MaineDOT Driveway/Entrance Permit Applications

Download a Driveway/Entrance Application Form

Permit by Rule (Pbr) Application Form for Forest and Farm Activities

What Region do I live in?

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General Information

Frequently Asked Questions
  • I already have a driveway, so can I move forward with building any structure including a home, garage or business?
    If the property is on a state roadway, an existing driveway or curb cut is grandfathered as of May 25, 2002 for the use that was in existence at that time.
    If you are changing the use that existed in 2002, for example from forestry or farming to residential, you need to apply to MaineDOT for a new permit. Also, if you are physically altering the entrance, you’ll need to apply for a new permit
  • Can I begin construction as soon as the Code Enforcement Officer issues a building permit?
    Not necessarily. Since current law under Title 30-A Section 4103 3.D is relatively new, there have been instances of Code Enforcement Officers issuing building permits without asking to see the MaineDOT permit first. MaineDOT is proactively training municipal officials and others that the new law requires the MaineDOT Driveway Permit be issued before the town issues any permits for land abutting state roadways.
    In instances when the owner has moved forward with construction without a driveway permit, it has caused considerable problems for the owner and the municipality.
  • Do these rules apply to individual lots only or do they apply to subdivisions as well? 
    Planning Boards are required by law to receive documentation from MaineDOT indicating that the all driveways or entrances from subdivisions onto state roads conform to the rules(Title 30-A Section 4404 [5]).
  • Do MaineDOT permit rules apply to all driveways and entrances on all State highways?
    Not necessarily. There are 43 communities, called “Urban Compact Areas” which have populations of more than 7,500. These communities are exempt from MaineDOT Permit Rules. To find out if a property is within Urban Compact Area limits, call the municipal office, go to www.mainedot.gov and look under permits, or call to request the MaineDOT booklet “Your Guide to Permits for Driveways and Entrances”
  • If State rules and local rules appear to be in conflict, which rules apply?
    When local rules differ from state rules, the stricter of the two applies. For example, state rules recommend sharing driveways and if local rules require shared driveways, the local rules will be enforced.
    If local rules require two entrances to a development and MaineDOT rules indicate only one per subdivision, the stricter state rule applies unless a waiver from MaineDOT is obtained. In Urban Compact Areas, the local rules govern.
  • Does MaineDOT get involved with local roads or entrances onto local roads? 
    In most cases, MaineDOT isn’t involved in local roads or entrances onto local roads. This is normally a municipal responsibility and they should be contacted for information and/or requirements.
    However if a large project or development will generate significant (100 car trips per hour) traffic, a Traffic Movement Permit may be required. In these cases, consultant traffic engineers must be hired by the developer to analyze on-site and off-site traffic impacts including local, state and private roads. The analysis may conclude that infrastructure improvements (including local and Urban Compact Area roads) will be required in order to accommodate the increased traffic. MaineDOT issues this Traffic Movement Permit to the developer after requesting input from the town, the public and others affected by the increased traffic
Summary of the Driveway/Entrance Permit Program
  • The 119th Maine Legislature approved LD 2550, An Act to Ensure Cost Effective and Safe Highways in Maine. The purpose of the act is to assure the safety of the traveling public and protect highways against negative impacts of unmanaged drainage. The law is intended to ensure safety, manage highway capacity, conserve state highway investment, enhance economic productivity related to transportation; and conserve air, water, and land resources. The Driveway/Entrance Permit Program for Maine includes Driveway/Entrance Permit Rules and Corridor Planning and Preservation Initiatives.
  • The Rules
    • The Act specifically directs the MDOT and authorized municipalities to promulgate rules to assure safety and proper drainage on all state and state aid highways with a focus on maintaining posted speeds on arterial highways outside urban compact areas. The law also requires that the rules include standards for avoidance, minimization, and mitigation of safety hazards along the portions of rural arterials where the 1999 statewide average for driveway related crash rates is exceeded. Those rural arterials are referred to in the rules as "Retrograde Arterials". The full set of rules became effective on May 25, 2002.
    • Corridor Planning and Preservation Initiatives
      • Driveway/Entrance Permit rules are viewed as only one part of the statewide Driveway/Entrance Permit program. The program envisions prioritized planning and preservation of Mobility Arterial corridors most at risk of losing capacity, safety, and of decreasing posted speeds, due to increasing development and commuter and visitor pressures. Mobility arterial corridors most at risk are those designated as NHS highways and highways where:
        • Congestion is already being experienced,
        • Driveway related crash rates exceed the 1999 statewide average,
        • Municipalities have designated growth areas,
        • Water and sewer infrastructure exists,
        • Natural resources are threatened (e.g. water supply or salmon watersheds),
        • MDOT highway reconstruction projects are planned, or
        • Areas experiencing rapid uncontrolled growth.
      • The identification of these "most-at-risk" Mobility Arterial corridors is currently under way.
      • The Corridor Planning and Preservation Program includes corridors where MDOT, in partnership with adjoining municipalities, property owners, corridor committees, Scenic Byway corridor committees, and other stakeholders along a mobility arterial join forces to develop strategies that assures the stated purposes of the Driveway/Entrance Permit Law are met and maintained. Corridor Planning and Preservation Program partnerships would outline appropriate locations for Driveway/Entrance Permit techniques such as:
        • Access rights acquisition,
        • Development of frontage roads and shared driveways,
        • Intersection improvements,
        • Development of turn lanes,
        • Installation of signals, and
        • Development of appropriate local land use regulations that meet the intent of the law.
        • Plans will be required to outline corridor protection measures that assure maintenance of safety and speed, and management of drainage, as well as the development, protection, or enhancement of important natural and/or man-made environmental features along the highway corridor.
Access Management Rules
Access Management Rule Facts
  • Background
    • In May 2000, the 119th Maine Legislature enacted P.L. 1999, ch. 676, An Act to Ensure Cost Effective and Safe Highways in the State, copy on back of this page.
    • This legislation directed MaineDOT to draft rules and regulations for the design of driveways and entrances on state and state aid highways.
    • This legislation required that the Legislature review and approve the portions of these rules applicable to arterial highways. These portions, known as major substantive rules, are shown in bold type in the draft rules.
  • What is access management and what are the goals?
    • Access Management is the planned location and design of driveways and entrances to public roads.
    • Increase Safety. Highway crashes related to cars entering and leaving the public way resulted in an estimated economic impact to the State of Maine of $1.2 billion over the past 10 years and of approximately $106 million in 1999 alone. In 1996, 1 in 6 crashes occurred at driveways or entrances; 1 in 5 people involved in crashes were involved in driveway or entrance related crashes. Access management will increase safety of highway and driveway users.
    • Enhance Productivity. Arterial highways represent only 12% of the state-maintained highway system, but carry 62% of the state-wide traffic volume. Maintaining posted speeds on this system means Maine’s people and its products move faster, thus enhancing productivity, reducing congestion-related delays and environmental degradation.
    • Avoid Future Construction Costs. By preserving the capacity of the system we have now, we reduce the need to build costly new highway capacity such as new travel lanes and bypasses.
  • How do the proposed rules achieve these goals?
    • The rules are organized in two parts: one set (green) applies to driveways (primarily residential) and the other set (blue) applies to entrances (primarily commercial).
    • Rules are tailored to match the function of the road - less restrictive on minor collectors and more stringent on arterials.
    • Rules provide permit-by-rule flexibility for farm and forest related uses.
  • What questions can I expect from my constituents?
    • Will these rules require me to give up my driveway(s)? No. All existing driveways are grandfathered until there is a change in the use, location or grade.
    • Can I put my new driveway any place I want? Not always. In cases where the sight distances are too short or its location otherwise creates a safety hazard, the location or design of the new access may have to be changed. On arterial highways, certain driveway spacing standards are necessary to preserve posted speed and safety.
    • Can commercial developments or public facilities be located anywhere? No. In the past, unplanned siting of commercial and public facilities on arterial highways has seriously impaired the free flow of traffic in numerous locations, requiring taxpayers to fund expensive remedies. These rules promote location and access through existing access points, or in carefully planned locations to preserve the safety and posted speed of arterials and thus enhance productivity.
    • Do these rules stop growth and development? Not at all! These rules encourage development where it is safest, and where it does not impede free-flowing traffic on major roadways.