rhode-island-road-signThe Rhode Island permit test If you want to earn full driving privileges in the state of Rhode Island, you will need to educate yourself on the Graduated Driver’s License Program (GDL), a multi-stage process that helps young drivers gain important driving skills before they are allowed to drive without supervision. GDL programs have been proven to make a big difference in reducing accidents caused by inexperienced drivers.

The Rhode Island GDL process involves three distinct stages:

  • Limited Instruction Permit
  • Provisional License
  • Full License

On this page, you will learn how to pass the Rhode Island permit test and go on to earn your Full License.

Limited Instruction Permit

Driver’s education is mandatory in Rhode Island. You can sign up for the 33-hour course, certified by the Department of Education when you are 15 years and 10 months old. To complete this course, you must pass a written test given by the Department of Education, which is similar to the permit test in most stages. After passing, you can apply for your Limited Instruction Permit (or learner’s permit) as early as age 16.

Study, Study, Study

You will learn a lot during your course, but you also must study on your own if you want to pass. The test will check your knowledge of the rules of the road, traffic signs and traffic signals. Our free copy of the Rhode Island Driver’s Manual is a wonderful resource for learning.

Take Practice Exams

The absolute best way to up your odds of passing the permit test on the first try is to take practice exams. Our Rhode Island practice permit test includes a lot of the same subject matter as the real test, and taking it in advance will help you gauge your preparedness.

Visit the Rhode Island Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Offices and Apply for Your Permit

Once you pass your exam and complete driver’s education, you can visit the DMV and apply for your Limited Instruction Permit. Be sure to bring along:

  • Your certified birth certificate and Social Security card.
  • Your driver’s education certificate.
  • A parent or legal guardian who is both an in-state resident and has held a license for at least five years.
  • Your completed permit application, which your parent must sign in front of a notary.
  • $11.50 in fees.

After you pay your fees and show all of your paperwork, you will be given your permit.

Begin Practicing Your Driving

Now that you have your permit, you can begin practicing. Be aware that you must always drive with a licensed driver age 21 or above who has held his or her license for at least five years. That driver must sit in the passenger seat while you practice. You are required to complete 50 hours of practice driving, with 10 of those hours taking place at night.

Limited Provisional License

When you have held your permit for six months and completed your practice driving, you can call the DMV offices and make an appointment to take the behind-the-wheel road test. This test will check how well you control your vehicle and pay attention to traffic laws. On appointment day, be sure to bring along:

  • An application, signed by your parent or guardian.
  • $15.50 in fees.
  • Your permit.
  • Signed proof that you completed your practice driving.
  • A registered and insured car to use for the test.

The road test is very simple and should be easy to pass just as long as you have been practicing hard. When you pass, you will be given your Limited Provisional License, which comes with some restrictions. Unless accompanied by a licensed driver age 21 or above who has held his or her license for at least five years, you cannot:

  • Drive between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m.
  • Drive with more than one passenger under the age of 21 for the first year.
  • Use a cell phone while driving.

Driver’s License

When you are at least 17 and a half years old, and you have completed the other stages of the GDL process, you will be able to apply for your Full License. Bring a fee of $26.50 to the DMV offices and trade in your Limited Provisional License.

Congratulations! You can now enjoy unrestricted driving privileges.

Additional Information

Your Limited Instruction Permit will be valid for a full year after the date you receive it or until you turn 18, whichever comes first. If you allow it to expire before you take your road test, you will have to visit the Community College of Rhode Island to request another driver’s education certificate so that you will be able to apply for your Limited Provisional License.