How to Get a Maine Learner’s Permit

You can apply for a Maine learner’s permit at 15 years old—but there will be some hurdles to clear before you’re all set.
Written by Matthew Lynaugh
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
background
In the state of Maine, you can apply for a learner’s permit once you turn 15 years old and pass a written driving exam. If you are under 18, you will also need to complete driver education before you can get a learner’s permit. 
  • You can get your Maine learner’s permit once you turn 15 and take a driver’s ed course.
  • You must drive supervised at all times with your learner’s permit.
  • After your learner’s permit, you can get an intermediate license and then your full driver’s license.
Earning your learner’s permit is the first step on the exciting road to obtaining your driver’s license. If you are a prospective Maine driver and want this process to go as smoothly as quickly as possible, check out this guide for everything you need to know.

How to get a Maine learner’s permit

The first step to obtaining your Main learner’s permit is turning the minimum age of 15 years old. If you are applying and between the ages of 15 and 17, you will also need to complete a state-approved driver education course before you can move forward. 
Once you have passed the course, you can get ready to schedule the required written driving exam and vision screening at the
Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BVM)
. In order to schedule these, you will need to pay a fee and bring multiple documents to verify your identification and residency. 
Alternatively, for the vision screening, you can have your doctor provide the exam (at your cost) and fill out this
eye examination form
. You can then hand in this form with the rest of your application documents.
For applicants above the age of 18, you will not need to complete driver education in order to apply for your learner permit. You will still be subject to the written and vision exams and have to present the necessary documentation, though. 
You can apply for your learner’s permit by stopping by your local BMV branch, or by mailing your application to:
Bureau of Motor Vehicles
Driver License Services Division
Examination Section
29 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0029
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What to bring to BMV

In order to get your written exam date on the books, you will need to bring the following documents to confirm your personal information and driving course completion:
  • Driver education completion certificate (for applicants under 18)
  • Two forms of identification (e.g. birth certificate or valid passport)
  • One proof of Maine residency (e.g. paycheck stub or document issued by a government entity)
  • Your birth certificate (for applicants under 23)
You will also be required to pay a $35 application fee in order to schedule the written driving exam and get your highly anticipated driver’s license photo taken.
For the written driving exam, you will need to demonstrate a satisfactory understanding of the guidelines of the road. You must correctly answer 80% of the 30 multiple-choice questions, and you can check out the state’s official
study guide
to help you ace it.

Maine learner’s permit regulations

Once you’ve completed all these necessary steps and finally got your learner’s permit, it’s time to get out on the road—with appropriate supervision, of course!
Maine state law enforces that permit-holding drivers never operate a vehicle alone. This supervisor must meet the following requirements:
  • At least 20 years old
  • Has held a valid driver’s license for at least two years
  • Sits in the front passenger seat
  • Licensed to operate the class of vehicle being driven by the permittee
It’s important to note that although you can successfully complete all the licensing steps at 16, you will be forced to hold an intermediate driver’s license for 270 days to act as a sort of warm-up to the unrestricted driving experience. 
An intermediate license will force the following restrictions in place until your 270-day probation is over:
  • You may not carry passengers other than immediate family members that hold a valid license
  • You may not drive between 12 a.m. and 5 a.m.
  • You may not use any handheld electronic device while driving or stopped at a traffic light or stop sign
The end goal is, of course, to obtain that coveted unrestricted license. But first, you must:
  • Be at least 16 years old
  • Hold your learner’s permit for at least six months
  • Complete 70 hours of practice driving, 10 of which must be at night
  • Complete your road test
After you’ve checked all the boxes and put your required time in, you will finally be able to hold your very own unrestricted Maine driver’s license
You will need to bring similar documentation to the BMV, and there will be another exam—only this time, it’s on the road! If you put in enough prep and drive with knowledgeable supervisors, Maine will be welcoming its newest licensed driver to the road in no time. 
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