(Parts of the below are direct from the Rhode Island DMV website)

Driving In Rhode Island

Rhode Island state law requires you to obtain a Rhode Island driver’s license and register your vehicle with the DMV within 30 days of becoming a resident.

To get your Rhode Island driver’s license, you need to bring your current license, a valid Social Security card and one document showing proof of residency to the nearest DMV branch office. If your license is either current or has not expired over one (1) year, you can convert your license for a $31.50 fee. You must turn in your current license to the DMV. The first license will be valid for just under two years. After that, licenses are renewable for a five-year period. Minimum age to operate a motor vehicle in Rhode Island is 16-1/2.

To register your vehicle in Rhode Island, you must first bring the vehicle to your local police department along with proof of ownership and proof of residency for a VIN inspection. If your vehicle is more than 10 years old, this step is not necessary. You must then appear at a DMV branch office with the vehicles’ title or copy of the title or proof of ownership, the VIN verification form that the police department will give you, proof of insurance and proof of residency. A registration for a passenger vehicle is determined by the weight per RIGL 31-6-1 and the title fee is $25.00 plus a $1.50 technology surcharge effective July 3, 2007.

Insurance is mandatory in Rhode Island. You must carry liability at the minimum and your insurance company must be licensed to do business in the State of Rhode Island. Check with your current insurance company to make sure they are licensed; if not, you will have to switch companies. For more information, contact the RI Department of Business Regulation.

Instructional Permit

  • If you are 18 or older, and have never held a driver’s license in Rhode Island, or if your license has expired over three (3) years, you must apply for an Instruction Permit.
  • You are not required to take any driver education course.
  • You ARE required to take and pass the written exam given by the DMV.
  • You ARE required to show a Social Security card.
  • Applicants for permits for a new driver’s license must show:
    • Identity document
    • Signature document
    • Proof of Rhode Island residency

Fees for Permits

The fee for an instruction permit is $6.50

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