§ 31-7-7. Service on nonresident.
(a) Service of process on a nonresident shall be made by leaving a copy of the process with a fee of five dollars ($5.00) in the hands of the administrator of the division of motor vehicles or in his or her office with some one acting in his or her stead as the administrator of the division of motor vehicles and the service shall be sufficient service upon the nonresident.
(b) Notice of the service and a copy of the process shall be sent by registered or certified mail prior to service or immediately after service by the plaintiff or his or her attorney of record, to the defendant at the address given upon the defendant's registration or operator's license. The sender's post office receipt of sending and the plaintiff's or his or her attorney's affidavit of compliance are to be returned with the process in accordance with applicable procedural rules.
(c) Notwithstanding the requirements in subsections (a) and (b) of this section, however, once service has been made on the administrator of the division of motor vehicles as provided in this section, the court shall have the authority in the event of the failure to comply with the requirement of notice to the nonresident to order any notice that shall be sufficient to apprise the nonresident of the pendency of the suit against him or her, and in addition may extend the time for answering by the nonresident. It is also sufficient if notice and a copy of the process are served upon the defendant outside the state in accordance with applicable procedural rules.
(P.L. 1950, ch. 2595, art. 5, § 2; art. 19, § 2; impl. am. P.L. 1956, ch. 3717, § 1; G.L. 1956, § 31-7-7; P.L. 1960, ch. 75, § 7; P.L. 1961, ch. 124, § 1; P.L. 1967, ch. 78, § 4.)