Graduated licensing programs are meant to ensure young drivers receive the training and experience under restrictions and supervision in order to reduce the historically high accident, injury and death tolls associated with these young drivers. Rhode Island’s GDL technically has four stages to its program as outlined below.
Driving Under 18 Years Old
Driver’s Education, 16 years old
At 16 years old you can only apply for a Limited Instruction Permit (Learner’s Permit) after you have completed a 33 hour driver education course that has been certified by the Community College of Rhode Island. Once you have completed this course, passed and received your certificate, you can apply for the next stage.
Limited Instruction Permit, 16 years old
As soon as you finish your driver’s education course you can apply for this permit at any DMV location. Make sure to bring your CCRI original certificate, residency and identification proof as well as a parent or guardian to authorize your application. At the DMV you will also be required to complete vision and knowledge tests in order to receive our permit. This permit is valid for one year or until you turn 18 years old, whichever comes first.
Once you have this permit you will only be allowed to drive with an experienced licensed adult. This means someone over 21 years old with a minimum of 5 years of driving experience. To move on to a Limited Provisional License you will need to complete 50 hours of behind-the-wheel supervised driving with at least 10 of those hours being at night. When you receive this permit you can schedule the road skills test needed to attain the next license, but can only take it with a signed affidavit of your completed 50 hours of driving.
Limited Provisional License, 16 ½ years old
You need to have held our Instruction Permit for at least 6 months in order to apply for this License, completed the road skills test and passed and completed the 50 hours driving requirement. With this license you cannot drive between 1am and 5am or with more than 1 passenger younger than 21 years old who is not an immediate family member. During night time hours you can drive unsupervised only to and from work and home. You can carry more underage passengers that are not family only when driving supervised.
Full License, 17 years old
If you have no traffic violations, have held your Provisional License for at least 1 year and are at least 17 years old you can upgrade to a Full License by visiting a local DMV and paying a fee and surrendering your old license.
Adult Drivers & Out of State
As an adult driver, over 18 years old you will need to apply for an Instruction Permit before applying for a Full License. You will need to pass a vision and knowledge test before receiving the Instruction Permit. Upon completing and passing a road skills test, you will be able to upgrade your license to a Full License.
Out of State or Country residents that move to Rhode Island will be required to apply for a RI license within 30 days of taking up residence. If you have a license from another US State, simply visit a local DMV and turn in your old state’s license for a Rhode Island license with the payment of a fee. If your US driver’s license has lapsed more than 1 year, or you have a license from another country, you will need to follow the same process as an unlicensed adult as stated directly above.