Applying for a motorcycle license in Rhode Island is easy, and a necessary step to take if you want to legally drive a motorcycle in the state. There are many different rules and regulations set forth by the Rhode Island Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV), however, and so it is critical that you are aware of your responsibilities as a motorcycle applicant. In fact, Rhode Island has different kinds of licenses and endorsements that fulfill different driving needs in the state.

A Rhode Island motorbike license will require applicants to complete a number of knowledge and driving skills tests, and you may even be asked to complete a safety education course if your eligibility requires it. By ensuring that all of the proper testing and documentation has been prepared ahead of your application with the DMV, your motorcycle driving process can begin as quickly as possible. This article will help Rhode Island residents to learn more about these licenses so that they can ride their motorcycles legally.

What is a Rhode Island motorcycle endorsement?

With a motorcycle endorsement from the Rhode Island DMV, drivers in the state can add onto the capabilities of their previous drivers license. You can get an endorsement by first getting a permit and completing all of the necessary tests, and then submitting a number of documents to the DMV.

However, you may also choose to go through this process if you do not have an existing Rhode Island driver’s license. Regardless of this fact, the Rhode Island DMV will still provide qualified applicants with a new copy of their license for use in motorcycle travel on the state’s roads.

Motorcycle Permit Requirements in Rhode Island

If you meet the Rhode Island motorcycle permit age of 16 years or older, you will be able to apply for such a document. However, there are also many other requirements that must be fulfilled for the RI DMV to provide this important document.

Perhaps the most basic of these is that individuals must first take a written knowledge test before getting their permit, and they must also have a driver’s license in order to be considered. This permit will also expire 18 months after it is issued, if the proper motorcycle documents have not been obtained before that time.

Required Documents

When applying for your motorcycle permit in Rhode Island, there are some pieces of information that will make your application process much more quickly. These documents and identifying factors can all be compiled in the RI DMV’s application form, and consist of the following:

  • Your legal name, date of birth, place of birth and phone number.
  • Your Social Security number, RI driver’s license number and passport number.
  • Your current Rhode Island residential address.
  • Your basic information, such as height, weight and eye color.
  • A parent or guardian’s signature, if you are younger than 18 years of age.

Rhode Island Motorcycle Permit Rules and Restrictions

Rhode Island’s motorcycle permit restrictions are relatively few compared to many states, but it is still crucial that the DMV’s rules and regulations are strictly followed. While you are preparing for the DMV driving test in order to get your official license, you should remember the following rules for all RI cyclists:

  • You must wear an approved helmet at all times while riding if you are younger than 21 years of age
  • You must ride with the direct supervision of a licensed rider who is at least 18 years of age
  • You may not carry any passengers while operating a motorcycle under a permit

How to Get a Motorcycle Permit in Rhode Island

A Rhode Island DMV motorcycle permit is only the first of many driving documents that you will need in order to legally operate a motorcycle in the Ocean State. However, it is also a relatively easy one to obtain, as long as you can comfortably collect all of the documents listed above.

You will need to visit your nearest RI DMV office in person, in order to submit your documents and permit fee, and to begin your first round of testing. This will involve an RI permit knowledge exam as outlined below, and a vision screening to ensure that you are ready to begin driving in the state. If these tests are passed, you will be able to receive your permit in the mail and begin driving with restrictions. Your permit will last for 18 months without expiring.

Rhode Island Motorcycle License Requirements

The full motorcycle license age in Rhode Island is 17 years of age or older, although you can get learners permits above the age of 18 if necessary. Although this official document is considered an endorsement by the DMV, it is basically a new license that will replace your old standard driver’s license.

This means that you cannot simply get a motorcycle document without having a standard driver’s license, and you can only add motorcycle privileges onto an existing license. In order to be eligible for your new license, you will need to prepare all of the DMV documents once more, as well as your learners permit document.

How to Get a Motorcycle License in Rhode Island

Determining the answer to “How long does it take to get a motorcycle license in Rhode Island?” is simpler than you may think. After the requisite 30-day period of maintaining your learners permit while practicing your motorcycle driving, you will be able to choose when you would like to go back into the Rhode Island DMV.

This time, you will need to resubmit all of your relevant documents, as well as to take the road test. Once you have completed this test with a passing grade, you will be awarded a full license which will arrive in the mail. Then, you may drive a motorcycle freely across the state of Rhode Island with no restrictions.

Getting a Rhode Island Motorcycle License as a New Resident

You can go about getting a motorcycle license as a new resident of Rhode Island by working closely with the DMV. You have up to 30 days within moving to a new home in Rhode Island to switch your old driver’s licenses with new ones through the RI DMV. If you already have motorcycle documents from your previous home state, however, the entire process will be quite easy and convenient.

This is because all endorsements are automatically transferred in Rhode Island, so you will not have to retake any tests with the DMV. Simply provide your old license and all relevant documents listed above, and you will be able to utilize a temporary license while your new RI motorcycle documents are being processed.

Required Motorcycle Classes in Rhode Island

The purpose of Rhode Island motorcycle classes is to provide a safe, educational experience for learning drivers, as well as to serve as the gateway into getting your own permit from the Rhode Island DMV. The approved course in Rhode Island is given through the Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI), and it is referred to as the Basic Rider Course. This 16.5 hour course is a requirement for all Rhode Island motorcycle applicants, and should be completed and passed before your permit application is submitted to the DMV.

The Rhode Island motorcycle safety course is comprised of a combination of classroom instruction and driving skills practice, where students will learn about basic motorcycle maneuvers, Rhode Island driving laws and regulations, what to do in certain motorcycle driving situations and more. At the end of this course, you will be required to take a brief written test, as well as a riding skills test. These tests may be retaken if failed, but this will cost additional tuition fees to complete.

Rhode Island DMV Motorcycle Test Details

You may be nervous taking a DMV motorcycle test in Rhode Island, but the right preparation should leave you with nothing to worry about. Although the RI DMV does not participate in the same waiver practice as many other state DMVs across the country, you can still get a leg up on the content of these tests by studying the Rhode Island Driver’s Manual carefully. If any of these tests are failed, they may be rescheduled for a later date.

Motorcycle Knowledge Test

The motorcycle knowledge test from the RI DMV is a comprehensive multiple-choice computer exam, which revolves around the different pieces of knowledge that a permit-holding motorcycle driver should know. No appointment is necessary to take this test, and it should include information directly pulled from the state Driver’s Manual. This can include the rules of the road, safety precautions, motorcycle riding attire, hypothetical driving situations and more.

Motorcycle Road Test

For the RI motorcycle road test, applicants will need to show off their driving abilities that they would have practiced over at least a month of being a permit-holder. This will involve scheduling an appointment with an RI DMV instructor, and driving a motorcycle in front of them. You will need to perform a number of tasks on this drive, including the following:

  • Driving in traffic
  • Making wide and sharp turns
  • Stopping suddenly
  • Demonstrating proper driving habits and more

Do you need a motorcycle license to drive a scooter in Rhode Island?

While you need to get a motorcycle license in Rhode Island for many different types of two and three-wheeled vehicles in the state, there are some notable exceptions. The biggest of these exceptions are scooters, vehicles also referred to as mopeds.

These are motorcycle-like vehicles whose engines do not reach greater than 50 cubic centimeters, and therefore cannot go more than 30 miles per hour. While these vehicles are generally safer than motorcycles, they do require standard driver’s licenses to operate, as well as helmets to be worn until the rider turns 21 years of age.

Rhode Island Motorcycle License Costs

The motorcycle license cost in Rhode Island is a very important factor, as it will play a role in ensuring that all of your documents are legal and up-to-date. Each of the following fees has a $1.50 surcharge included, in order to account for technology convenience and service costs. There are:

  • The permit fee of $26.50
  • The base and duplicate license fees of $26.50
  • The road test fee of $26.50
  • The duplicate permit fee of $11.50
Last updated on Wednesday, March 4 2020.