Motorists with a suspended drivers license in Rhode Island must submit a driving license reinstatement request to resume their behind-the-wheel activities within the state. Licensees may be handed down a suspended drivers license for various driving or non-driving misdemeanors. Drivers license suspensions and restoration requirements are administered by the Rhode Island Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV), and they vary based on the type and severity of the committed offense.

In addition to satisfying DMV-imposed criteria, applicants reinstating driving licenses in RI may be obliged to meet specific court requirements. Continue reading below to learn more about license suspensions and reinstatement in Rhode Island.

Reinstating a Rhode Island Suspended License

If you have been issued a Rhode Island suspended driving license, you will have to restore your credential in accordance with motor vehicle laws and regulations. The RI driving license reinstatement procedure typically consists of several steps, depending on the issued penalty. In case of a drivers license suspension, you will first need to surrender your credential to the DMV.

Failure to do so may affect the driving license reinstatement process. Drivers will then need to address the Adjudication Unit of the Division of Motor Vehicles to reestablish their driving privileges. If you do not finalize the aforementioned process in due time, you will not be allowed to legally drive your motor vehicle on state roads and highways.

How to Reinstate a Rhode Island Suspended Drivers License

Prior to beginning the Rhode Island driving license reinstatement process, motorists will be required to surrender their license to the DMV. Note that the allotted drivers license suspension period will begin once your credential has been turned in. When reinstating driving licenses, applicants may be required to complete the following steps:

  • Serve the penalty period.
  • Enroll into a substance abuse program (if applicable).
  • Complete a traffic school course (if required).
  • Submit future proof of insurance (following a DUI offense).
  • Satisfy any court requirements.
  • Provide payment for the set RI drivers license restoration costs.

To reinstate drivers licenses in Rhode Island, applicants must address the Adjudication Office of the Division of Motor Vehicles. After the office processes your drivers license reinstatement inquiry, you must go to a nearby RI DMV location and present your restoration notice, along with documentation proving your identity and residency to obtain your credential. Note that additional licensing fees may apply in this case.

Suspension Periods in Rhode Island

To reinstate driving licenses in Rhode Island, motorists are generally required to complete a mandatory penalty period. The duration of the drivers license suspension period will depend on the circumstances of the committed violation.

If you refuse to submit to a chemical testing when pulled over by a law enforcement agent, for instance, you will be issued a suspended driving license for a minimum of six months. A Rhode Island driving license suspension ranging from 30 days to several years will occur in case motorists exceed the permitted level of alcohol and/or drugs when driving.

More serious offenses, such as bodily injury or death resulting from operating while intoxicated will cause stricter penalties, including a revoked driving license for a minimum of two years, large fines and jail sentences, as well as participation in an alcohol/drug treatment program.

Rhode Island Point System

Suspended driving licenses are generally issued to motorists who amass too many negative points on their driving records. The number of demerit points attached to each traffic offense usually depends on the type and severity of the misdemeanor committed.

Though most U.S. states have developed detailed point systems to monitor licensees’ driving behavior, Rhode Island currently does not have one. Instead, immediate RI driving license suspensions along with large fines and other harsh penalties will be issued to drivers who fail to adhere to state-imposed rules and regulations.

Note: To check whether any drivers license suspension or revocation penalty is in effect against your credential, order your driving report via the internet.

Traffic School in Rhode Island

Licensees reinstating drivers licenses in RI may be obliged to enroll in a traffic school to finalize the procedure. The completion of a defensive driving course may be imposed by the court following a driving license suspension due to certain traffic offenses. Drivers required to meet this condition will be mailed a registration packet by the DMV.

To register for the course, applicants will need to submit the application form along with the $165 fee via mail or apply in person at the DMV. This four-hour program will not only help drivers improve their behind-the-wheel skills, but also it may contribute to reducing vehicle insurance premiums.

Types of Rhode Island Driver’s License Suspensions

The Division of Motor Vehicles administers various Rhode Island driving license suspensions and revocations based on the type and severity of the traffic offense. An RI suspended drivers license is generally issued for minor offenses.

Motorists will face a driving license revocation in case of serious consequences resulting from specific misdemeanors, such as bodily injury or death due to driving while under the influence. Some of the most common reasons for drivers license suspensions in Rhode Island may include the following:

  • Failing chemical testing.
  • Refusing to submit to a chemical test.
  • Other alcohol-related traffic offenses.
  • Failure to satisfy child support payments.
  • Failure to meet any court requirements.

Rhode Island DUI Suspensions

Drivers will incur a driving license suspension in RI for operating while under the influence or refusing to submit to a chemical test. In addition to a suspended drivers license, alcohol-related violations will also lead to vehicle registration suspensions.

Both the RI DMV and the court are authorized to impose strict penalties and driving license reinstatement requirements following a DUI offense. The most common sanctions include completing a penalty period, large fines, community service, alcohol treatment and/or education and more.

When reinstating suspended driving licenses in Rhode Island in such case, applicants must also provide an SR-22 form as proof of financial responsibility and maintain it for a period of three years.

Drivers Older Than 21

Motorists must initiate the RI driving license reinstatement process upon committing an alcohol-related offense. A suspended drivers license will be handed down either for failing or refusing to take a chemical test.

Though licensees older than 21 generally incur driving license suspensions for a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher, they may also be penalized for a BAC lower than the aforementioned. Under the Implied Consent Law, a suspended drivers license in Rhode Island for a minimum of six months will be issued to motorists refusing to be subjected to a chemical test.

The court system may also require traffic offenders to pay large fines (usually ranging from $200 to $1,000), and they will be subject to highway safety assessments, public community service, as well as alcohol/drug treatment among other criteria.

Note that the issued penalties will be harsher in case of more than one offense within a set period of time. The list below outlines the most common sanctions for chemical test failure:

  • First violation with a BAC between .08 and 0.1 – A driving license suspension ranging from 30 to 180 days, a jail sentence of up to one year, a $100 to $300 fine in addition to the restoration fee, 10 to 60 hours of community service, a mandatory highway safety assessment and a DUI course and/or treatment.
  • First DUI with a BAC between 0.1 and 0.15 – An RI suspended drivers license for the duration of three to 12 months, a fine between $100 and $400, up to one year in prison, community service, highway safety assessment, alcohol/drug treatment and/or special course and a driving license reinstatement fee.
  • First misdemeanor with a BAC of 0.15 or more – A drivers license suspension of three to 18 months, mandatory jail time, a $500 fine along with a reinstatement fee, up to 60 hours of community service, safety assessment and DUI treatment.

Note: Any subsequent offense will result in stricter DMV- or court-imposed penalties and it may require the installation of an ignition interlock device (IID).

Drivers Younger Than 21

A Rhode Island driving license suspension will occur when drivers younger than 21 years of age are caught with a BAC of .02 or more. Aside from the strict penalty periods, minors reinstating their drivers license in RI will be required to meet other conditions, such as providing payment for the allotted fines, completing a DUI course or treatment program, performing community service, as well as highway safety assessment. A suspended driving license will also be handed down to minors for knowingly possessing or transporting alcoholic beverages within the state.

Car Insurance Suspensions

Most U.S. states issue suspended driving licenses to motorists who fail to adhere to the mandatory vehicle insurance laws. Rhode Island is a compulsory insurance state as well, and it imposes strict penalties on drivers who do not purchase and maintain the required liability coverage. Violators of the insurance law are generally penalized with a revocation of their auto registration.

In addition to this, licensees may also have their driving privileges withdrawn for a specific period of time. To check whether or not you will face a Rhode Island driving license suspension following a no-insurance offense, contact a local RI DMV office.

Traffic Summons or Failure to Pay

RI suspended driving licenses will also incur for failure to answer to a traffic ticket or arrange payment for any additional court-imposed fines in due time. In addition to a drivers license suspension, you may also lose your vehicle registration for a specific period of time.

To avoid being issued a suspended driving license, you may be required to appear in court for a hearing and provide payment for the allotted fines to the court handling your case. In case of a Traffic Tribunal citation, you may pay in person or via the internet. If your traffic citation is under the legislation of a Municipal Court, you will need to contact the court for payment policy.

Rhode Island Hardship Drivers License

While completing the RI driving license suspension period, drivers have the option to petition the court for a hardship license. This credential will allow motorists to travel to and from employment place only, and it will be issued once certain requirements are met. For instance, licensees with a suspended drivers license in Rhode Island must equip their vehicle with an ignition interlock device to be eligible for a hardship credential.

Applying for a Rhode Island Hardship License

If you have been granted a hardship license prior to reinstating your suspended driving license in RI, you must address the DMV to complete the application procedure. The required documents in such case are as follows:

  • Proof of financial responsibility (SR-22 form).
  • Certificate of installation of an IID.
  • Court Order outlining the requirements for a hardship license (authorized hours of driving must be included).
  • Payment of a $100 IID fee.
  • Payment of a $6.50 fee to add the restriction on your license.

Fees to Reinstate a Rhode Island Drivers License

An important step of the Rhode Island driving license restoration process is arranging payment for various fees. In addition to the required cost to reinstate your driving license in RI, you may need to provide payment to entities other than the RI Division of Motor Vehicles.

Drivers license reinstatement prices will once again differ depending on the misdemeanor you have been penalized for. For example, DUI-related offenses will require you to pay a driving license reinstatement fee in the amount of $351.50.

If you are obliged to enroll in an alcohol education program, a $350 fee will apply. Certain instances may require you to install an ignition interlock device (IID) on your vehicle, which entails a price currently set at $100. Additional fees may be required for the re-issuance of your driving license after reinstatement.

Last updated on Tuesday, March 3 2020.