The state of Maine offers a number of benefits and perks for those Americans who have either served in an Armed Forces branch in the past, or are current active military members.
Disabled veteran registration and driver license fee waiver
Disabled veterans are eligible to receive a Disabled Veteran license plate free of charge. In order to qualify, you must provide the Maine Office of Motor Vehicles with documentation from Veterans Affairs verifying service-connected 100% disability. The parking version of the Disabled Veteran plate will allow you to use parking spaces designated for those with a disability, as well as park for free in metered spots. Disabled veterans are also eligible for exemption from driver license and title fees. You may need to provide verifying documentation for these exemptions.
Military personnel with a “K” or “2” designation on their license are also eligible for waived driver license renewal fees.
Driver’s license veteran designation
Maine veterans and active military personnel are eligible for a veteran designation on a driver license or state ID card, in the form of an American flag with the word “Veteran” beneath it at the right upper corner of the card. This allows you to easily display your veteran status to businesses and other organizations that offer benefits to military members, without having to carry your discharge papers around everywhere you go. In order to get a license with this designation you must have received honorable discharge, or currently be serving, and be able to provide verification of honorable discharge such as a DD 214 or documentation from the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Military honor plates
Maine offers a variety of military license plates. Eligibility for each of these plates requires certain criteria be met, including proof of current or past military service (honorable discharge), proof of having participated in a specific battle, or discharge papers or U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs documentation of the award received.
Available plates include:
Purple Heart (vehicle and motorcycle, no registration fee)
Purple Heart Souvenir Plate (no fee, not for use on a motor vehicle)
Disabled Veteran Plate (no registration fee)
Disabled Veteran Parking Plate (no registration fee)
Amputee/Loss of Use of Limb(s) or Blind Veteran (no registration fee)
Medal of Honor (no registration fee)
Former Prisoner of War (no registration fee)
Pearl Harbor Survivor (no registration fee)
Special Veteran Plate (registration fee of $35 up to 6000 pounds, $37 up to 10,000 pounds, may display commemorative decal)
Gold Star Family ($35 registration fee)
The application for a disability plate can be found here.
Military skills test waiver
As of 2011, veterans and active military personnel with commercial military vehicle operation experience can use those skills to avoid part of the CDL testing process. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration instituted this rule granting SDLAs (State Driver Licensing Agencies) the power to pardon U.S. Military drivers from the road skills test in order to obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver License). To be eligible to skip this part of the testing process you must apply within 12 months of leaving a military position which required you to operate a commercial type vehicle. And, you must have had two years of this type of experience in order to qualify for the waiver program, in addition to other specific criteria. You will not be excused from the written test.
Maine and every other state participates in the program. If you’d like to view and print the universal version of the waiver, you can go here. Or you can check with your state to find out if they provide an application.
Military Commercial Driver’s License Act of 2012
This law was put in place to provide states with the appropriate powers to issue commercial driver licenses to active military members while stationed outside of their home states. All branches are eligible for this benefit, including the Reserves, National Guard, Coast Guard, or Coast Guard Auxiliary. Check with your Maine licensing agency for information.
Driver license renewal while deployed
Maine has a unique policy when it comes to Armed Forces members and driver license renewal. Anyone serving on active duty who is a qualified motor vehicle operator may operate a motor vehicle regardless of their license expiration date. This benefit lasts until 180 days after discharge from the military.
You can check here to see if you are eligible to renew your vehicle registration online while deployed or stationed out of state.
Non-resident military personnel driver license and vehicle registration
Maine honors out-of-state driver’s licenses and vehicle registration for non-resident military stationed within the state. This courtesy is also extended to dependents of non-resident military personnel stationed in the state with the service member.
Non-resident military personnel stationed in the state of Maine may also apply for exemption from excise taxes on vehicles. You must submit this form in order to qualify for the exemption.
Active or veteran military personnel can find out more at the state’s Bureau of Motor Vehicles website here.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as Veteran and Military Driver Laws and Benefits in Maine and was authored by Valerie Johnston.