Rhode Island Driving Record

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You can obtain a copy of your Rhode Island driving record online, in person, or by mail from the Rhode Island Division of Motor Vehicles. The cost is $18.50 for a certified copy.
It’s in your best interest to keep your driving record as clean as possible and report any discrepancies as soon as you notice them. Your driving record is another metric by which you are measured for employment and car insurance rates, and negative information will cost you when it’s time to renew.
Here, the car owner’s super app Jerry has compiled everything you need to know to understand your Rhode Island driving record. 

What is a driving record?

A driving record is a report card of your driving history. While it varies from state to state, it typically includes information about your driver’s license classification, tickets and accidents, restrictions, and suspensions.  

How do I access my driving record in Rhode Island?

You can buy, download, and print a certified copy of your certified Rhode Island driving record on the DMV website. You can also access your record by mail or in person at your local Rhode Island DMV office. 
To order your record in person at the DMV, you will need: 
  • A written request for the document
  • Payment of $18.50
To order your record by mail you will need: 
  • A written request for the document
  • Payment—$18.50 in check or money order
  • Driver’s license number
  • Date of birth
  • Address

Requesting a driving record for someone else

You may pull your individual certified driver record, and authorized individuals can view a non-certified copy online. No one can access your record without your consent except approved agencies. 
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Where else can I find my driving record in Rhode Island?

Aside from the Rhode Island DMV, you can get a copy of your driving record from insurance companies or online third parties.

Car insurance agents

The federal Driver’s Privacy Protection Act (DPPA) states that only the below agencies may access your non-certified driving record in Rhode Island: 
  • Courts, law enforcement, and government agencies
  • Insurance companies
  • Employers or potential employers
  • Licensed private investigators or security services performing a background check
  • Towing companies or impound yards

Online third-party vendors

In most cases, only you are able to obtain a certified copy of your driving record in Rhode Island. However, if a non-certified copy is enough, you can obtain it through one of the DMV-approved partners
While using a third-party vendor will get you a copy of your driving record quickly, the report will not include information that isn’t readily available in public records. It will not be certified, either.

What is on my record?

Your driving record consists of details about you and your driving history. The basic record in Rhode Island typically includes:
  • Personal information (e.g., name, address, social security number)
  • Driver’s license information
  • Tickets and accidents
  • Restrictions and suspensions

DMV points in Rhode Island

Unlike some states, Rhode Island does not assess points for driving offenses. Fines and loss of driving privileges are used as motivation to avoid traffic violations. 
The lack of real-time consequences means harsher punishment for major offenses like DUI and leaving the scene of an accident. These actions result in immediate driver’s license revocations and penalties including:
 
  • Fines, court fees, and DMV payments
  • Driver improvement programs
  • Behavioral adjustment and evaluation programs
The Rhode Island Legislature passed a good driving law, which removes violations from your record if you go three or more years without committing another violation. In some cases, you may also complete a defensive driving course to clean your driving record.
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How can my driving record affect me?

Your driving record impacts multiple aspects of your life. Here are a few examples.

Your insurance premium

Insurance companies use various criteria to determine your insurance rate, including your driving record. 
The average cost of basic liability car insurance in Rhode Island is about 42% higher per year than the national average. If you incur 3 or more major traffic violations within 3 years, you are considered a “habitual offender” and you will lose your driving privileges for up to 5 years. 
While it’s still possible to obtain insurance without a license, the cost at that point may become prohibitive. 
Pro Tip Even if you have a poor record, Jerry can help you find the best deal on the insurance coverage you need—without all the hassle you might expect.

Your ability to drive

If you have a DUI charge on your record, it means immediate suspension of your driver’s license. But in Rhode Island, you could also face expensive fines. Some information will never be removed from your record, including:
  • Refusal to submit to chemical tests related to driving
  • Violations involving a school bus
  • Accidents resulting in property damage or personal injury
  • Speeding tickets 14mph or more above the speed limit

Your credit rating

While your record itself does not impact your credit score, your credit score can influence your ability to obtain good rates for car insurance. And the financial fallout from a DUI, personal injury claims, or unpaid medical bills from an accident can force you into bankruptcy. 

Your job prospects

Employers generally conduct a background check before offering you a job, and a driving record could be part of that. 
Checking a driving record isn’t just for the obvious jobs like delivery or truck drivers. Employers want to know you are responsible in all aspects of your life. If you have a spotty driving background, they may see you as a potential risk.

What is the difference between driving records in each state?

The state where you reside holds your driver’s license and driving record. So if you live in Rhode Island, the state of Rhode Island will hold your driving record.
That said, your driving record follows you across state lines and you can be held accountable for violations in another state.
Rhode Island is a member of the Driver’s License Compact (DLC), an interstate agreement for the exchange of data about moving violations of non-residents. This is known as “One Driver, One License, One Record.”
Only five states are not part of the DLC. They are:
  • Georgia
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Tennessee
  • Wisconsin
Even still, most states have some agreement to share information that pertains to driving records and safety on the roads.
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