Rhode Island Driver’s License Renewal: A Complete Guide

Zutobi
by Zutobi · Updated Jul 02, 2021

 Is it time for your Rhode Island driver’s license renewal? Here at Zutobi, we strive to provide you with the most current and accurate information available. In this guide, we will go through everything you need to know to renew your drivers license hassle-free. 

When Do I Need to Renew My Rhode Island Driver’s License?

If you are under 72, your license is valid for five years. If you are over 72, then you will have the first renewal prorated to be valid to age 75. After that, they are valid for two years at a time.

For licenses that are expired for over five years, you have to retake the written and road test.

What is the Grace Period in Rhode Island?

Rhode Island does NOT have a grace period. If you are caught driving with an expired license, it is considered a misdemeanor. These are the current penalties for driving with an expired license. 

  • First Offense: A $250 to $500 in civil penalties
  • Second Offense: $350 to $500 in civil penalties
  • Further Offenses: $500 to $1000 fine plus up to 90 days in jail.

How to Renew a Driver’s License in Rhode Island

Rhode Island provides drivers with a few different options when it comes to renewing a driver’s license. You are able to renew online and in-person, but the requirements and steps you need to take are quite different.

You can complete the process online or at any RI DMV branch location. If you are a AAA member, you can renew at a AAA branch office.

Online renewal

Here are the steps to renewing online.

  1. Make sure all your information is up to date. You can not renew online if your legal name and address have changed until they are updated in the system. If you need to change your address, you can do so here.
  2. Visit the Online Renewal Page.
  3. Make sure all your information is correct.
  4. Pay the required fees by credit or debit card.
  5. You will be able to print out a temporary paper id or have it emailed to you. If you do not have an email or a printer, you will be unable to attain this document as proof of application. 
  6. You will receive your physical license at the residential address on file in 45 days. 
  7. If you do not receive it by then, call (401) 462-5862 to see if the license has been returned to the DMV Cranston headquarters.

In-person renewal

If you can’t renew online, then you have to renew in person at a local DMV office. Here’s how you do it: 

  1. Locate your nearest DMV branch. If you are a AAA member, you also have the option to visit a AAA branch office instead.
  2. Make Sure you have everything before you go.
    • A filled out License Renewal form
    • Your current license or acceptable proof of ID. Page three of your application form will cover all the acceptable documents for a standard and REAL-ID.
    • If you are an immigrant, make sure to bring your current Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) documents.
  3. Make sure all your information is correct
  4. Take a vision test
  5. If your license has expired for over five years, take the written and driving exams.
  6. Pay the required fees
  7. Receive a temporary paper license good for 60 days. You will receive your physical license at the residential address on file in 45 days. 
  8. If you do not receive it by then, call (401) 462-5862 to see if the license has been returned to the DMV Cranston headquarters.

Rhode Island Drivers License Renewal Fees

The Rhode Island fee chart has a large range of costs depending on age, license type, and other factors. Here are the most common fees to expect:

  • License Renewal (Under age 71): $62.50
  • Age 71 (Valid for four years): $50.50
  • Age 72 (Valid for three years): $38.50
  • Age 73 and 74 (Valid for two years): $26.50
  • Age 75+ (Valid for two years): $22.50
  • If you need to take a road test, add $27.50
  • If you pay by credit card online or in-person, expect a minimum service fee of $1.50. Transactions over $64 have a 2.35% service fee.
  • If your licence was suspended or revoked, there is a $152.50 fee to get it reinstated. If you had a DUI, the fee raises to $352.50. 

Note that license renewal fees are subject to change, so we recommend that you check the latest fees at the Rhode Island DMV website. 

Do I Need a REAL-ID in Rhode Island?

Starting May 3, 2023, a standard driver’s license will not qualify as your federal ID. The date used to be Oct 1, 2021, however, DHS announced another extension on April 27, 2021.

If you plan to board a plane or enter a US military base (or various other government facilities), you will need a REAL-ID, a valid passport, or other federally approved id to do so!

That’s It

That’s everything you need to know about renewing your driver’s license in Rhode Island, make sure to do so well before your license expires to avoid unnecessary complications. If you need help studying for renewal exams, then Zutobi is the perfect study resource with state-of-the-art refresher exams.

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