Rhode Island Teen Driving Laws, Insurance Requirements & Drivers License

Information on Rhode Island Teen Driving Rules, Insurance Requirements & Drivers License

The State of Rhode Island Graduated Licensing System

Rhode Island 's graduated licensing system gives teen drivers the opportunity to practice driving while limiting high-risk situations and increasing adult supervision.  As the teen driver in Rhode Island gains experience and meets the criteria of their current licensing level, they are allowed to graduate to a less restrictive license and eventually reach full unrestricted licensure.

Level 1: The Rhode Island Limited Instructional Permit

The driver must be 16 to 18 years of age to receive a Limited Instructional Permit. A licensed parent or legal guardian of the teen driver must be present during the application process at the DMV to sign the application. The adult must be a resident of Rhode Island and must be a  properly licensed driver that is a minimum of 21 years of age that has held a valid license for a minimum of 5 years.  

Applicants for the Limited Instructional Permit must bring valid identification such as a birth certificate, a valid passport, social security card, or a resident alien card. These must be original documents as photocopies are not allowed. All applicants under the age of 18 must bring their Certificate of Completion in a 33 hour State of Rhode Island approved driver education course. Applicants must also show proof of residency, pass a vision screening and pass the Division of Motor Vehicles written exam.

After the teen driver has met all of the requirements the driver will be issued a Limited Instructional Permit.

  • This permit must be carried at all times while driving.
  • When driving, the Limited Instructional Permit holder must be accompanied by a supervising driver that occupies the front passenger seat next to the teen driver.
  • Only the Limited Instructional Permit holder and the supervising adult may occupy the front seat of the vehicle.
  • The Limited Instructional Permit is valid for 1 year or until the teen driver reaches the age of 18.

Level 2   The Rhode Island Limited Provisional License

Prior to receiving a Rhode Island Limited Provisional License, teen drivers must have held a Limited Instructional Permit for a minimum of 6 months without a conviction for a moving violation or seat belt infraction. Applicants must bring their original Limited Instructional Permit to the DMV and their certification of 50 hours of driving practice with 10 of the 50 hours being nighttime driving.  The certificate must be signed by a parent or legal guardian if the teen driver is under the age of 18.  Prior to taking the road test, the teen driver must provide proof of insurance from a State of Rhode Island approved insurance company. Applicants must also bring a vehicle that is currently registered in the State of Rhode Island and the owner of the vehicle, or a notarized documentation from the owner giving permission to use the vehicle for the road test. The applicant must be accompanied by a parent, legal guardian or instructor that qualifies as a supervising driver.  Teen drivers that meet all the criteria and pass the road test will be issued a State of Rhode Island Limited Provisional License .

  • The teen driver must carry the Limited Provisional License at all times while driving.
  • All teen drivers that hold the limited provisional license may drive at any time if they are accompanied by a supervising driver sitting in the front seat of the vehicle with the license holder.
  • In addition, the teen driver may drive unsupervised between the hours of 5:00 AM and 1:00 AM under the following conditions:
    • Driving to or from a Place of Employment
    • Driving to or from volunteer activities related to fire, rescue and emergency medical services
    • All passengers in the vehicle being driven by the limited provisional license holder must be properly restrained with seat-belts or a child safety seat.
    • During the first year of the limited provisional license passengers under the age of 21 are limited to 1 person unless they are immediate family members.

The limited provisional license expires when the teen driver turns 18 years of age.

The State of Rhode Island Full Operator License

Teen drivers between 17


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