Drivers Permits in Maine
COVID-19 Effects on Licensing Services
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, state DMVs nationwide have closed office locations, extended license and registration expiration dates, and/or limited the transactions they are processing. If possible, residents should use the BMV's online services to complete any relevant transactions. Follow the most recent updates for the latest information.
Maine Driver's Permits
A Maine learner's permit is part of the state's graduated driver's license (GDL) program, designed for teen drivers younger than 18 years old.
The GDL program helps reduce accidents and fatalities by preparing you to become a safe and responsible driver.
The first step to getting your Maine driver's license is applying for your learner's permit through the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV).
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 May 3, 2023, 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?
You have 30 days to exchange your out-of-state learner's permit with a Maine learner's permit or license once you move to Maine.
GDL eligibility requirements vary by state, so it's best to contact the BMV to determine whether you should apply for a Maine learner's permit or driver's license.
Driver's Ed is required if you're under 18 years old, so you should also check to see if your out-of-state Driver's Ed course is accepted in Maine.
To apply for a ME driver's license, follow the instructions on our Applying for a New License (Teen Drivers) in Maine page.
To apply for a Maine learner's permit, follow the steps outlined below. You may need to surrender your out-of-state driver's license or learner's permit.
Maine Learner's Permit Requirements
To be eligible for a Maine driver's permit, you must:
- Be at least 15 years old.
- Complete a Driver’s Ed course, if you are under 18 years old.
- Pass a written knowledge test and vision screening.
- If you take Driver's Ed, the written test and vision screening will be administered as part of your class.
Apply for a Maine Learner's Permit
To get your learner's permit, you'll first need to take your written exam. You'll get your permit once you've successfully passed your test.
You can schedule your written exam:
- By mail.
- You can choose to mail your paperwork into the BMV. Any original documents will be given back to you; alternatively, you can send in copies of these documents, but you'll need to bring in the originals when you arrive for your written test.
- In person.
You will need:
- A completed Non-Commercial Class C Application (Form MVE-64) signed by your parent or guardian.
- Payment for the $35 fee.
- Proof of:
- Identity (1 document with your date of birth and 1 document with your signature).
- Maine residency—this varies based on whether you eventually want a REAL ID-compliant license (2 documents) or a non-compliant license (1 document).
- Your birth certificate.
- You must send the original or a copy with a raised seal or stamp. (It will be returned to you.)
- Your Driver's Ed certificate of completion.
Bring your items to your local BMV driver's license office, or mail them to:
Bureau of Motor Vehicles
Driver License Services Division
29 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333
After the BMV processes your application, they'll schedule your written test (usually within 3 weeks) and let you know by mail. You'll take a vision test at the same time as your written permit test. Once you've passed, you're officially a permitted driver!
Taking the Written Permit Test
The written exam tests your knowledge of:
- Driving skills and practices.
- Maine traffic laws and regulations.
NOTE: Drinking and driving laws are especially stressed on the written permit test.
Practice Makes Perfect!
To prepare for the written test, you can study the Maine Motorist Handbook and Study Guide. But if you really want to make sure you pass the exam on your first try, we suggest preparing with an industry-leading online practice test.
Learner's Permit Driving Restrictions in Maine
Once you have a learner's permit, you can drive ONLY while supervised by a driver who:
- Is at least 20 years old.
- Has been licensed to drive for 2 years or longer.
In addition, you CANNOT use a mobile phone while driving with a learner's permit, no matter how old you are.
Behind-the-Wheel Driving Requirements
If you are under 21 years old, you'll have to log driving practice hours before you can apply for your intermediate driver's license.
You'll need to drive for at least 70 hours, including 10 hours at night.
The Parent’s Supervised Driving Program guide has information about the skills you should learn and master, and also includes a log to keep track of your hours.
Next Step: Apply for Your Driver's License
You will be eligible to apply for a Maine driver's license when you:
- Are at least 16 years old.
- Have held your learner's permit for at least 6 months (if you are under 21 years old).
- Have completed no less than 70 hours of behind-the-wheel practice. (See “Behind-the-Wheel Driving Requirements" above.)
If you are under 18 years old, you will be issued an intermediate driver's license and you must follow certain driving restrictions.
For more information about applying for a Maine driver's license and what driving restrictions you will have, see our Applying for a New License (Teen Drivers) in Maine page.