While the myriad rules and regulations enforced by the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) apply to drivers of all ages and stages, some special requirements and restrictions are imposed on older drivers.
Maine’s rules are explained in more detail below, but a number of them focus on identifying and handling older drivers who may have become unsafe behind the wheel.
- requires a vision test at the first renewal for drivers at age 40--and periodically after that
- requires drivers age 65 and older to renew their licenses every four years; younger drivers must renew every six years, and
- accepts requests from anyone with personal knowledge of the driver to report concerns about unsafe driving.
License Renewal Rules for Older Drivers
Special rules apply to drivers who are 40 and older who seek to renew their licenses.
Time limits: Every four years for drivers age 65 and older; every six years for those under age 65.
Vision test: A vision test is required at the first renewal after age 40; then at every second renewal until age 62 and older, when a test is required at each renewal.
Eye examinations are offered free at the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles, although individuals may also have them conducted by a doctor of choice within a year of the renewal request; that doctor must complete an Eye Form.
Written test: Not required.
Road test: Required only if the BMV receives indications the driver may be impaired.
Possible License Restrictions
The Maine Secretary of State can place restrictions on a person’s driver license. The most common restriction for older drivers is to require glasses or corrective contact lenses.
Other common restrictions include:
- driving only during daylight hours
- driving only within a specific area, or
- other conditions imposed “in the interest of highway safety.”
To begin the process of securing a restricted license, contact:
Bureau of Motor Vehicles
29 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333
How to Request an Unsafe Driver Investigation in Maine
Any person who believes an individual has a medical condition that affects his or her ability to drive may file a report with the Maine Secretary of State; all such reports are kept confidential.
Once the report is received, the Secretary of State’s office may request an additional medical report from a physician or other treatment personnel. That report must be competed on the BMV’s Driver Medical Evaluation Form.
Secretary of State personnel may then conduct an investigation seeking additional evidence or requiring the person under question to submit to a driving evaluation. As a final result, the license may be suspended, retained or restricted by particular conditions such as times and places of permissible driving.
How to Get a License Reinstated
For information on how to get back a license that has been suspended or revoked, contact:
Bureau of Motor Vehicles
Driver License Services
Division 29, State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333
The query should include the driver’s name, date of birth, and current address.
Maine Driver Improvement Programs
Drivers can improve their skills by taking an education and training class specifically developed for older drivers. Local course offerings are listed online at Maine Driving Dynamics.
How to Get Parking Placards or License Plates for a Disabled Driver
Disabled person parking placards and license plates can be issued to drivers with impaired mobility if a licensed medical professional certifies the condition.
The placards and plates are also available for those who:
- cannot walk 200 feet without resting
- cannot walk without the use of, or assistance from, a brace, cane, crutch, another person, prosthetic device, wheelchair or other assisting device
- are restricted by lung disease
- use portable oxygen
- have a severe cardiac condition, or
- are severely limited in the ability to walk due to an arthritic, neurological or orthopedic condition.
Steps required to obtain a disabled placard or plate are:
- Complete and sign an Application for Disability Plates/Placard.
- Have a licensed physician, physician’s assistant, nurse practitioner or registered nurse complete the Medical Provider’s Statement portion of the application.
- Take the complete application to the nearest Motor Vehicle Office Branch, fax it to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles at 207-624-9204 or mail it to: Disability Clerk, Bureau of Motor Vehicles, 29 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333.
A summary of Maine’s legal requirements for drivers with disabilities is available online at “Disability Plates, Disability Placards and Disability Parking.”
Learn More About Maine Driving Rules for Seniors
The BMV website has a wealth of information for Maine drivers, including links to the laws controlling driving.
Of special interest is the downloadable “Motorist Handbook and Study Guide,” which includes explanations of Maine’s rules of the road.