Rhode Island Driver Licensing Law
Obtaining a Rhode Island Limited Instruction Permit
Rhode Island residents become eligible for the Limited Instruction Permit upon reaching age 16 and completing a 33 ½ hour driver education course certified by the Community College of Rhode Island or other approved course. At the close of the driver education course, applicants will need to pass the written exam and will be given a certificate. To obtain a permit, applicants then need to bring this certificate to a DMV office along with a completed license application, birth document, and their Social Security card. A parent or legal guardian will be required to be present and to sign the permit application.
While holding the permit, drivers must complete a minimum of 50 hours of driving experience with a supervising driver. Ten hours need to be completed at night.
The Limited Instruction Permit is valid for one year or until the driver’s 18th birthday, whichever comes first. Road tests may be taken after six months.
Obtaining a Limited Provisional License
Once the Limited Instructional Permit has been held for six months and the driver has not been convicted of any vehicle violations, they qualify to take a driving test. If this test is passed, the driver will be awarded with a Limited Provisional License.
Teen drivers between 17 ½ and 18 years of age may apply for a full operator license. The applicant must have held a limited provisional license for a minimum of 12 months without a conviction for a moving violation or a seat-belt infraction within 6 months of applying for the full operator license. Teen drivers must be accompanied by their parent, legal guardian or adult spouse during the application process. After all of the criteria have been met, the full operator license holder may drive without supervision, passenger limitations and at any time.
For 18 and older: If 18 years old and applying for a driver’s license for the first time, drivers do not have to take a driver education class, but must take a computerized knowledge exam before being awarded an Instruction Permit.
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