Maine, “The Pine Tree State”, earns its nickname from its heavily-forested, beautifully-preserved interior. The epitome of America’s New England Region, this state’s attractions include world-class seafood, picture-perfect waterways and beach cliffs bordering the Atlantic Ocean. Scenic drives abound along the U.S.’s northeast extremity, and drivers from all over flock for its quaint charm. To help drivers living in and visiting “Vacationland”, CheapCarInsurance.net has arranged all the pertinent car insurance for the state in this easy-to-follow article.
LAWS & REGULATIONS
Driving from bed-and-breakfasts to the coast can be beautiful all year round. The following information will help ensure Maine drivers are well-protected while they enjoy driving around their charming state.
Minimum Requirements for Car Insurance in Maine
- The Maine Insurance Bureau makes it mandatory for every driver to be covered under liability insurance coverage, uninsured motorist coverage and medical payments coverage.
- Liability Coverage minimums:
- $50,000 per single bodily injury or death.
- $100,000 per multiple bodily injury or deaths.
- $25,000 for property damage.
- Medical Payments minimums:
- $50,000 for individual medical payments.
- $100,000 for multiple medical coverage
- Uninsured Motorist miminums:
- $50,000 per person
- $100,000 per accident
New Driver Licensing Requirements:
- Maine’s Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) states that all drivers have 30 days from the date of residency to obtain a Maine drivers license. A driver over 21 years of age will be first issued a 1-year provisional license. Every applicant must pass a vision screening, a knowledge test and a road skills test to hold a regular license.
- Residents 15 years old must first obtain a permit to gain driving experience. The permit is valid for 18 months, and includes the following guidelines and requirements:
- The applicant must complete a driver education course
- The applicant must complete the vision and knowledge exams
- The applicant must be accompanied by a licensed driver age 20 or older who has held a license for at least 2 years.
- The applicant must complete 35 hours of supervised driving with 5 hours of night driving.
- The driver must hold the permit for at least 6 months before applying for a regular drivers license.
- The applicant must pass the road skills test to receive the regular drivers license, and drivers under 18 who hold a license may not, for the first 180 days:
- drive between 12 am and 5 am
- carry passengers. Exceptions include immediate family members, foreign exchange students living with the family or a licensed driver age 20 or older who has held a license for more than 2 years.
- Vision Exam. The vision exam evaluates an applicant’s visual acuity and peripheral vision. A visual acuity of 20/40 and field of vision of 140 degrees is required to drive without restrictions. Applicants possessing a peripheral vision of less than 140 and greater than 110 are required to equip their vehicle with outside left and right mirrors. Drivers with a visual acuity worse than 20/50 must drive in daylight only.
- Knowledge Test. The knowledge test covers traffic laws, traffic rules, driving skills, vehicle handling, highway signs and Maine’s drinking and driving laws.
- Road Skills Test. The road test covers a variety of driving maneuvers to test the applicant’s ability to control his/her vehicle. The test will require the applicant to:
- Back the vehicle
- Maintain proper lane control
- Turn left and right
- Drive straight ahead
- React to traffic, traffic signs and traffic signals
- Fees. The following fees apply for every applicant:
- Written test: $10
- Road skills test: $35
- Regular license, under 65 years of age: $30
- Regular license, over 65 years of age: $21
- BAC limit: .08 Maine’s Bureau of Highway Safety requires a BAC of .08 for drivers 21 and older while drivers under 21 require a BAC of .02 for a DUI violation. Penalties for under-21 DUI offenses vary in severity. Following is an outline of the major penalties resulting from a Maine DUI with no aggravating factors:
- First Offense:
- Fine: $400
- License suspension: 150 days
- Second Offense:
- Imprisonment: 7 days
- Fine: maximum $600
- License suspension: 3 years
- Third Offense:
- Imprisonment: 30 days
- Fine: maximum $1,000
- License suspension: 6 years
- Aggravated factors and refusals greatly increase the penalties for Maine’s DUI convictions.
Texting & Driving Laws
According to Distraction.gov, Maine law has banned cell phone use, whether handheld or hands-free, from novice drivers. Texting has been banned from all drivers, and it is against the law to drive while distracted.
Maine is one state that makes some laws that really make sense. For example, one law forbids any passenger to step out of a plane that is in flight. Another law prohibits one from parking his/her horse “up wind” on a windy day. No one is allowed to bite a landlord, and it is against the law to park in front of Dunkin’ Donuts!
Average Car Insurance Premiums
NAIC.org reports that Maine’s average insurance premiums are far below the national average. Its premiums as a percentage of income also hit a record low in 2008.
Drunk Driving Fatalities
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Maine’s drunk driving fatalities are on the rise. After being 10 percent below the national average in 2010, Maine climbed to just 1 percent below the national average in 2012 and surpassed it in 2014.
Vehicular Theft in Maine
Maine’s auto thefts are reported by the FBI as being 1/3 that of the national average. Maine even showed a slight improvement in 2012 at less than 75 down from 81. It was at a new low in 2014.