Rhode Island Permit Requirements

When applying for your Rhode Island driver permit with the Rhode Island Division of Motor Vehicles, it is important to know the permit requirements.  Make sure you have the met the DMV conditions and that you have the necessary documents ready.

Rhode Island residents looking to obtain a learner’s permit to drive, will apply for a “limited instruction permit.”  The permit is available to residents between ages 16 and 18, and who have completed a 33.5 hours driver education instruction course that is certified by the Community College of Rhode Island.  Residents 18 or older are not required to take drivers ed.

After successful completion of drivers ed, applicants will be issued a yellow certificate by the driver education program.   Applicants for an instruction permit must then successfully pass a state written examination.  Additional documents required for a permit include: a completed permit application http://www.dmv.ri.gov/documents/forms/license/LI-1.pdf , a Social Security card, an original birth certificate and proof of residence.  Most students will use their high school report card to meet this requirement.  A parent or legal guardian must be present to sign the permit application at the DMV. The Rhode Island DMV charges $11.50 for a limited instruction permit.

A permit will be issued only after a teen has successfully completed the written examination, which is a 50-question computerized test.  Questions cover the rules of the road, traffic signals and traffic signs.  At least 80 percent of all questions must be answered correctly to pass the written exam. Applicants also must pass a vision test at the DMV before being issued a limited instruction permit.

The instruction permit is good for one year or until the driver turns age 18.  Upon obtaining the learner’s permit, teens can drive so long as they are accompanied by a licensed driver who is at least age 21.

The driver must accrue at least 50 hours of supervised practice driving, including at least 10 hours of nighttime driving, and with no moving violations. A parent or legal guardian must sign an affidavit affirming the completion of 50 hours of supervised driving.

After holding the permit for at least six months and completing the practice hours, the applicant can take a DMV road test, which may be scheduled at the time when the driver applies for the instruction permit.  Passing the test earns the applicant a limited provisional license. This will allow the driver to drive independently except between 1 AM and 5 AM, unless going to and from work.  Also, drivers are limited to just one under-age passenger for the first year, unless they are family members.

The limited provisional license must be used for at least 1 year, with no moving violations during the past six months, for a teen of at least age 17 to obtain a full operator’s license. The fee for the limited provisional license is $15.50 while a first-time full operator’s license costs $30.50.  There is also a road test fee of $26.50.