The Rhode Island DMV is responsible for licenses, inspections, titles, registrations and the safety of Rhode Island citizens in regards to operating a motorized vehicle. Starting on Sept 2, 2008, written exams and road texts will *only* be given at the Pawtucket and Middletown branches.
You may use Rhode Island's DMV website to reserve a vanity plate, renew your vehicle registration of obtain your license drivers record online.
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New Rhode Island Drivers License
Who Needs a License?
All residents of the state that wish to operate any type of motorized vehicle on roadways must obtain a license from the Division of Motor Vehicles. Transfers of out of country or US territory licenses cannot be done through the DMV or AAA branches and must be completed at DMV Cranston Headquarters.
Which License is for you?
The types of licenses and requirements will depend in the vehicle you wish to drive and the uses for the license such as daily person use and working for a living. License types include:
- A graduated license is for those under 18 beginning the licensing process for the first time. This is a multiple type process beginning with an instructional permit and through stages of restricted licenses will end with a full adult license.
- A regular license is issue to all adult drivers wishing to operate a vehicle for personal daily use on roadways.
- A commercial license is issued to drivers wishing to perform a driving task as part of employment.
- Motorcycle drivers must obtain and hold a motorcycle license.
What are the Requirements for getting a License?
Each new driver must first obtain and practice with a valid permit, which will be required at the time of licensing. Documentation is required in the following categories for all applicants:
- One proof of identity including full legal name and date of birth
- One proof of signature that can be verified
- One proof of residency in the state
- A social security card or approved alternative
Minors must be at least 17 years old at the time of application. In addition they need to provide a notarized certification of required practice hours and a certification of completion of driver’s education including documentation if the written test has been administered and passed. Proof of passing a road test will be required in the final steps of licensing.
- All required fees must be paid up include the license fee for a two year new license of $10, or $30 if over 18, drivers education fees of $85 and road test fees of $11.50 for minors and $26.50 if over 18. All fees must be paid by cash, check or money order only
What Tests do I need to get a License?
- Mandatory vision testing is done for all applicants for a license.
- A written test administered at either the DMV or during drivers education. The test is computerized and will test the driver’s knowledge of traffic signs, road rules and traffic laws.
- A road test administered to all new drivers will evaluate a new driver’s ability to operate a motor vehicle safely.
Taking a Drivers Education Course
If you are between the ages of 15 and 18 years old you may enroll in driver’s education though you must wait until you reach 16 to apply for a learners permit. Driver’s education is mandatory for a learners permit if you are between 16 and 18 years of age. You may contact Rhode Island Community College online for a listing of all approved drivers education classes in the state to enroll. There is a standard driver’s education fee of $85.
The written test is administered through the driver’s education course for those who attend.
Preparing for the Written Test
The written test portion of licensing will consist of test questions concerning traffic signs and signals, traffic laws and road rules necessary to safely operate a vehicle on public roads. To study for your test you will need to acquire a Drivers Manual for the state, and should include cheat sheets available from DMVcheatsheets.com to assure you receive a passing score on the test. Drivers attending driver’s education can take this portion at the end of the course.
The computerized test must be passed to receive a license so study your materials and take practice tests to assure you are ready for the process. Even with drivers education it is important to acquire all three types of material for at home study.
Scheduling an Appointment
You must schedule an appointment for your drivers test portion of licensing which can be done by calling your local DMV branch office.
What to Bring on Test Day
On the day of the written test, applicants need to bring one document from the list of approved items for each category including:
- One document proving identify which will include full legal name and date of birth
- One document used to verify your signature
- One residency proof
- A social security number or approved equivalent
New drivers must also bring a valid learners permit. Minors must bring a certification of driving hours practice signed by a parent and notarized and certification of completion for driver’s education. You will also need to bring corrective lenses or contacts for the vision screening if required to wear them.
- For the drivers test, applicants will need the license of a supervising driver over 21 that have accompanied them to testing and a notarized document giving permission to use the owner’s vehicle without them present. A valid permit is also required.
- Minors must also present their notarized proof of practice hours.
- All drivers must bring proof of insurance and registration for the vehicle provided for testing.
Costs of a Drivers Test
There are several fees involved for a first license including a $26.50 road test fee. For new drivers over 18 a license fee of $26.50 will also been needed. A limited provisional license for minors under 18 will cost $11.50. A driver’s education course must also be taken and contains an $85 fee.
Taking the Written Test
Minors taking drivers education will be administered the written test at the end of successful completion of the course. Minors that fail www.dmvcheatsheets.com the written test during driver’s education and adult drivers will test at the DMV offices. Rhode Island recently converted its testing process to a computerized program and information regarding the details of testing can be found by calling the Rhode Island DMV.
The test will consist of traffic laws, rules and regulations on road ways as well as the commonly used traffic signs. You must know this information to pass so it is essential that you study your driver’s manual, cheat sheets and practice tests up to the date of testing if you wish to pass.
Taking the Driving Test
A drivers test is administered to all new drivers applying for a license and must be scheduled in advance at your local DMV office. The test cannot be taken until after minor drivers have held a learners permit for at least six months and completed the required driving practice time of 50 hours with 10 hours done at night. You must bring a licensed supervising driver with you the day of testing.
Drivers should be prepared to pay the required fees of $11.50 if under 18 and $26.50 for those over 18 by a check/money order or cash. In addition, drivers will need the following documents with them:
- Your valid learners permit and license of the supervising driver.
- A notarized statement from the vehicle owner giving permission to use the vehicle when the owner is not present.
- For minors, an affidavit that you have completed the 50 hours of drive practice time, 10 hours at night must be presented that has been signed by a parent or guardian and notarized.
- Proper insurance and registration for the vehicle being used- the vehicle must be able to pass a safety inspection.
During the test you will be graded on your knowledge of the vehicle including the location of each necessary device such as windshield wipers and headlights. Use a familiar vehicle so that you do not need to search for these items. Your ability to control the vehicle within regular traffic will be graded, as well as you ability to obey traffic laws.
Renewing your Rhode Island Drivers License
Who needs to renew their license?
Those wishing to continue driving must renew their license by its expiration date. This can be done at any DMV local branch, online for specific renewals and at an AAA branch for members. Adult driver’s licenses are renewed every five years by your birthday.
What tests do I need to take to renew?
For in person renewals a new vision screening is required. If your license has expired over one year, you must repeat the license process including the written and road tests.
Preparing to renew my Rhode Island license
You will need to obtain and complete a driver’s license application and bring the application along with your current license to the DMV branch office. If you have lost your license, you will need to refer to the approved alternative ID listings online and prepare with the proper documentation in advance. If your license has been expired more than one year it cannot be renewed so you will need to prepare for re-application including all testing in the process. You will also need your social security card with you to verify.
What is the cost to renew my license?
All first time drivers are issued a license that will expire in two-years with a ten dollar initial fee. After the two-year renewal has pass, drivers will be issued a five year license with a renewal fee of $30.
Steps to renew your license
You must apply in person in most cases to renew your license. You will receive a renewal notice by mail indicating if you may renew in any other way. If you are required to renew in person:
- Visit your local DMV office with your renewal notice, current license or approved document if lost.
- Present the renewal notice, license, and social security card to the clerk.
- Make any changes to name or address with appropriate proofs.
- Take a vision test and new photograph.
- Pay your renewal fee of $30 for a five year license and receive a temporary paper license.
Getting a Rhode Island Learners Permit
Who needs a learners permit?
There are two types of non-commercial learner’s permits www.dmvcheatsheets.com in the state and your age at the time of application will determine which you must apply for. Those between ages 16 and 18 must apply for a limited learners permit. Over 18 must apply for a standard instructional permit.
How old do I need to be get a learners permit
- For a limited learners permit you must be at least 16 years old
- A standard instructional permit is available for those over 18
Requirements for getting a learners permit
New applicants under age 18 must complete 33 hours of classroom driver’s education before qualifying for the learners permit, and must pass a computerized written test at the DMV during the application process. New drivers over 18 do not need driver’s education but still need to pass the written test in order to proceed. In addition, drivers of all ages will be required to take a vision test during the process.
Each new applicant must bring proper documentation to the DMV which will include:
- An original birth certificate or approved alternative. Any document used from the list must show full legal name and date of birth and only originals will be accepted.
- For minors, a driver’s education certificate of completion must also be presented.
- All new applicants must provide a social security card or approved equivalent showing legal presence in the US or citizenship.
- In addition, all new applicants must complete, sign and turn in a learners permit application. Minors must have a legal guardian or parent with them to accept responsibility for the new driver and give approval to begin the application process. The parent or legal guardian must sign the application in the presence of a DMV clerk.
- Proper court documentation must be submitting proving legal guardianship of the minor at the time the signature is applied.
- A $10 permit application fee is due at the time of application in the form of a check, cash or money order.
Driving with a Rhode Island learners permit
To practice on roadways, minors must have a licensed adult over the age of 21 with at least five years driving experience with them in the front seat at all times who is prepared to take responsibility for any accidents or violations the minor commits while driving. Drivers must hold a learners permit for at least 6 months before taking the road test portion of testing and completed the required behind the wheel practice time of 50 hours with at least ten during nighttime hours. A parent or guardian must fill out the driving log as you practice to certify you have successfully completed the requirements and the log will be required during the license process so be sure to complete your log as necessary.
While driving with a learner’s permit or provisional license, minors may not drive between 1am and 5am for safety.
Steps to getting a RI learners permit
All limited learners permit applicants must first complete a Drivers Education course and take the written exam issued. A certification of completion is required for the learners permit process. Once this has been obtained, visit your local DMV office and complete the following steps:
- Submit an application that is completed and signed by the minor application. The parent must accompany them, sign the application and show identification.
- You will be asked to supply documentation required for the process. This will include a birth certificate and social security card to prove your full legal name, birth date and legal presence in the US. Those without a social security card must provide proof of legal presence with an approved document.