Traffic Ticket FAQ in Rhode Island

What do I do if I get a traffic ticket in RI?

Determine whether you want to plead guilty or no contest, or not guilty.

You have a little time to decide (your citation will include a hearing date, and this is also the date by which you must pay the fine), which is good because there are pros and cons to each option.

For example, for many drivers, pleading guilty or no contest means paying the traffic ticket, dealing with any related penalties, and moving on; for some drivers, it means using the good driving record option to get the ticket dismissed.

On the other hand, pleading not guilty gives you the chance to prove your innocence and have the entire thing dismissed―meaning no fines, fees, or penalties.

Refer to Paying Your Traffic Ticket and Fighting Your Traffic Ticket to learn about each option before making your decision.

How do I know if a Municipal Court or Ticket Tribunal has my ticket?

Your ticket will indicate which court has your ticket.

Generally, Municipal Courts handle city-level violations and Ticket Tribunals handle state-level violations.

Is there a time when I'll have to appear in court?


If you receive 3 citations in 12 months, you must appear in court.

How can I get a traffic ticket dismissed?

You can:

  • Ask for the good driving record ticket dismissal option.
  • Fight your case in court and win.

We can help you learn more about getting a ticket dismissed using the good driving record option; a traffic ticket lawyer can help you fight your case in court.

What if I have a Rhode Island CDL and get a traffic ticket?

You can plead guilty (or no contest) or not guilty like any other driver.

Just remember you must notify your employer after receiving a violation.

Also, if you plead to or are found guilty of certain offenses, you face penalties severe enough to cripple your career.

NOTE: The good driving record ticket dismissal option isn't available to CDL drivers.

What happens if I have a limited instruction permit and get a traffic conviction?

You won't be able to move to the limited provisional license until you spend a 6 month waiting period without any violations.

Why is it a good idea to order a driving record?

Rhode Island doesn't use a point system, but it does record violations on your driving record. Keeping a close eye on your record can:

  • Let you make sure only the applicable violations show up.
  • Show you whether a dismissed violation is appearing (when it shouldn't).
  • Give you an idea of how close to license suspension you are, and let you change your driving habits accordingly.

What is the total cost of my traffic ticket?

The total cost of your traffic ticket depends on:

  • The traffic ticket fine and possible court costs.
  • Any violation-related surcharges, such as DWI or DUI surcharges.
  • Future costs (such as license reinstatement fees).

Learn more at Ticket Fines and Penalties.

Are traffic ticket fines the same throughout the state?

Yes. They vary by violation, but each violation costs the same throughout the state.

Check the Rhode Island Driver's Manual for exact numbers, or contact your Ticket Tribunal or Municipal Court.

How can I find a lost traffic ticket online?

You can't, but you can contact the court handling your ticket to retrieve valuable information such as the traffic ticket fine, arraignment date, and court location.

Head over to Lost WY Traffic Tickets to get started.

When is it a good idea to hire a traffic ticket attorney?

There are three main ways a skilled traffic ticket attorney can help you:

  • Prepare for court. Your lawyer will help you prepare your testimony or account of what happened, gather evidence, and subpoena witnesses.
  • Present your case. Your attorney will speak for you, handle the examination and cross-examination questions, and present evidence.
  • Deal with paperwork and incidentals. Your lawyer can help you reschedule your hearing, appeal a guilty verdict, and negotiate a plea agreement.

NOTE: Any driver facing serious charges, such as DWI- or DUI-related charges, or any involving injury, death, or a felony, should considering hiring an attorney.

Does Rhode Island have a point system??

No, but the state records your violations on your driving record.

If there are no points, how can the state suspend or revoke my license?

Rhode Island can suspend or revoke your license for a number of reasons, ranging from earning a habitual offender label to committing a DWI- or DUI-related offense.

Refer to Ticket Fines and Penalties for more information.

Are there any policies specific to out-of-state drivers with RI traffic tickets?


If you're from another state but receive a Rhode Island traffic ticket, you must appear at your arraignment with a copy of your driving record. Request the copy prior to your arraignment.

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