Old News Archive

From State Senator Schneider - New Driver License Law

July 07, 2008 - TRC

Many of us enjoy the privilege and freedom of driving. Driving provides us with the flexibility to commute, take trips and go just about any place we wish. Many people find the task of renewing their license to be a hassle, drudgery and some people find it stressful. Fretting about waiting in long lines and/or having unpleasant experiences dealing with people who serve them are common things people seem to stress over. Of course, the challenge of taking a decent photo is sometimes not much fun either. I am reminded of the following joke,

"When I went to get my driver's license renewed, our local Motor Vehicle Bureau was packed. The line inched along for almost an hour until the man ahead of me finally got his license. He inspected his photo for a moment and commented to the clerk, 'I was standing in line so long; I ended up looking pretty grouchy in this picture.' The clerk looked at his picture closely, and reassured him, 'its okay. That's how you're going to look when the cops pull you over anyway.'"

My own license renewing experience back in 2006 was a breeze, no lines and the Bureau of Motor Vehicle (BMV) employees were very nice and helpful. My hope is that everyone will have a good experience getting their license renewed. In order to have a smooth trip to the BMV it will be important to be aware and prepared for changes to Maine law which have recently been enacted.

Changes were made to Maine law as direct response to threats made by the President's administration about making it difficult and/or even denying the people of Maine the ability to fly. Today, prior to making a trip to the BMV to get a new license or state ID card or renew a license or ID card one must now be prepared to show proof of residency to receive a state license or ID card. Providing evidence of an actual physical address of Maine residency is required. Specifically, the BMV will need to see proof of residency documented by one of the following:

* A tax return;
* W-2;
* Paycheck stub;
* Tax or utility bill;
* Recent Maine Driver's License with a physical address;
* Document issued by a government entity;
* Conditional order of restoration;
* Maine Vehicle Registration or other credential;
* Maine Resident Hunting and or Fishing License;
* Contract in their name (mortgage agreement, lease, insurance policy, insurance ID card).

Even if you are a Maine resident for all your life and/or born and raised here, held a license for many years, you will still need to provide the appropriate documentation proving state residency.

Non-residents of Maine can be exempt from the requirement for documentation if they can prove they are on active duty in the US Armed Forces, or the spouse or child of a non-resident person that can prove they are on active duty in the US Armed Forces, or a student enrolled in a university, college or school within Maine.

However, a non-resident applicant must provide proof that they qualify for the exemption with documentation in the form of:

* Military ID;
* Military dependent ID card;
* Military service location orders;
* Certified school record/transcript;
* College ID card with no visible signs of irregularity;
* Form I-20 issued to an F-1 student (issued and signed by the school);
* Form DS2019 issued to a J-1 scholar (issued and signed by the school).

More information about driver licenses and identification cards can be found online at: www.maine.gov/sos/bmv/licenses.

Did you know that you can save gas and time by using online services offered by the State of Maine ?

Vehicle Registration Renewal - allows for you to renew your motor vehicle registration and to pay your local excise tax in one simple transaction if your local town participates in the online feature.

For convenience there are other services provided online.

ATV & Snowmobile Registration - offers you the option to apply online and register your ATV and/or snowmobile.

Hunting & Fishing Licenses - allows you to purchase hunting or fishing licenses any time of the day or night, and print your license out in your home or office in just minutes.

Open Burning Permits - are available for purchase through the Maine Forest Service.

Dog Licensing - provides the opportunity to purchase and renew a dog license in participating municipalities.

Absentee Ballot Request - can be made available more than 3 months before the election for which the application will be used.

These online services and others can be found by clicking the "Online Services" link at: www.maine.gov.

I hope this information will save you time and the aggravation of not being prepared and I wish you a smooth trip to the BMV.

As your Senator I am committed to working on the issues that face us during these troubling times. Thank you for allowing me to serve you in Senate District 30 and Maine. For questions or assistance contact me, Senator Elizabeth M. Schneider at (207) 866-7359 or toll free at 1-800-423-6900. You can also contact my Legislative Aide at the State House in Augusta at (207) 287-1515.

TOWNS IN SENATE DISTRICT 30 ARE Alton, Argyle, Bradford, Edinburg, Enfield, Greenbush, Howland, Hudson, Kingman, LaGrange, Lee, Lincoln, Mattawamkeag, Maxfield, Old Town, Orono, Passadumkeag, Penobscot Indian Island, Springfield, Twombly, Veazie, Webster, and Winn.

Darek M. Grant, Legislative Aide, 207.287.1515

Senate Majority Office
3 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333

www.mainesenate.org


NOTE - This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of the TRC Alliance Team.