What is the Driving Age in Rhode Island?

You must be 16 years old to start the Graduated Drivers License program in Rhode Island to receive a full driver’s license when you are 17 ½ years old.
Written by Mariza Morin
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
background
As with many states, Rhode Island adopted the Graduated Driving Licensing (GDL) program to help teen drivers — at least 16 years old — safely learn the rules of the road before receiving a full driver's license by age 17 ½.  
Excited to get behind the wheel? Of course, you are! But before you do so, it’s important to be aware that the legal driving age varies from state to state. For this reason,
Jerry
, the top-rated
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super app, is here to break down everything you need to know about getting your limited instruction permit and limited provisional driver’s license in the Ocean State.
We'll even show you how you can save on your
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What is the driving age in Rhode Island?

In Rhode Island, the minimum driving age is 16 for a limited instruction permit. Even if you’re 18 years or older, drivers are still required to hold a learner’s permit for 30 days before being granted a standard unrestricted driver’s license. 

What is the Graduated Drivers License program in Rhode Island?

Most states have a Graduated Drivers License (GDL) program and Rhode Island is no different. According to the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
(CDC), car accidents are the second leading cause of death among teen drivers. Therefore, GDL laws were put in place to slowly educate young drivers in stages on how to drive properly in order to reduce the number of tragedies on the road. 
GDL laws provide new drivers with driving experience before obtaining a full driver’s license. Typically, most GDL laws include three stages:
  • Limited instruction permit: Supervised driving
  • Limited provisional license: Limited unsupervised driving
  • Full operator’s license: Unrestricted standard driver’s license

How to get your limited instruction permit in Rhode Island

If you’re a novice driver between the ages of 16 and 18, you must participate in the Rhode Island GDL program through the Rhode Island Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) before earning a full operator’s license. Before you venture down to your
local DMV location
, come prepared with all the required documents to apply for your learner’s permit.
Here are the requirements to acquire a limited instructional permit in Rhode Island:
Once you take all these necessary steps, you’ll then receive your limited instruction permit

Limited instruction permit restrictions

Congrats! You are now able to get behind the wheel under supervision, but there are restrictions you must abide by before you graduate to the next step. 
After you receive your limited instruction permit, remember to keep it with you at all times when you’re driving. Additionally, you must practice driving with an adult supervising in the front seat but no other passenger can be in the car. Limited instruction permits are valid for one year or until you turn 18 years old — whichever comes first. 

How to get your limited provisional driver’s license in Rhode Island

So you’ve received your limited instruction permit, practiced driving with an adult supervising driver, and now you’re ready to graduate to the next phase in the GDL program. 
Here are the requirements to acquire a limited provisional driver’s license in Rhode Island:
  • You must be at least 16 ½ years old
  • Hold a limited instruction permit for at least six months
  • Present a signed affidavit by a parent that you’ve completed 50 hours of supervised driving practice, including 10 hours at night
  • Pass the
    road test
  • Pay the required $24.50 fee
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Limited provisional driver’s license restrictions

Another congratulations are in order now that you’ve obtained your limited provisional license! But again, there are restrictions you must follow before you jump to the final stage of receiving your full operator’s license. With a limited provisional license, you may drive alone under specific restrictions.
You’re allowed to drive unsupervised in the following situations:
  • Between 5 am and 1 am
  • When driving to and from work or if you’re a volunteer for the fire department, rescue squad, or emergency medical service
  • Between 4 am and 5 am for school-sponsored athletic activities if the school doesn’t provide transportation
And of course, you must have your license with you at all times when you’re driving! During the first 12 months of holding a limited provisional, you cannot have more than one passenger in your vehicle that’s younger than 21 years old. Though, immediate family or household members are the exceptions to this rule.
Young drivers may receive a full operator’s license if they are at least 17 years old and have held their limited provisional license for at least 12 months with no motor vehicle violations during the last six months. Or, once you turn 18, you can renew your provisional license and receive a full driver’s license to drive unrestricted in the Ocean State. 

How to save on car insurance in Rhode Island

After you receive your Rhode Island driver’s license, remember to also get the
right insurance coverage for a teen driver
. And car insurance comparison super app
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FAQs

In Rhode Island, you may obtain a limited instruction permit at the age of 16 once you complete a 33-hour driver’s education course through the Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) and receive your green CCRI certificate. Additionally, you’ll need to complete your LI-1 application, provide all acceptable identification documents, and pass your vision test.
Once you get your limited provisional driver’s license, you may drive by yourself between 5 am and 1 am. You may also drive alone to and from work or if you’re a volunteer with the fire department, rescue squad, or emergency medical service. You’re allowed to drive between 4 am and 5 am for school-sponsored athletic activities if the school doesn’t provide transportation.
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