TITLE 31
Motor and Other vehicles

CHAPTER 31-10
Operators' and Chauffeurs' Licenses

SECTION 31-10-6


§ 31-10-6 Graduated licensing for person under the age of eighteen (18).

(a) Purpose. To ensure that license holders have sufficient training and experience and to promote safe, responsible driving, persons under the age of eighteen (18) shall be granted driving privileges on a limited basis as follows:

(1) Level 1 – Limited instruction permit.

(2) Level 2 – Limited provisional license.

(3) Level 3 – Full operator's license.

(b) Requirements and privileges. A permit or license issued pursuant to this section must have a color background or border that indicates the level of driving privileges granted by the permit or license.

(1) Limited instruction permit. Any person who is at least sixteen (16) years of age but less than eighteen (18) years of age may apply to the division of motor vehicles for a limited instruction permit. The division of motor vehicles may, after the applicant has successfully completed a course of driver training prescribed in § 31-10-19 and passed a standardized written examination approved by the administrator of the division of motor vehicles or otherwise complied with the requirements of § 31-10-21, issue to the applicant a limited instruction permit which shall entitle the applicant to drive a motor vehicle only under the following conditions:

(i) The permit holder must be in possession of the permit;

(ii) A supervising driver must be seated beside the permit holder in the front seat of the vehicle when it is in motion;

(iii) No person other than the supervising driver can be in the front seat;

(iv) Every person occupying the vehicle being driven by the permit holder must have a safety belt properly fastened about his or her body, or be restrained by a child passenger restraint system as provided in § 31-22-22 when the vehicle is in motion;

(v) The permittee shall wear a safety belt at all times unless the permittee provides the division of motor vehicles with a statement from a physician indicating that for medical reasons the permittee cannot wear a safety belt. A limited instruction permit shall be valid for a period of one year, and may be extended for a reasonable period of time if the holder of the permit provides the division of motor vehicles with evidence of a hardship. Any person who is at least sixteen (16) years of age and is enrolled in a commercial drivers' school or in a regularly recognized secondary school or college driver training program which is approved by the division of motor vehicles shall not be required to have a limited instruction permit while operating a dual-control training vehicle regularly used by that school in its driver training program and while a regular instructor in that school or program is occupying the seat beside that person.

(2) Limited provisional license. A person may obtain a limited provisional license if the person meets all of the following requirements:

(i)(A) Has held a limited instruction permit issued by the division of motor vehicles for at least six (6) months;

(B) Has not been convicted of a motor vehicle moving violation or seat belt infraction during the preceding six (6) months;

(C) Passes a road test administered by the division of motor vehicles and shall also meet the requirements of subsection (iii) herein.

(ii) A limited provisional license authorizes the license holder to drive a motor vehicle only under the following conditions:

(A) The license holder must be in possession of the license.

(B) The license holder may drive without supervision in any of the following circumstances:

(I) From 5:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m.;

(II) When driving to or from work;

(III) When driving to or from an activity of a volunteer fire department, volunteer rescue squad or volunteer emergency medical service, if the driver is a member of one of these organizations.

(C) The license holder may drive with supervision at any time. When the license holder is driving with supervision, the supervising driver must be seated beside the license holder in the front seat of the vehicle when it is in motion.

(D) Every person occupying the vehicle being driven by the license holder must have a safety belt properly fastened about his or her body, or be restrained by a child safety passenger restraint system as provided in § 31-22-22 when the vehicle is in motion.

(iii) In addition to meeting the requirements of paragraph (i) of this subdivision, a person under the age of eighteen (18) years seeking to obtain a provisional license shall present with his or her application a statement signed by the person's parent or guardian stating that the applicant has obtained a minimum of fifty (50) hours of experience with ten (10) of those at night as a driver while driving with a supervising driver. These fifty (50) hours may include driving lessons with a commercial driving school or any other supervised driving.

(iv) During the first twelve (12) months of a limited provisional license no more than one passenger younger than twenty-one (21) years of age is allowed in the vehicle. Immediate family/household members are excepted from this subsection.

(3) Full operator's license. (i) A person who is at least seventeen (17) years old but less than eighteen (18) years old may apply for and obtain a full operator's license if the person meets all of the following requirements:

(i)(A) Has held a limited provisional license issued by the division of motor vehicles for at least twelve (12) months;

(B) Has not been convicted of a motor vehicle moving violation or seat belt infraction during the preceding six (6) months.

(ii) A person who meets the requirements of this section may obtain a full operator's license by mail. The restrictions on Level 1 and Level 2 drivers concerning time of driving, supervision and passenger limitations do not apply to a full operator's license.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1950, ch. 2595, art. 15, § 6; P.L. 1951, ch. 2826, § 13; P.L. 1952, ch. 2937, § 8; P.L. 1954, ch. 3276, § 1; G.L. 1956, § 31-10-6; P.L. 1962, ch. 204, § 1; P.L. 1964, ch. 224, § 1; P.L. 1988, ch. 78, § 1; P.L. 1990, ch. 253, § 1; P.L. 1998, ch. 371, § 1; P.L. 1998, ch. 386, § 1; P.L. 2003, ch. 323, § 1; P.L. 2003, ch. 326, § 1; P.L. 2005, ch. 231, § 1; P.L. 2005, ch. 344, § 1.)