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Rhode Island Driver License

Successfully passing the road test marks the beginning of obtaining a Rhode Island driver’s license. Once you have it, you will need to renew the license every five years, and every two years if you are older than 75.

How to get a Rhode Island Limited Instructional Permit

If you are older than 16 and want to drive legally in the state of Rhode Island, you may aim for a limited instructional permit. It will allow you to practice driving under the supervision of a 21+ properly licensed driver (who held the license for at least five years).

Requirements for the permit

  • To be eligible for licensure, you must enroll in a 33-hour driver education course and receive proper knowledge about driving rules and regulations. To register for the course, you should contact the Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) at 825-1214. Note that you must be at least fifteen years and months old when you begin the classes
  • Secondly, you must take the written knowledge test, which consists of 40 questions and pass it. Once you succeed in your test, you will receive your Green CCRI Certificate
  • Thirdly, you must visit a local DMV office, request an application form and complete it correctly, by submitting required documents
  • The next step is to take a vision test. If you generally wear corrective lenses, you must wear them at the time of your vision test and have at least 20/40 with corrected lenses
  • Finally, you must pay the permit fee of $12.5 and get the permit

Note that the instructional permit is valid for only one calendar year and you may apply for a Full Operator’s License when you reach 18 years of age.

Required documents for RI Driver License

  • Identification (for example, a certified birth certificate, an active passport, identification card, certified baptismal certificate, a resident alien card)
  • Green CCRI Certificate
  • Social Security Number
  • Documents of Rhode Island address (for example, a lease agreement, school record, pay stub)
  • Papers of name change (if applicable)

Driving restrictions

  • Only driving under the supervision of a properly licensed adult driver
  • The licensed driver must be sitting beside you at all times and be ready to take control of the vehicle in an emergency
  • Always wearing a safety belt (unless you present a physician’s letter indicating you cannot wear a safety belt)

How to get a Rhode Island Limited Provisional License

If you are between the ages of 16.5 and 18, you can aim for a limited provisional license in order to drive unsupervised (but with some restrictions).

Requirements for the license

  • In the first place, you must have held your limited instructional permit (for at least six months)
  • Secondly, you must have completed 50 hours of supervised driving (10 of which must be nighttime driving)
  • Thirdly, you must schedule a driving test, bring necessary documents and pass the test. Note that you must arrive with a properly insured and registered vehicle, which is in good mechanical condition
  • You must also pay the license fee of $24.5
  • Not having been convicted of a motor vehicle moving violation or a safety belt infraction is another major requirement

Once you turn 18 years of age, the license will expire.

Required documents

  • Current limited instructional permit
  • Notarized letter for using the motor vehicle (in case the owner is not present)
  • A statement signed by a parent or legal guardian stating having completed 50 hours of supervised driving experience
  • License of the supervising driver (out-of-state license is acceptable)

Driving restrictions

  • Only driving between 5:00am and 1:00am (except for work or any activity of a volunteer fire department, rescue squad or emergency medical service)
  • Driving supervised at any time (with the supervising driver sitting next to you)

How to get a Rhode Island Full Operator’s License

Requirements for the license

  • Hold your limited instructional permit or complete the steps mentioned above in case you do not have it
  • Schedule a driving test, pay the required fee and pass it

Required documents

  • Identity bearing your full legal name and date of birth (for example, a certified birth certificate, an active passport, identification card, certified baptismal certificate, a resident alien card)
  • Signature documents (Social Security Card, US or foreign passport, work/school ID, Active service or Reservist military ID card)
  • Rhode Island residence address documents (for example, a valid voter registration card, utility bill, lease agreement, payroll check stub, property tax bill)

What you need to know about the driving test

When you come to take the driving (road test), you must bring your own or other person’s vehicle, which is registered and insured. In addition, you will need to provide the vehicle’s valid registration certificate, as well as a valid insurance identification card.

The vehicle must also have two plats on it and a valid inspection sticker (not expired).

Before the examination starts, the examiner will conduct a safety inspection, checking the brake lights, directional lights, headlights, hazard lights, tires and legal tint. In case he/she finds an existing problem with the car, they will reject the vehicle and you will need to retake the test, again. The same goes for providing invalid or not proper forms of documents.

What comes to the test, it includes procedures of pre-driving, driving in traffic, parking, making proper turns and other common driving experiences. If you fail the test, you will have the opportunity to retake the exam. However, you will need to wait for at least 30 days before you are allowed to take the road test.

Common mistakes that lead to test failure are making moving mistakes, leaving the designated roadway and others. It is highly likely that you may fail the test if you do not listen to the examiner and lack communication with him/her.

Hardship driver’s license

Most people are confused with the word “hardship license” and do not know what it means. Thus, it is a restricted license, which is issued on a case-by-case basis for drivers with suspended or revoked licenses.

The name hardship itself indicates that you must enumerate some cases (hardships) that you face, for example medical care, attending a school, substance abuse programs and so on.

In the state of Rhode Island, you may obtain a hardship license providing that you meet the eligibility requirements. In addition, you must stick to the permit rules and comply with them. Otherwise, you may face additional problems and punishments, fees and even possible jail time.

How to apply

To start with, you should have your attorney to file for a hardship license and state the case

Then, you must present proof of working hours (provided by your employer)

Pay the required fees

What a driver’s license looks like in Rhode Island

It is approximately two and one-half inches wide and three and one-half inches long. The license bears a distinguishing number assigned to the licensee, the full legal name, date of birth and residence address. It also has a brief description of the licensee, as well as his/her photograph.

Costs associated with a Rhode Island driver’s license

  • Instructional Permit Fee: $12.50 ($7.50 for drivers of age 18 and older)
  • Limited Provisional License Fee: $24.50
  • Duplicate License Fee: $27.50 ($12.50 for a Duplicate Permit)
  • Motorcycle License Fee: $27.50
  • Permit Motorcycle Fee: $27.50
  • Driver Education Classes Fee: $85.00
  • Road Test Fee: $27.50
  • Transfer License (out of state) Fee: $44.50
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