To drive a vehicle in Maine, you have to have a valid driver’s license. People trying to drive for the first time have to obtain a Graduated Driver License (GDL). The state also offers additional programs for drivers who have violated traffic laws and programs to assist with defensive driving techniques.
Testing and Preparing to Drive
Testing is required before anyone can get a driver’s license in Maine. First, you have to complete a graduated driver’s license program, which varies depending upon your age. Part of that program includes taking tests such as:
- Vision tests, which require 20/40 for the better eye
- Knowledge tests, which require knowledge of the state’s laws and driving acuity
- Road tests, which monitor you driving, stopping at the appropriate signs, sitting, turning, parallel parking, yielding, and completing other driving actions
Graduated Driver License
Maine uses a Graduated Driver License Program. To get a license, drivers first receive a permit and then a provisional, junior provisional, or intermediate license, which may have restrictions depending on age. Teens and young adults will also have to log at least 70 driving hours, including 10 at night, to advance to a junior provisional or intermediate license. During the time the driver holds the provisional or intermediate license, any moving violations or violations of the restrictions of their licenses will result in license suspension. These violations also may delay their acquiring a regular driver’s license.
Drivers may receive their learner’s permit at the age of 15 if they have passed a state-accepted driver’s educational program.
Continuing Driver Education
Maine offers continuing driver education. The Maine Driving Dynamics Course is an approved five-hour program that increases knowledge of driving hazards and how to avoid them. Its focus is on preventing collisions despite adverse conditions and the unsafe actions of other drivers. It also emphasizes the dangers associated with using alcohol and other drugs while driving.
Drivers who successfully complete a Maine Driving Dynamics Course or another approved driver improvement course will deduct three points from their point total. Anyone can take the course at any time, but points are deducted only once in a 12-month period. Drivers also may receive reduced insurance rates for completing the course. The fee for the Maine Driving Dynamics course is $40.00.
Remedial Driver Education
Maine law also requires driver improvement training for license reinstatement after certain suspensions. If teens or young adults commit moving violations when they hold intermediate or juvenile provisional licenses, the law requires that they take a driver improvement course before reinstatement and pay a $50 reinstatement fee.Drivers who commit major violations such as driving under the influence, operating after suspension, and criminal speeding also will have to complete a driver improvement course and pass another driver’s license exam before the state will consider reinstating their driving privileges. They also face a $200 reinstatement fee and, in some cases, community service before they can regain their driving privileges in Maine.
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