Rhode Island Teen License: Step-by-Step

 

The state of Rhode Island and the Motor Vehicles Division (DMV) uses a graduated licensing program. This program helps new drivers learn road rules and gain available driving experience through exams, testing, and driving practice.

There are three stages to the graduated licensing program:

At this point, drivers will have held their learner’s permit and got their behind-the-wheel experience. Once ready, they can upgrade their permit into a provisional license. Afterward, this becomes an unrestricted license.

The following sections outline the application process, rules, and requirements.

The Rhode Island Provisional License Requirements and Application

Drivers can apply for their provisional when they:

  • Held a permit for at least 6 months
  • Got 50 (total) hours of behind-the-wheel experience

The driver should practice their driving as they’ll take a road test. They should also consider having their parent or guardian accompany them during the application. Else, get written permission.

Applying for the Provisional

Drivers will visit their nearest Rhode Island DMV (find one here) and do the following:

  1. Submit the permit
  2. Pay $26.50 to take the road test
  3. Take and pass the road test
  4. Pay the $23.50 licensing fee

And like that, the provisional license is awarded!

Driving Restrictions and Behind-the-Wheel Requirements

When holding a permit – drivers have these restrictions:

  • Must drive with a licensed driver over 21 having a license for 5 or more years during any hours
  • Can drive unsupervised between 5 AM to 1 AM if going to/from work
  • Cannot drive with more than 1 passenger under 21 years old unless a family member

Upgrading to an Unrestricted License

A provisional licensed becomes unrestricted when the driver:

  • Turns 17
  • Held their provisional for at least a year
  • Did not incur traffic violations within 6 months before the application

The driver will then return to the DMV, turn in their provisional license, and pay the $38.50 fee. With that, the permit is upgraded into an unrestricted license.

Want to know an overview of the process when applying as an adult? See our Rhode Island Driver’s Licensing Guide for the details.