Applying for a New License (Drivers 18+) in Rhode Island

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Applying for a Rhode Island Driver's License

In Rhode Island, you need to apply for your driver's license through the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Whether this is your very first driver's license, or you're transferring your out-of-state card, this page has all the information you need to get on the road.

New to Rhode Island?

If you're a new resident of Rhode Island, you have 30 days to get a new driver's license issued by the state DMV.

To apply, you'll need to visit your local RI DMV office in person.

If you have a valid driver's license from another state, or an out-of-state license that's been expired for 1 year or less, you'll need:

You will need to apply for an instruction permit first (before your RI driver's license) if:

  • Your out-of-state driver's license has been expired for more than 1 year.
  • You've never been issued a driver's license from anywhere in the first place.
  • OR
  • You are transferring a driver's license issued by another country.

Follow the steps outlined in “ Apply for a RI Driver's License" below.

Apply for a Driver's License in Rhode Island

NOTE: If you're younger than 18 years old, follow the instructions on our Applying for a New License (Teen Drivers) page.

Before getting your first driver's license in Rhode Island, you'll first need to obtain your instruction permit. To do this, you'll need to visit the DMV office located in Cranston with:

While at the office, you'll need to pass the computerized knowledge exam. Once you have obtained your instruction permit, you'll need to pass a road test before you can get your RI driver's license.

Pass The Knowledge Exam On Your First Try

The DMV suggests studying the Rhode Island Driver Manual to help you prepare for the knowledge exam. In order to ensure passing on your first attempt, we suggest preparing with a comprehensive online practice test from our certified partner.

License & Testing Fees

You will need to pay the following fees:

  • Road test: $26.50.
  • Driver's license: $34.50.

NOTE: If you have a RI driver's license that has been expired for more than 5 years, you'll need to apply for an instruction permit. You will not be able to simply renew your expired license.

Driver's License Fees in Rhode Island

  • Instruction permit: $6.50.
  • Driver's license: $34.50.
  • Out-of-state transfer: $43.50.
  • Road test: $26.50.

Type of Driver's Licenses

In Rhode Island, there are different driver's licenses you can apply for, depending on your situation. The most common is your regular driver's license, and the first step in obtaining one is applying for a RI instruction permit (see “Apply for a RI Driver's License" above).

For information about applying for other types of licenses in Rhode Island, visit our following pages:

If you are an active-duty military member, you may find some helpful information on our Drivers in the Military page.

If you already have a RI driver's license, you may wish to visit our following guides:

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