TITLE 31
Motor and Other Vehicles

CHAPTER 31-10
Operators' and Chauffeurs' Licenses

SECTION 31-10-20


§ 31-10-20. Driver education course requirement before licensing.

(a) No limited-instruction permit or license shall be issued to any person not more than eighteen (18) years of age unless that person shall have successfully completed a course of instruction as provided in § 31-10-19, or a similar course of instruction recognized by the state board of education as equivalent to it. However, any person who is over eighteen (18) years of age and has been a holder of a motor vehicle operator's license issued to that person by any other state, territory, or possession of the United States, or any other sovereignty for a period of one year immediately prior to his or her application for a license under this chapter shall not be required to comply with the provisions of this section.

(b) Commencing on July 1, 2004, no limited-instruction permit or license shall be issued to any person not more than eighteen (18) years of age unless that person shall have successfully completed a course of instruction as provided in § 31-10-19, or a similar course of instruction in another state recognized by the state board of education as equivalent to it. In determining whether a course is equivalent, the state board of education shall at a minimum require: (1) That the course consist of at least thirty-three (33) instructional hours that substantially conform with the current curriculum utilized by the instructor(s) at the Community College of Rhode Island, including a minimum of three (3) hours of instruction focusing upon specific Rhode Island traffic laws, the specific requirements of the Rhode Island graduated-licensing statute in § 31-10-6, and eight (8) hours specifically for instruction on the effects of alcohol and drugs on a driver. All driver's education programs shall include information concerning the Revised Uniform Anatomical Gift Act, chapter 18.6.1 of title 23, and information on donor cards pursuant to the applicable provisions of chapter 18.6.1 of title 23; (2) That the instructor holds a valid teacher's certificate; (3) That the instructor satisfactorily completes at least a three-credit (3) course in traffic safety education at an accredited institution of higher education; and (4) That the program does not offer outside the classroom road test instruction or driving lessons to Rhode Island students. However, any person who is over eighteen (18) years of age and has been a holder of a motor vehicle operator's license issued to that person by any other state, territory, or possession of the United States, or any other sovereignty for a period of one year immediately prior to his or her application for a license under this chapter shall not be required to comply with the provisions of this section.

(c) The driver's education course and driver's license examination shall include material pertaining to a driver's rights and responsibilities when stopped by a law enforcement officer as explained during the driver education course, including, but not limited to, rights provided to drivers pursuant to chapter 21.2 of title 31, the "comprehensive community-police relationship act of 2015".

History of Section.
(P.L. 1960, ch. 189, § 1; G.L. 1956, § 31-10-20; P.L. 1962, ch. 204, § 1; P.L. 1986, ch. 142, § 1; P.L. 1998, ch. 371, § 1; P.L. 1998, ch. 386, § 1; P.L. 2002, ch. 116, § 1; P.L. 2003, ch. 218, § 1; P.L. 2003, ch. 329, § 1; P.L. 2004, ch. 327, § 1; P.L. 2004, ch. 372, § 1; P.L. 2018, ch. 131, § 1; P.L. 2018, ch. 291, § 1.)