A Message from the Secretary of State

Drivers Icon Teaching Your Teen to Drive

Dear parent:

Congratulations! Your child has recently completed driver education and over the next several months, with your guidance, will continue to develop skills and attitudes necessary to be a safe driver. This is a very exciting time in your child’s life but it can also be a very anxious time for you as a parent. By setting a good example and practicing what you preach, you can have a very positive influence on the development of your child’s driving proficiency.

This handbook is meant to be a tool for you to use so you can make efficient use of time spent driving with your new driver. It offers tips, lessons and checklists for skills development and can also be a good refresher for you of proper driving skills. Using this manual in conjunction with the Maine Motorist Handbook and Study Guide will provide you with a wealth of information. Of course, no manual can be a substitute for your engagement and the commitment of your child to succeed—that part is up to you.

It is also important for you to understand the requirements and restrictions of Maine’s Graduated Driver License (GDL) program. This phased license process is meant to help your child develop experience before being issued an unrestricted driver’s license. You will be the most important part of this program by setting reasonable limits and compelling your new driver to abide by them. State law requires suspension of a license if the conditions of the issuance of the license are not met; this is to impart awareness of the seriousness of the responsibility for safe operation of a vehicle by the driver for their safety and that of their passengers, as well as other motorists.

The privilege to drive is a necessity in Maine due to its varied geographic area. Your positive influence, experience, patience, practice and attitude will communicate to your new driver, the importance of operating safely. Share the information contained within this handbook with your new driver throughout this very important learning phase.

While this time is exciting, we all understand that it is also fraught with danger. By applying all that your child has learned, we can all expect that their safety will be ensured.

I wish you and your child the best sharing this exciting experience. Remember, you’re not just teaching your child to drive, you’re teaching them a life skill that will allow them to grow to be an independent individual.


Matthew Dunlap

Secretary of State