Apply for a License (Drivers 18+) in Maine

SUMMARY: How to Apply for a Maine Driver's License

Ready to get out on the beautiful roads of the Pine Tree State? To apply for a ME driver's license, you must visit a BMV office and present various documents (like proofs of identity and residency) and pay the required fee. You must first have a driver's permit and pass the written test, vision exam, and driving exam.

This page will help you understand all the requirements from the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV).

NOTE: If you're younger than 18 years old, please follow the instructions on our Applying for a New Teen License in Maine.

Maine REAL ID Driver's License

The ME BMV has begun issuing federally-compliant REAL ID driver’s licenses in addition to non-compliant driver’s licenses. As of October 1, 2020, the REAL ID will serve as federal identification for domestic travel and entry into federal and military buildings—your standard license will no longer be accepted alone, and you'll need to bring additional identification with you.

You can choose to receive either a REAL ID or non-compliant ID upon application—details are outlined below. For more details, visit the BMV's REAL ID overview.

New to Maine?

Just Moved?

Find all the information you need to finish your moving requirements with the DMV.

If you're new to Maine and have a valid driver's license from another U.S. state, you must transfer it within 30 days of your move. You will need to apply in person at your local ME BMV office by:

  • Submitting proof of your:
    • Legal U.S. presence (e.g. U.S. birth certificate, U.S. passport, foreign passport and I-94 print out).
    • Maine residence (e.g. utility bill, paycheck stub, lease agreement).
      • If you plan to apply for a REAL ID license, see the application steps below for documentation.
  • Passing the vision test.
  • Surrendering your out-of-state driver's license.
  • Paying the required fee.

Your written and road tests will likely be waived as long as your out-of-state driver's license is valid.

Types of Driver's Licenses

The Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) offers different classes of driver's licenses depending on the type of vehicle you wish to drive:

If you'd like to ride a motorcycle, you won't need a different license class, but you'll need to apply for a motorcycle endorsement.

The Maine BMV also has an instruction permit that you must apply for in order to practice driving without a driver's license.

Eligibility for a ME Driver's License

To qualify for a Maine driver's license, you must be:

  • At least 16 years old.
    • If you're younger than 18 years old, you have additional requirements to meet. Please follow the instructions on our Applying for a Teen License page.
  • A lawful resident of Maine.

If you're younger than 21 years old, you can apply for a driver's license once you:

How to Apply for a Driver's License in Maine

You must apply for your Maine driver's license in person at your local ME BMV office. The documents you'll bring with you will depend on what kind of license you choose to get: a REAL ID-compliant license, or a non-compliant standard license. Remember, only the REAL ID will be accepted as identification for activities such as boarding an airplane or entering a federal facility, but both licenses are valid to drive.

Be ready to:

  • Provide proof of your:
    • Maine residency, based on whether you want a REAL ID (2 documents) or standard license (1 document). Examples include a:
      • Utility bill.
      • Paycheck stub.
      • W-2 form.
    • Identity, birth date, and legal presence in the U.S., such as your:
      • Driver's permit.
      • Social Security card.
      • Birth certificate.
    • Social Security number (SSN), like your:
      • Social Security card.
      • W-2 or 1099 form.
      • Paystub with your SSN printed.
        • If you're ineligible for a Social Security number, you must provide valid immigration documents.
  • Pass the following DMV exams:
    • Vision.
    • Knowledge.
    • Driving.
  • Pay the required fees (see below for details).

NOTE: Your Maine driver's license will be provisional for:

  • 2 years, if you're younger than 21 years old.
  • 1 year, if you're 21 years old or older.

Fees for a Maine Driver's License

  • Driver's license:
    • Under 65 years old: $30 (for 6 years).
    • 65 years old and older: $21 (for 4 years).
  • Out-of-state transfer:
    • Application fee: $35.
    • Driver's license fee: $30.
  • Written exam: $35.

DMV Driver's License Tests

You must pass both a written knowledge test and driving exam in order to get your Maine driver's license.

Your written knowledge exam will be based on information found in the Driver's Handbook. You will need to answer questions about local traffic laws, safe driving technique, highway signs, and other topics. An excellent source of preparation for the knowledge exam is to utilize an online practice test from our certified partner. These tests will help you pass your exam on your first attempt and they even guarantee your success.

Once you've passed your written exam and vision exam, you will be able to take your driving test.

During this test, you will need to demonstrate your ability to safely handle your vehicle on public roads. You will need to maneuver your car correctly and obey all traffic laws.

Contact the Maine BMV for more information about your driver's license tests.