From Fort Kent to Bar Harbor, Portland to Jackman, Maine has thousands of miles of roadways. They’ll take you from Bangor to Moosehead Lake, along the Appalachian Trail to the shores of the Atlantic . Maine’s roads are used by over 1 million licensed drivers, who each travel an average of nearly 11,000 miles a year. Along the way, Maine’s drivers are involved in thousands of traffic accidents every day, including many that result in serious injury or death. Wherever you live and drive in the Pine Tree State, carrying adequate car insurance is both a legal requirement and commonsense protection. This is your guide to Maine’s basic vehicle insurance requirements and laws.
Maine state law requires you to carry a minimum amount of car insurance. Failure to do so can result in severe penalties that may include monetary fines and jail time. Under Maine’s tort system, you may also be liable for actual damages (expenses associated with property damage and medical costs), economic damages (lost wages and earning capacity) and emotional and physical pain and suffering.
The bare minimum car insurance requirement for Maine drivers is:
$50,000 bodily injury per person per accident
$100,000 bodily injury for all persons per accident
Maine does not require you to carry additional coverage such as Collision and Comprehensive. However, if you own property or other valuable assets, supplementing the minimum requirements can help you protect yourself from monetary loss.
Penalties for Failure to Carry Maine Auto Insurance
Maine law requires that you carry proof of Maine auto insurance in your car and show it if a law enforcement officer asks to see it. Driving without insurance in Maine carries a minimum fine of $100 and a maximum fine of $500. Your driver’s license and registration can be suspended until you can show proof of insurance. You may also be given a restricted driver’s license. Because it is considered a Class E crime, you could also be arrested and serve up to 6 months in jail.
Maine Car Insurance Premiums
Vehicle insurance premiums are regulated by the Maine Bureau of Insurance. Insurance companies are allowed to charge premiums and award discounts based on a number of factors that can include:
The type of car you are insuring
Prior auto insurance coverage
How much you drive
Your driving record
Your marital status
Your geographic location
How long you’ve been driving
Whether or not you use your car for business
Maine also allows insurers to consider your credit history to determine your premium.
How to Get the Cheapest Maine Car Insurance Policy
You may be able to lower the cost of your premiums in the following ways:
Ask about available discounts for good driving habits, anti-theft devices, multiple cars on one policy, bundling your car insurance with your homeowners or renters policy, automatic or online payments and driving a hybrid or electric car
Compare quotes from a variety of providers on this website
Eliminate unnecessary coverage
Check to see if you qualify for any low-cost auto insurance program your state may offer
New Maine Driving Laws
Laws regarding driving and car insurance can change frequently. It is your responsibility to stay current about the legal requirements in Maine. The following laws have recently been enacted in Maine and may affect your insurance coverage decisions.
• Any driver cited for texting while driving will be fined a minimum of $250 for a first offense and $500 for subsequent offenses within three years. Texting violations also include a 30-day license suspension on a second offense, 60 days on a third offense and 90 days on a subsequent offense. Suspensions are mandatory without the right to a hearing.
Maine has passed a law making it illegal to drive while distracted.
Active duty military now have up to 180 days to obtain a non-military id card or driver’s license after discharge from the military.
Police officers and the Bureau of Motor Vehicles will now accept proof of current insurance in electronic form.
A police officer may at his own discretion issue a permit to travel directly home or to the BMV if a driver is operating a vehicle with and expired license.
The license of a person with four or more OUI offense may be eligible for early reinstatement after serving four years of the suspension period if an approved ignition interlock device (IID) is installed for a period of four years.