disability or other medical condition that makes it unsafe or impossible to wear a seat belt (in which case the driver or passenger must have documentation from a physician).
  • The driver is a mail carrier and in the process of delivering mail.

Note that taxicab and limousine drivers aren't responsible for making sure passengers wear seat belts.

Child Car Seat Laws

Title 29-A of the Maine Revised Statutes also handles child safety seat laws. All children who weigh less than 40 lbs. must ride in approved child safety seats.

If you're in the market for one, you can shop for a car seat online at any time. Before ordering, be sure to read our article on How To Buy a Child Safety Seat.

Cell Phones and Texts

Cell phone restrictions:

  • All learner permit and intermediate license holders are banned from cell phone usage.

Texting restrictions:

  • Texting is banned for all drivers.

Maine's Graduated Driver License System Web page provides more laws for young drivers.

Helmets provides two special reports, Helmets: A Matter of Choice? and How To Buy the Right Helmet, regarding helmets. Read below for Maine-specific helmet laws.

Motorcycle Riders

If you are under 15 years old and the passenger of a motorcycle or attached side car, or are the driver of an off-road motorcycle, you must wear protective headgear.

You must also wear protective headgear if you are using a learner's permit or are within 1 year of obtaining a motorcycle license.

For more information, refer to Title 29-A, 2083 of the Maine Revised Statutes.

ATV Riders

All ATV riders under 18 years old, whether they are operators or passengers, must wear protective headgear.

The Maine ATV Laws and Rules thoroughly outlines all ATV-related safety laws.

Bicycle Riders

Per Title 29-A, 2323 of the Maine Revised Statutes, all bicycle riders under 16 years old on public roadways and public bikeways must wear helmets.

For more information about bicycle safety laws, refer to Title 29-A, 2084 of the Maine Revised Statutes.


As stated in Title 29-A, 2067 of the Maine Revised Statutes, you must use your headlights:

  • A 30 minutes after sunset and a 30 minutes before sunrise.
  • Whenever weather and other atmospheric conditions make it difficult to clearly see people and other vehicles 1,000 feet away.
  • Whenever you use your windshield wipers.

For more information about headlights, such as location requirements and exemptions, refer to Title 29-A, 1904 of the Maine Revised Statutes.

Unattended Motor Vehicles

When you leave your motor vehicle unattended, it's best to:

  • Turn off the engine.
  • Lock the ignition.
  • Set the brakes.
  • Remove the key.

Title 29-A, 2068 of the Maine Revised Statutes provides more information about parking legally in Maine.

Unattended Children and Pets

Avoid leaving children and pets unattended in your vehicle. Besides the health risks of cold or hot weather, leaving them puts them at risk for kidnapping and tampering with the vehicle's controls.

If you witness a child or pet unattended in another motor vehicle and feel immediate danger is present, call 911 and await instructions.

Reporting Unsafe and/or Drunk Drivers

To report an unsafe and/or drunk driver, call 911. If you are reporting an unsafe driver that's not an immediate danger, contact the BMV or your local law enforcement agency. The Maine State Police even provide the option to report crime online.

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