Auto Insurance in Rhode Island (RI)

If You Are Paying More Than $1,722.04 on Auto Insurance in Rhode Island, You Are Paying Too Much.

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Auto Insurance Industry in Rhode Island

  • An average consumer pays $2,298.00 on auto insurance
  • 227 of every 100,000 vehicles are reported stolen every year
  • Accident fatality rate of 1.01%
  • Of all accidents: 68% are road-way accidents, 28% are intersection accidents, and 6% of all accidents involve at least 1 truck.

Automobile accidents can have a lasting, negative impact on the people involved. Not only do most people suffer from a physical injury, they may also experience financial setbacks. The expense of medical bills, car repairs and lost wages add up quickly. Eventually, many will also see their insurance premiums increase.

That is why the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in Rhode Island requires every driver in the state to carry auto liability insurance. This type of coverage can help to defray the costs associated with the hazards of driving.

Rhode Island's Minimum Requirements on Auto Insurance

Buying auto liability insurance is the only option available for Rhode Island residents to demonstrate financial responsibility while driving. The mandatory insurance law in the state has minimum requirements for every passenger vehicle driven on its roads. You are required to have the following coverage amounts:

  • Injury or death of one person: $25,000
  • Injury or death of two or more persons: $50,000
  • Property damage: $25,000

Companies that are authorized to sell insurance in Rhode Island must notify the DMV of every active policy and when the policy cancels or lapses. In addition, you must keep proof of a current liability insurance policy in your vehicle while driving. Failure to do so may result in penalties and fines.

If you are involved in an accident or stopped for a traffic violation, the police officer will request proof of insurance. Failing to produce sufficient proof such as an insurance identification card may result in a citation and $500 fine. In most cases, your driver’s license is suspended for three months unless you can show proof within 10 days of the citation. The proof must verify that coverage was current during the time of the accident or traffic violation.

Consumer Car Licensing Information in Rhode Island

First-time drivers in Rhode Island are required to obtain a learner’s permit before they can receive a regular driver’s license. If you fit this category, you may receive a Class 10 driver’s license after passing the required written and driving tests. However, you do not have to apply for a learner’s permit if you are a new Rhode Island resident with a valid out-of-state driver’s license.

Typically, written and driving tests are administered at the Cranston DMV office. Appointments are necessary due to limited testing schedules. On the day of the test, you must provide the following documentation:

  • Completed driver’s license application
  • Social security card
  • Proof of Rhode Island Residency
  • Proof of legal name
  • Military ID or work ID

Rhode Island’s DMV also requires passage of a vision screening before a license is issued. New residents must take the written test but are not required to take the driving test. The exception is if your out-of-state license expired one year prior to transferring the license. In this situation, you must also pass the driving test to receive a Rhode Island driver’s license.

The fee for a Class 10 driver’s license is $26.50. Transference of an out-of-state driver’s license is $31.50.

Motorcycle Licensing Information in Rhode Island

The DMV adds a Class H endorsement to regular driver’s licenses for drivers who want to operate a motorcycle. The Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) administers a motorcycle safety course that all applicants must pass. The course is available annually from April to November at two of the college’s campuses. You will receive a certificate to give to the DMV office. After paying the $26.50 permit fee, you will receive a 30-day motorcycle permit.

During this time, you cannot have an accident or receive a ticket while driving a motorcycle. Once the 30-day period ends without incident, you can return to a DMV office, pay an additional $26.50 and receive a new license that includes the motorcycle endorsement.

You are not required to enroll in the safety course if you recently moved to Rhode Island and have a motorcycle endorsement from a different state. However, you must present your current out-of-state license to any DMV office in order to receive Rhode Island’s motorcycle endorsement license.

Commercial Vehicle Licensing Information in Rhode Island

The state of Rhode Island issues commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs) and permits to residents who wish to drive commercial vehicles. You can receive Class A, B and C CDLs if you meet the following criteria:

  • Be at least 21 years old for an interstate CDL or 18 years old for an intrastate CDL
  • Have a valid Rhode Island driver’s license for one year without a revocation or suspension
  • Not have a license in any other state, Canada or Mexico
  • Have a medical examiner’s card that declares you are healthy enough to operate commercial vehicles

You can submit an application for a CDL to the DMV with your driver’s license and a valid social security card. The state also requires a completed CDL application and successful completion of a written knowledge exam and road test.

Rhode Island issues CDL permits for drivers who need to polish their skills. The permit is issued after you pass the written knowledge examination. Enrollment in a state-approved commercial driver education course can help you obtain the skills necessary to pass the road test.

The Cranston DMV administers the written and road tests for CDLs. Generally, road tests are scheduled through CCRI. On the day of the road test, you must have a CDL permit and a Rhode Island driver’s license. You must also bring a vehicle that matches the CDL class for which you are applying.

The CDL application fee is $10 plus an additional $10 for each endorsement test you need to take such as hauling hazardous materials or driving a school bus. The road test costs $50 and the state charges an additional $30 fee for the CDL.

More Resources on Auto Insurance in Rhode Island

Department of Insurance