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How to Apply for a New Driver's License in Rhode Island

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You can apply for a new driver's license at any Division of Motor Vehicles Offices closest to you in Rhode Island. Obtain a Driver's Manual to familiarize with the driving rules and regulations.


Following are the basic requirements for applying for a Rhode Island driver's license:

  1. Applicants must be 16 years or older.
  2. Any individual who is 16-18 years old should complete a 33-hour driver education course certified by the Community College of Rhode Island.
  3. Everyone must pass the vision, written, and driving tests. See Practice Tests and Driver Manual for more information on the written examination. Driver education programs can help individuals prepare for their road test.
  4. Applicants must provide acceptable proof of identification, signature, and residency. Rhode Island DMV also requires an unlaminated Social Security Card at the time of applying for a permit.


Residents who have recently moved to Rhode Island should get their license transferred to Rhode Island after becoming residents. If the license from another state is expired for more than a year, you will be required to take a written exam and road test. However, like other applicants, new residents must provide proof of residency. Rhode Island DMV requires a valid Social Security card.
Non-US citizens traveling in Rhode Island may use their foreign license during their visit. Having an International Driving Permit would also be of great benefit. If you are living in Rhode Island, one proof for identity, signature, and residency are to be submitted along with a valid Social Security Card.


The cost for a non-commercial (Class D) Rhode Island driver's license varies depending on age and validity as listed in the chart.


The validity of a Rhode Island driver's license is based on the driver's age at the time the license was issued.

  • The first instruction permit is valid for 1 year, after which it is to be renewed for a period of 5 years up to the age of 70.
  • For drivers above 70 years of age, the license will be renewed only for a 2 year period.


With certain restrictions, an individual can legally drive in Rhode Island with a learner's license. See more information on learner's permit here.