Licensing & State Laws
Even though your teen is now licensed and driving alone, Maine’s multi-stage licensing process is still at work.
At age 15, teens can apply for a learner’s permit in the state of Maine. To do so, teens under 18 must provide a birth certificate and Social Security number, and an application which must be signed by a parent or guardian. Teens must pass a written test and a vision screening test. Teens must also have passed an approved driver education course. Learner’s permits are valid for 18 months.
With a learner’s permit, teens may only drive with a licensed driver at least 20 years of age who has held a valid license for at least two years. Teens are required to practice driving for at least 70 hours, including 10 hours at night, before they’re allowed an intermediate license. (Keep track of your teen’s practice driving with Maine’s Driving Log.)
An intermediate license holder is allowed to drive alone, but must follow certain restrictions. They may not drive between midnight and 5 a.m. The driver is also prohibited from using a cell phone and from driving with passengers for at least 270 days, except for immediate family members or a foreign exchange student who is living with the immediate family. The passenger limit and night limit do not apply when a teen driver is accompanied by a driver age 20 years or older who has been licensed for at least 2 years and is seated in the front seat.
Teens that have held an intermediate license for at least 270 days are eligible for a full unrestricted license**. The state does not place night or passenger limits on those with unrestricted licenses. However, AAA encourages parents to maintain their own rules.
A parent-teen driving agreement can help you enforce the licensing rules that the state and your family set. An agreement helps you and your teen understand the rules of the road and sends a clear message that driving is an earned privilege that your family takes seriously.
**Under Maine law, those young drivers who obtain their license before the age of 21 are considered juvenile provisional.
- Your teen should expect to present a valid license, vehicle registration and proof of insurance.
- Explain to your teen that it is important to always cooperate and be respectful when speaking with law enforcement.
- Make sure your teen understands the importance of talking to you about any encounters with law enforcement, because it can create a learning experience.
If your teen breaks a law, gets a ticket or is involved in a crash, it could lead to a court appearance and the following consequences.
- Suspended driving privileges
- Attorney’s fees
- Court costs
- Insurance premium increases