Drivers Permits in Rhode Island
Rhode Island offers two kinds of drivers permits based on your age. If you're under 18, apply for a Limited Instruction Permit; if you're over 18, apply for a regular Instruction Permit. See the steps below to get yours.
If you're applying for a limited instruction permit, do the following to obtain your permit:
1. Complete the mandatory 33-hour Driver Education Program, administered by the Community College of Rhode Island.
2. Pass the written exam. You can study for this by downloading a copy of the Rhode Island Driver's Manual.
3. Complete the permit application. Your parent or legal guardian should have their signature notarized on the application.
4. Bring the following to a DMV office:
- Certified birth certificate. DMV will not accept copies.
- Driver Education Certificate (given to you upon completion of your driving course)
- Valid Social Security card
- $11.50 to pay for the permit (includes a technology surcharge)
Note: If you have completed an out-of-state driving course, the Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) must approve it. Otherwise, you'll have to take another course through CCRI.
If you're over 18 years of age, and you've held off attempting to get a driver's license until now, or if you've let your driver's license expire for more than three years, you'll have to apply for an instruction permit. You won't have to take a driver education program, but you will have to do the following:
- Pass the written exam.
- Present a Social Security card.
- Provide a proof of identity and residence (one identity document, one signature document, and one proof of Rhode Island residency document.
- Pay the $6.50 instruction permit fee (includes $1.50 surcharge).
Limited instruction permits for those 16-18 are valid for one year after the date of issue or until you turn 18, whichever comes first. You have to hold the permit for at least six months before you can take a road test for your driver's license.
If your permit expires before you can do so, you'll have to go to the Community College of Rhode Island and obtain another driver education certificate from them (you do not have to retake the 33-hour driver education program). Bring the certificate to a DMV branch to get a new permit.
Instruction permits for those over 18 are valid for six months. You can schedule a road test once you get your permit. If your permit expires before you can pass the road test, you'll have to retake the written exam to get a new permit.
Rhode Island currently doesn't offer any practice tests for the written exam, so the best way to study is to carefully read a copy of the Rhode Island Driver's Manual. This manual has all the information the written test covers. If you need a driver's manual in another language, you can request one by calling a DMV branch.
If you want more practice, you can take a practice test, provided by DMV.org.
Other Topics in This Section
Your Opinion Matters To Us!Send Feedback
- Drivers Training Requirements: Do You Have to Enroll in Drivers Training?
- How to Choose a Drivers Training Program
- Who’s Required to Take Drivers Training
- Transferring a Learner Permit to a New State
- Teen Driver Safety: Seat Belt Use
- Graduating From a Drivers Permit to a Restricted Drivers License
We put a lot of effort into making our content helpful & accurate. Please let us know if you see something that isn't clear or correct; we are here to ease any frustrations you may have while navigating DMV topics. We are not a government agency, please reach out to your local DMV, insurance agent, or respective professional for further assistance on specific situations.