Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to file a police report if my license was lost or stolen?
Lost or stolen licenses can cause suspicion of license misuse. Still, it is not mandatory for subjects who have suffered license loss or theft to file a police report in Rhode Island.

A sensible choice though is to do so, as it may prevent complications which may arise from identity issues. Be aware that the driving license is a proof of identity when you consider reporting the issue to the police. A stolen license with a CDL endorsement can produce even greater damage if misused.

More information: Replace a Lost, Stolen, or Mutilated Rhode Island Driver’s License or ID Card

How can I obtain a copy of the driver manual?
The easiest way to get your drivers manual is to download it online. There are two language versions to choose from:

  • English
  • Spanish

You can also visit DMV locations to get a printed copy of the Drivers Manual.

Additional guides and manuals are available online for commercial driving license or for driving under supervision.

For more information: How to Apply for a New Driver s License in Rhode Island

How can I renew my drivers license?
Regular operator s drivers license renewal in Rhode Island can be done online or at DMV locations.

On the other hand, CDL licenses can only be renewed at the main headquarters of DMV, which is in Cranston.

Make sure that you have in mind the expiration period of your license so that you avoid unnecessary upsets when the renewal time approaches. In certain situations you might be asked to take the written knowledge exam and the road skills test again. These procedures might be particularly complex for a CDL license.

More information: How to Renew a Driver s License in Rhode Island

How do I apply for a drivers license?
To get license to drive in Rhode Island, you must submit the application and the accompanying documentation in person in one of the DMV office locations.

Fees and supporting documents may vary and are subject to the type of driving license you are applying for. First time applicants need to go through a three-stage driving license grading system which starts at a limited instruction permit and progresses to provisional license and full operator license.

Each drivers license application assumes that you are over 16, that you have passed the necessary drivers ed and drivers tests and that you have paid the appropriate fees. Applicants may wish to check the most recent applicable fee with their closest DMV office.

For more information: How to Apply for a New Driver s License in Rhode Island

How do I get a hardship license?
There are two situations of Hardship License for suspended drivers license in Rhode Island:

  • Hardship License
  • Ignition Interlock

Once the court has ordered a hardship license you need to show up at DMV Operator Control with the list of documents set in the Hardship License and Ignition Interlock Instructions form. What you need to prepare depends on the hardship imposed.

More information: Suspended License Information for Rhode Island

How do I get a replacement license if I am in the military and stationed elsewhere?
It might be a nuisance to apply for duplicate documentation if you often need to stay abroad for military purposes. In this case, DMV makes the application to replace drivers license easier for you by offering replacement by mail.

To apply, you will need to:

Division of Motor Vehicles

Attn: License and Registration,

600 New London Avenue Cranston,

RI 02920

Applicants may want to check most recent fees with DMV as they often vary.

A CDL license can only be replaced in person as federal regulations expect a photo identification to be put on them.

More information: Replace a Lost, Stolen, or Mutilated Rhode Island Driver’s License or ID Card

How do I obtain a duplicate license?
In case you have suffered the mishap of having your license lost, stolen or damaged, a duplicate drivers license in Rhode Island can be issued:

  • In person at DMV offices where you can submit required documents and pay fees .
  • Via mail if you are temporarily out of the country.

Take into account that a CDL license is only replaceable in person, as it requires personal photo identification.

More information: Replace a Lost, Stolen, or Mutilated Rhode Island Driver’s License or ID Card

How do I reinstate after a revocation as a Habitual Traffic Offender?
Traffic regulations in Rhode Island do not stipulate a point-based system. To be asserted as a Habitual Offender one needs to have at least three violations in a continuous period of three years.

The procedure for suspended drivers license reinstatement as a habitual offender will presume that you first visit the Operator Control point at DMV Cranston. Operator Control is responsible for providing a suspension notice and instructions on handling your individual case.

The action you will need to take depends on the suspension restriction, which has been issued by the relevant court and the opinion of the Medical Advisory Board. Depending on their decision you will need to go through indicated programs and pay necessary fees in order to reinstate revoked drivers license.

More information: Suspended License Information for Rhode Island

How do I reinstate my suspended license?
The procedure to reinstate suspended drivers license starts at Operator Control section of DMV in Cranston. There you will get a transaction number, you will be met by a Hearing Officer and will be given further instructions on the steps you need to take and the measures that have come along with the suspension.

Operator Control is a busy place located on the first floor at DMV in Cranston. Claimants have the option to mail or visit in person at:

Operator Control

Attn: Medical Advisory Board

600 New London Avenue Cranston

RI 02920-3024

More information: How To: Handle Suspensions, Points and Other Problems in Rhode Island

How do I renew my license if I am in the military and stationed elsewhere?
DMV offices offer the option to renew drivers license online or via mail. This possibility makes the procedure much easier for US residents stationed out of the country for military services, study or work.

To do so, applicants stationed out of the country need to take the next steps:

  • Complete the vision test
  • Obtain new license in person within two years of the one obtained via mail or online
  • Paythe fee with check or money order
  • Mail to:

Division of Motor Vehicles

Attn: License and Registration,

600 New London Avenue Cranston,

RI 02920

According to federal regulations,a CDL license can only be renewed in person. Yet, Rhode Island DMV makes a concession for military persons stationed abroad by offering a chance to opt out of the skills test if they have been driving military vehicles with commercial-like specifications. In order to use this privilege, they must present the Application for Military Skills Test Waiver, which must be signed off by their officerin charge.

More information: How to Renew a Commercial Driver s License (CDL) in Rhode Island

How do I replace my license if I am a non-U.S. citizen?
If you want to replace driving license and you do not have the status of a US citizen there is additional documentation that needs to be prepared in support to your application for a duplicate license. The replacement checklist is somewhat different for out-of-country and for US territories status holders, and the application can only be made at Cranston headquarters.

More information: Replace a Lost, Stolen, or Mutilated Rhode Island Driver’s License or ID Card

How do I replace my license if I lost it out of state?
The documents for replacing a lost drivers license out-of-state are alike the ones needed for getting drivers license copyin-country.

If you cannot go to DMV locations in person because you are abroad, DMV provides the option ofreplacing the license via mail. To do so you need to:

Division of Motor Vehicles

Attn: License and Registration,

600 New London Avenue Cranston,

RI 02920

It is recommended that applicants check current fees with DMV as they often vary.

More information: Replace a Lost, Stolen, or Mutilated Rhode Island Driver’s License or ID Card

How does the DMV check my vision?
DMV does conducts an eye exam following the standards proscribed by the Rhode Island Optometric Association and the Rhode Island Ophthalmological Society.

All applicants must locate a DMV and take a vision test. You will be tested for visual acuity, visual fields and color vision. Make sure to wear your contact lenses at the time of the eye check. Your vision must be at least 20/40 to be issued a drivers license.

Applicable standards for vision tests are available in the Rhode Island Eye Check Card.

For more information: How to Apply for a New Driver s License in Rhode Island

How long will I have a suspended license for not taking a chemical test?
Pursuant to Rhode Island legislation, failing to take the chemical test is treated as a misdemeanor and the license will be revoked for at least six months.

The aforementioned length only takes into account that the measure has been issued originally and exclusively. Any subsequent drivers license suspension that tops up the first one can considerably prolong the suspension period.

More information: Suspended License Information for Rhode Island

How soon can I renew my driver’s license?
Expired drivers license renewal depends on your age and on the type of license you want to renew.

  • Regular drivers license for citizens under 75 needs to be renewed each five years
  • Regular drivers license for citizens aged 75 or over needs to be renewed each two years
  • CDL Licenses that have been expired for more than one year cannot be renewed forthrightly. The applicants will need to go through thewritten knowledge tests, road tests andinitial commercial drivers permit.

More information: How to Renew a Driver s License in Rhode Island

If I file a police report, will my replacement fee be waived?
As police reports for a stolen license are not mandatory there is no explicit rule which will guarantee that you will get your replacement fee waived. You might want to locate a DMV and get in touch directly to check the possibility for fee waiver as it is decided on a case-by-case basis and it can depend on the circumstances of your particular case.

More information: Replace a Lost, Stolen, or Mutilated Rhode Island Driver’s License or ID Card

Is there an age limit to renew your license?
No, there is no age limit to renew your drivers license in Rhode Island.

More information: How to Renew a Driver s License in Rhode Island

What address will my replacement license be mailed to?
DMV will send the replacement license to the address you have stated on your application form.

If you have more than one address on the supporting documentation, and you have not updated all of them with an address change, it might be clever to confirm with DMV if they have the correct address where you want to get your drivers license copy.

More information: Replace a Lost, Stolen, or Mutilated Rhode Island Driver’s License or ID Card

What are requirements for seniors to renew a driving license?
Senior citizens of Rhode Island can renew drivers license online or in person at DMV locations.

Elders over 75 need to renew their driving license every second year. To do so, they need to:

  • Hold the current driving license.
  • Fill in the drivers license application.
  • Pay applicable prorated fee.
  • Bring acceptable documents.
  • Provide identification evidence.

The Application for License, Identification Card and Permit contains detailed lists of valid documents for drivers license renewal.

For more information: How to Renew Driver s License in Rhode Island

What are some violations that may constitute in a suspended license?
Suspended drivers license is a result of serious driving violations not only in the state of Rhode Island, but on a federal level too, and the consequences may be harsh not only to your driving record. Here are some examples of illegal behavior that are considered to be reasons for license suspension:

  • Operating under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI)
  • Refusing to submit to a chemical test
  • Reckless driving
  • Manslaughter from the operation of a motor vehicle or operating so as to endanger resulting in death
  • Moving violations within a one-year period
  • Driving without insurance

More information: Suspended License Information for Rhode Island

What are the consequences of driving with a suspended license?
The disregard of a drivers license suspension constitutes further individual law violation. Drivers who fail to comply with this law enforcement can face:

  • Increase in the length of the suspension.
  • Imprisonment for up to five years.
  • Higher fines.
  • Additional learning or improvement programs.
  • Full license revocation for CDL licenses.

Each offender will face a legal measure, which will be decided by the court of jurisdiction depending on the initial reasons and length of the suspension, on the opinion of the Medical Advisory Board and on the previous driving record.

More information: Suspended License Information for Rhode Island

What are the fees for a duplicate drivers license?
Each drivers license replacement irrespective of the cause will be charged with a $26.50 fee.The cost is same for a regular operator and for a CDL license. Note that drivers permit duplicate fee is $21.50.

It is always a good idea to check recent fees with DMV as those are subject to change. Please also take into account credit card transactions fees.

More information: How to Replace a Commercial Driver s License in Rhode Island

What are the reinstatement fees I will have to pay for a suspended license?
Suspended drivers license reinstatement produces strict fines that depend on the type of the suspension measure pronounced by the court of jurisdiction. Below are the fees that need to be paid in terms of reinstatement:

  • Alcohol education: $350
  • Colin Foote: $850
  • Defensive Driving: $165
  • Ignition Interlock Device: $101.50
  • Insurance Verification Reinstatement: $251.50
  • License Reinstatement: $151.50
  • License Reinstatement and Refusals (DUI): $351.50
  • Licensed Driver Record (in person or by mail): $17.50

Make sure to contact DMV Operator Control who are responsible for all current fee information regarding your license reinstatement, as each case is individual and is dealt with distinctively.

More information: How To: Handle Suspensions, Points and Other Problems in Rhode Island

What are the suspensions eligible for a hardship license?
Drivers license suspension which has resulted in hardship license will have significant impact on the driving record and will require solid effort and fees on the part of the offender.

There are two types of drivers license suspensions for a hardship license in Rhode Island, which consist of a list of documents that need to be prepared for successful implementation. Each suspension is explained in detail in the Hardship License and Ignition Interlock Instructions form, which is created by Rhode Island DMV Operator Control.

More information: Suspended License Information for Rhode Island

What do I need to do to get my driver’s license if I fail the driving test?
If it happens that you do not pass the driving test on your first attempt, it is necessary that you get in touch with your DMV office in person or via telephone to schedule another one.

At least 30 days will need to pass before you are allowed to take the written drivers test for a second time. If a second appointment is not available before thedriving permit expiry date, you may need to take the test again.

You may want to check Rhode Island Drivers Manual for more specifics to effectively take the drivers license test.

For more information: How to Apply for a New Driver s License in Rhode Island

What documents do I need to get my drivers license?
To apply for a new driving license in Rhode Island, you will need to provide original documents. Copies are not accepted. Here is what you will need to do toapply for drivers license successfully:

  • Pass vision, written, and road tests
  • Get 33-hours drivers ed
  • Provide proof of Rhode Island residency and identification
  • Pay the applicable fees

Beginner drivers need to be at least 16 years old and must have authorization from their parents or legal guardians. If you have never obtained a limited instruction learners permit and you are directly applying for an instruction permit, drivers ed is not required.

For more information: How to Apply for a New Driver s License in Rhode Island

What documents do I need to present to renew my drivers license?
To renew a drivers licensein Rhode Island the following documents must be provided depending on the type of drivers license you are renewing:

Note that it is very important to renew driving license on time as this precaution releases you of the obligation to retake tests.

More information: How to Renew a Driver s License in Rhode Island

What documents will I need to present to replace my drivers license?
Drivers license replacement in Rhode Island presumes that you prepare the following pack of documents:

  • Damaged drivers license
  • Rhode Island Application for License, Identification Card and Permit/Ll-1
  • Proof of identity:
    • Valid US/US territory or Canadian driver’s license
    • Original or certified birth certificate with government seal
    • Valid US or foreign passport
    • US naturalization certificate
    • INS form I-94 (document showing entry into US)
    • INS form I-688 (temporary resident ID card)
    • INS form I-688B, I-766 (employment authorization card)
    • Military ID card
    • Government issued marriage certificate/License required to prove name change from primary identity document
  • Signature document, which can be:
    • Valid US/US territory or Canadian driver’s license
    • Valid US or foreign passport
    • Original Social Security Card
    • Work or school ID
    • Military ID Card

More information: Replace a Lost, Stolen, or Mutilated Rhode Island Driver’s License or ID Card

What languages is the written test available in?
Besides English, the list of additional languages available to pass the written drivers test can be obtained upon request from the DMV office where you apply to take it.

You may want to locate a DMV to check if the chosen language is made available for you.

For more information: How to Apply for a New Driver s License in Rhode Island

What penalties will I face if I do not renew my expired drivers license?
Applicants who fail to renew their regular driving license for more than five years need to follow the same procedure as applying for a new drivers license.

Applicants who fail to renew driving licensefor commercial purposeswill need to go through written knowledge tests and road tests again.

Pay attention to the fact that taking tests makes the procedure much more complicated as it could require new medical certificates and specific procedures for CDL endorsements.

More information: How to Renew a Commercial Driver s License (CDL) in Rhode Island

What should I do if I have not received my renewed license?
It is a usual practice undertaken by DMV to send a renewed driving license by mail.

If it happens they fail to do this, and it has been at least 45 days from the day you have applied, you can get in touch with them on the phone at 401-462-5862 to check what has happened and if the license is ready for you in Cranston.

The procedure for CDL is somewhat different as it assumes issuing of a temporary license valid for 60 days. Bear in mind this interval when you await the issuance of your expired drivers license for commercial purposes.

More information: How to Renew a Driver s License in Rhode Island

What tests will I need to take for my drivers license?
All applicants who wish to get drivers license will need to successfully pass each certain tests, which include:

  • Eye exam
  • Road test
  • Written drivers exam

You may study the Drivers Manual of Rhode Island in order to be well prepared for your driving test. It is also worthwhile to take some time to practice online before you go and take the computerized drivers test. The test is available at the DMV office in Cranston.

For more information: How to Apply for a New Driver s License in Rhode Island

What type of noncommercial license will I need?
Rhode Island drivers license system is graduated in three categories:

  • Limited instruction permit
  • Limited provisional license
  • Full operator s license

If you are just starting to drive and are between 16 and 18, you are eligible to apply for the first grade of learners permit, which is a limited instruction permit.

The limited provisional license presumes that you successfully got at least six months of driving experience and that you stood away from traffic violations in that period.

When you turn 17, stage three of applying for drivers license will getyou the full operators driving license. You need to prove that you have held your limited provisional license for at least 12 months.

Rhode Island residents over 18 who have never got their driving permit need to apply for instruction permit.

For more information: How to Apply for a New Driver s License in Rhode Island

When can I reinstate my license after it has been suspended?
The revoked drivers license is usually reinstated after you receive your notice of reinstatement by the DMV. This assumes that the suspension period has passed and that all other enforced measures have come into effect. The offender would have passed acquitted education, community service and would have paid ruled fines.

If you do not get your notice of reinstatement and suspect that its communication is overdue, you can get in touch with DMV Operator Control and check the status of your driving record personally. Uncertified copies of your license status can be acquired online.

If the reason for license suspension has been DUI, the Medical Advisory Board of Rhode Island issues a mandatory Alcohol Support Documentation Form, which must be used in the reinstatement process.

More information: Suspended License Information for Rhode Island

When will I need to renew my license?
Your license renewal date depends on your age and on the type of license you want to renew.

Each expired drivers license needs to be renewed after five years.

Senior citizens aged 75 or more need to renew driving license after two years.

CDL Licenses that have been expired for more than one year cannot be renewed forthrightly.

Applicants will need to go through written knowledge tests and road tests again. This slip will also take the applicants who want to renew drivers licenseto the initial step of obtaining commercial drivers permit.

More information: How to Renew a Driver s License in Rhode Island

When will I receive a replacement license after applying?
It is a common practice that a drivers license copy is sent to the applicant within 45 days from the day of application submission.

In case this period is overstepped, the Division of Motor Vehicles is available for telephone contact at 401-462-5862.

More information: Replace a Lost, Stolen, or Mutilated Rhode Island Driver’s License or ID Card

Where can I check to see if my license is suspended?
Records for a revoked drivers license in Rhode Island are available at The Division of Motor Vehicles, Operator Control, which is located in the main headquarters in Cranston. You can ask for the information in two ways:

  • In person at the office located at:

Operator Control

600 New London Avenue Cranston

RI 02920-3024

Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.

  • Online: you will need information about your last name, driver’s license number, current zip code and date of birth

More information: How To: Handle Suspensions, Points and Other Problems in Rhode Island

Where can I get a new drivers license?
A learners permit or a new fully operational drivers license is obtainable in any Rhode Island DMV location. After you pass all obligatory tests, you need to visit the convenient DMV office in person to submit specified documents.

Drivers license application for a commercial driving license can be only obtained in the main DMV office in Cranston. Take care that all operations for a CDL license are done in the Cranston headquarters.

For more information: How to Apply for a New Driver s License in Rhode Island

Will I be required to take a vision test for a drivers license renewal?
Renewing drivers licensein Rhode Island requires that you take an eye exam. Eye exams may be done before the license expiration date if scheduled by your doctor.

If you intend to renew a regular operator drivers license, you will need to obtain the Rhode Island Eye Exam Card. Commercial drivers license will be renewed if you successfully fulfil strict vision criteria stated in the Rhode Island Medical Examination Report for Commercial Fitness Determination.

More information: How to Renew a Driver s License in Rhode Island

Will I get a drivers license renewal notice in the mail?
Drivers can expect to receive a reminder notice indicating the drivers license renewal date in the mail. This goes both for regular operator driver licenses and for commercial driver s licenses.

Make sure to plan the time necessary for getting new accompanying documentation, especially for CDL licenses, as it may take longer to prepare everything that is required.

More information: How to Renew a Driver s License in Rhode Island