Final grade: C-

Exclusion Grade


Relevance Grade


Due Process Grade



  • Imposes a three-year time limit on considering criminal convictions for non-medical licenses.

Areas of Improvement

  • Ban agencies from using arrest records as well as vague standards like “moral turpitude” and “good character” to disqualify applicants.
  • Shift the burden of proof from the applicant onto the state. 
  • Extend directly related standard to all crimes, not just those involving one year or less of incarceration.

Maine receives a C- for its overall middling protections for ex-offenders. One bright spot is its time limit for old convictions, which is the best in the nation for non-medical licenses. Agencies may only consider an applicant’s criminal record if they have been released from prison within the past three years, otherwise they must be treated “in the same manner as applicants…possessing no prior criminal record.” For medical boards, the time limit rises to 10 years.

Although Maine does require boards to consider evidence of rehabilitation, applicants and license holders must bear the burden of proof and show that they have been sufficiently rehabilitated. In addition, boards can deny licenses if they merely “relat[e] to” a crime that can trigger imprisonment for more than one year. The state does, however, have better laws for applicants convicted of crimes that can impose up to one year of jail time, or none at all. In those cases, the state can only deny licenses for crimes that “directly relate” to the license—a higher standard than Maine’s main law.

Statute: Me. Stat. tit. 5, § 5031-5304 (2011)

Overarching ban on blanket bans Yes
Ban on considering arrest records No
Ban on considering post-conviction relief records No
Time limit 3 years for non-medical licenses, 10 years for medical licenses
Ban on vague, discretionary character standards No
Relationship between the crime and the license sought "Relating to," except offenses that impose less than 1 year in prison must "directly relate"
Required factors for consideration
Rehabilitation Yes
Time elapsed since crime was committed No
Age when crime was committed No
Employment History No
Testimonials No
Due Process
Petition Process No
Burden of Proof Standard unspecified, while “the applicant…shall bear the burden of proof that there exists sufficient rehabilitation to warrant the public trust”
Right to appeal Yes
Written notice requirement Yes