Your driver’s license is a necessity. It helps you get to and from work. Without your driver’s license, you would not be able to get by for very long. Your driver’s license allows you to support yourself and your family. If you cannot get to work reliably, then your employer might decide to let you go. If you drive for your job, such a delivery truck or a something similar, then your driver’s license is indeed your livelihood. And so if your license is at risk, then your future is also at risk. As a result, you want to know, when can I get a work license in Maine?
If you have questions about work licenses, I encourage you to contact The Nielsen Group for your free legal consultation with an experienced criminal defense lawyer. I am happy to take the time to answer your questions and to put your mind at ease.
This article explores work licenses in Maine:
- What is a Work License in Maine?
- When am I eligible for a Work License in Maine?
- How do I apply for a Work License in Maine?
- How will a Work License Affect my License Suspension?
- What happens if I cannot get a work license?
- What are my risks of driving without a license?
What is a Work License in Maine?
A “work license” is a license that allows you to drive between home and work only, even though your driver’s license has been suspended. Many believe that a work license should be available to them in a broad range of circumstances. Unfortunately, the State of Maine offers “work-restricted licenses” only in a very narrow set of circumstances.
When am I eligible for a work license?
A person is eligible for a “work-restricted license” in Maine in the following situations exclusively:
- First Offense OUI– you have been charged with drunk driving in Maine for the first time.
- Relief from Habitual Offender Status– after you have been designated as a Habitual Offender, you can become eligible for a work-restricted license if you have not driven a motor vehicle in the past 18 months.
Outside of these two situations, the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) does not offer any work restricted licenses.
How do I apply for a Work Restricted License?
In order to apply for a work-restricted license, you need to follow these steps:
- Complete a form from the BMV petitioning for a work-restricted license. This form can be found online from the Maine BMV website.
- Make sure that your boss at work or supervisor signs off on your petition for a work-restricted license.
- Send the completed work-restricted license petition to the BMV.
- After the BMV receives your petition, they will decide whether or not to grant you a work-restricted license.
Depending on your employer, petitioning for a work-restricted license can be an awkward situation. There are circumstance were you may not want to tell your boss that your driver’s license has been suspended. If you have been charged with an OUI, it is reasonable that you may not feel comfortable sharing that information with your supervisor. It is wise to consider consider how your employer might react before asking him or her to sign off on your petition.
When the BMV looks at your work license petition, they will be looking for the following:
- Are you eligible for a work restricted license?
- Do you have any other options to get to and from work?
If the BMV finds you eligible, the BMV will grant your petition for a work restricted license in Maine.
How will a work license affect my suspension?
How your work-restricted license will impact your license suspension or revocation depends on the following:
If you are facing a first offense OUI, your work-restricted license will not “substitute” for your required court-imposed driver’s license suspension time if you are convicted. The work restricted license would only postpone when you have to serve your license suspension. In other words, even if you get a work-restricted license in the short-run, you still need to serve your license suspension time in the long run, upon a conviction for first offense OUI.
If you are designated as a Habitual Offender, a work license is available only after you have served 18 months of your revocation. When the work license provides relief from Habitual Offender status, the conditions are strict. If you are charged with a new driving-related offense while on your HO work license, you would lose the work restricted license and go back to Habitual Offender status automatically. However, you do get an opportunity to challenge the removal of your work license, such as in a BMV Administrative Hearing.
What happens if I cannot get a work license in Maine?
If you are denied a work restricted license in Maine, or if your situation is not eligible for a work-restricted license, this does not mean that you have no opportunities for relief.
In a first offense OUI charge, the State of Maine allows you to become eligible for an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) after a portion of the license suspension has been served. Once installed, an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) would allow you to be able to drive to and from work, as well as other places.
Outside of the above situation, there are no options outside of serving your license suspension. This is why driver’s license suspensions can be so challenging for people, both logistically and financially.
What are my risks driving without a work license?
If you are not granted a work-restricted license, and you are not eligible for any other forms of relief, getting behind the wheel, you are driving on a suspended license. Taking this risk that can get you into more criminal trouble.
Significantly, if your suspension if for OUI, you risk a charge for OAS on an OUI. This type of OAS charge carries a stiff mandatory minimum sentence of 7 days and a consecutive additional 1 year license suspension. Furthermore, multiple criminal convictions for Operating After Suspension (OAS) can end up landing a person as a Habitual Offender. A Habitual Offender has his or her license revoked (suspended indefinitely), and the first opportunity for full relief from a work license would not re-emerge until three (3) years into the Habitual Offender revocation period.
For more information on Work Licenses in Maine
If you liked this article on work licenses in Maine, you might find the following articles helpful:
- First Offense OUI
- Maine Driver’s License Suspensions
- What happens after my third suspension?
- How soon can I get my driver’s license back?