Obtaining a Drivers License or State ID

Obtaining a Rhode Island Driver’s License or State Identification Card 

More information is available at: www.dmv.ri.gov (official site) and www.dmv.org

Office Locations

Local Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office addresses, hours of operations and directions can be found online at: www.dmv.ri.gov/locations/

The office closest to Brown University is: 600 New London Avenue, Cranston RI 02920

Rhode Island Driver’s License Requirements:

The process for receiving your Rhode Island driver's license depends on your age at the time of application and whether you are a new resident.

Drivers 18 or Older

If you are 18 or older, you must meet the following qualifications before receiving a Rhode Island driver's license:

  • Pass the written, vision, and driving exams before receiving your first license.
  • You must have an acceptable identity document, signature document, and proof of residency as described in the License/State ID Checklist.
  • You must have a valid social security number or an acceptable denial letter from Social Security Administration (with an acceptable visa code).
  • Pay a $38.50 fee. (See Fee Schedule http://www.dmv.ri.gov/forms/fee/index.php )

*If you are older than 18 and have never had a driver's license, you will first need to apply for an instruction permit instead of a full operator's license. You do not, however, have to enroll in a driver education class.

New Residents

If you are a new resident to Rhode Island, but have a license from another U.S. state, you must meet the following qualifications before receiving a Rhode Island driver's license:

  • Surrender a license that has not been expired for longer than one year.
  • Furnish proof that you are now a Rhode Island resident.
  • Present your Social Security card or acceptable denial letter from Social Security Administration (with an acceptable visa code).
  • Pay a $38.50 fee. (See Fee Schedule http://www.dmv.ri.gov/forms/fee/index.php )

*Your first Rhode Island driver's license will be a two-year license that expires on your birthday.  After this, you will be allowed to renew your license for the normal five-year period.

Rhode Island State Identification (ID) Requirements:
  • You must be a resident of Rhode Island.
  • You may not hold a valid driver’s license in Rhode Island or in any other state.
  • You must have an acceptable identity document, signature document, and proof of residency as described in the License/State ID Checklist.
  • You must have a valid social security number or an acceptable denial letter (with an acceptable visa code).
  • The fee for a Rhode Island State ID is $26.50
  • Personal checks are NOT accepted for payment for a RI state ID


Identification Requirements for New Driver's Licenses and IDs

 NOTE: All F-1/J-1 students should bring their I-20/DS-2019, + I-94 http://www.cbp.gov/i94+ passport + enrollment verification from the Brown University Registrar’s office, + proof of Residency and SSN. International scholars should also bring their Brown appointment letter.

All applicants must provide one document from the "Identity" section, one document from the "Signature" section, and one document from the "Residency" section. Additionally, all applicants must comply with the provisions of the "Social Security" section. At least two separate documents must be presented.  Photocopies are not acceptable.

Identity Documents
  • Valid U.S./U.S. Territory or Canadian Driver's License with photograph, signature, and date of birth (may not be expired for more than one year).
  • Birth certificate (must be original or certified copy, have a seal, and be issued by an authorized government agency such as the Bureau of Vital Statistics; hospital issued certificates are not acceptable).
  • Baptismal certificate (must be original or certified copy, be issued by a church in the U.S., have an issue date of within one year of applicant's birth, and contain the date of birth).
  • U.S. or foreign passport (B1, B2 and expired passports are not acceptable).
  • U.S. Naturalization Certificate
  • USCIS form I-94 (arrival/departure document, or printout https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/request.html).  [F/J visa holders also bring I-20/DS-2019]
  • USCIS form I-688 (Temporary Resident Identification Card).
  • USCIS form I-688B, I-766 (Employment Authorization Card).
  • U.S. Active Service, Retiree, or Reservist Military ID Card.

* Government issued Marriage Certificate/License required to prove name change from primary identity document.

Signature Documents
 
  • Valid U.S./U.S. Territory or Canadian Driver's License with photograph, signature, and date of birth (may not be expired for more than one year)
  • U.S. or foreign passport (B1, B2 and expired passports are not acceptable).
  • Social Security Card.
  • Work or school ID.
  • U.S. Active Service, Retiree, or Reservist Military ID Card.
Proof of Residency
  • Valid Voter Registration Card.
  • Utility bill (gas, electric, telephone, cable, oil) in your name or in the name of an immediate family member with the same last name.
  • Personal check or bank statement with your name and address (P.O. boxes are not acceptable).
  • Letter from the Brown University Registrar’s Office indicating your full-time enrollment and campus address (Enrollment verification is required for all F/J students)
  • Payroll check with your name and address.
  • Welfare check stub or food stamp card with your name and address.
  • Insurance policy for your home/apartment with your name and address.
  • Property tax bill for your residence.

* If under 18 years of age, school records and parent's license/ID with same address will be accepted.

Social Security Number

The Division of Motor Vehicles by law is required to record Social Security Numbers for all applicants for a Driver's License. All applicants must provide an official Social Security Card (laminated or metal cards are not acceptable). All Social Security Numbers are verified electronically with the Social Security Administration.

*If you do not have a valid Social Security Number (SSN), you must either obtain an SSN or obtain a letter of ineligibility from the Social Security Administration by bringing your foreign passport and appropriate visa documentation (ex. I-20/DS-2019+I-94 http://www.cbp.gov/i94 ) to the nearest SSA office to validate the ineligibility for a Social Security Number.

For more information on Drivers licenses and State ID's, see the DMV website. http://www.dmv.ri.gov/licenses/