Rhode Island Public Driving Records
The State of Rhode Island Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is the government agency responsible for driving records. They supply unofficial records online for individuals, and then companies, government agencies, and employers can also get certified copies if they need to. Auto insurance companies use these reports when deciding to insure motorists or set car insurance rates. Employers may use them for background checks.
The state has an online portal where individuals can enter their name, address, driver's license number, date of birth, and zip code and instantly view and print a copy of their driving record. They also have a subscriber service where employers or other companies can request frequent records.
RI driving records contain personal information such as the driver's name, address, date of birth, social security number, physical description (height, weight, eye, and hair color). If they hold a CDL, medical information will also be on there. Along with personal details, the reports contain license classification, all driving convictions, moving violations, traffic violations, license status, license suspensions, revocations, and CDL information.
How to Request a Copy of Your RI Driving History
The state has two ways for requestors to get copies of records. First, they have an online portal that individuals can use to get a copy of their own report as long as they have their name, date of birth, zip code, and driver's license number.
They also have a subscription service for employers, government agencies, and other types of companies that need to review driver histories. This service works online also.
Motor Vehicle Records Cost
Individuals will pay a fee of $20.50 for a copy of their driving report. They can view and print it instantly after purchase. They can pay using a credit card (Visa, MasterCard, or Discover).
Companies that need frequent copies of someone's driving record can pay an annual $75 fee to use the subscription service. These fees can be paid by a check or electronic account debit.
Driving Laws in the State
Anyone under the age of 18 must go through the graduated licensing program. When a person is 16, they can apply for a driving permit. The person must also complete 33 hours of driver education in a course certified by the Community College of Rhode Island. Drivers must hold a Limited Instructional Permit for six months before applying for their Limited Provisional License. They cannot have any driving convictions on their record; they must have parental consent, complete a road test, and show that they have logged at least 50 hours of supervised driving.
The license holder may drive without supervision in any of the following circumstances:
- From 5:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m.;
- When driving to or from work;
- 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;
- From 4:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. when driving between the license holder's home and a school-sponsored athletic activity for which no transportation is provided by the school
Some other laws that govern these drivers are:
- 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
- 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
- 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
Once a driver has held the provisional license for 12 months and is at least 17 years old, they can apply for their full operator's license.
According to the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (DOT), some additional laws include:
- What is not allowed: Drivers cannot hold a cell phone or other wireless device while operating a vehicle. The use of headphones or other accessories that cover both ears also is not allowed.
- What is allowed: Drivers are able to use in-car or other hands-free systems or accessories, commonly using a wireless technology called Bluetooth.
- How does it work: If a police officer observes you holding a phone and talking or texting while driving, you will be pulled over and may be fined up to $100. The offense may be waived for first offenders only by showing proof of purchase of a hands-free device.
"No state or municipal law enforcement officer or law enforcement agency shall engage in racial profiling. For purposes of this chapter, "racial profiling" means the detention, interdiction, or other disparate treatment of an individual on the basis, in whole or in part, of the racial or ethnic status of such individual, except when such status is used in combination with other identifying factors seeking to apprehend a specific suspect whose racial or ethnic status is part of the description of the suspect, which description is timely and reliable."
- (a) Unless there exists reasonable suspicion or probable cause of criminal activity, no motor vehicle stopped for a traffic violation shall be detained beyond the time needed to address the violation. Nothing contained herein shall prohibit the detention of a motor vehicle for a reasonable period of time for the arrival of a canine unit or subsequent criminal investigation if there is reasonable suspicion or probable cause of criminal activity
- (b)No operator or owner-passenger of a motor vehicle shall be requested to consent to a search by a law enforcement officer of his or her motor vehicle, that is stopped solely for a traffic violation, unless there exists reasonable suspicion or probable cause of criminal activity. No pedestrian shall be requested to consent to a search by a law enforcement officer of his or her person unless there exists reasonable suspicion or probable cause of criminal activity. No juvenile shall be requested to consent to a search by a law enforcement officer unless there exists reasonable suspicion or probable cause of criminal activity. In those instances in which a warrant would be required, a law enforcement officer must advise the juvenile that he or she may refuse to consent to, or limit the scope of, any requested search. The determination of age of the individual shall be based on the perception of the officer making a good faith effort in advance of requesting consent. Nothing contained in this subsection shall be construed to prohibit a law enforcement officer from conducting a pat down search for weapons based upon a reasonable belief that the officer's personal safety may be jeopardized
- (c)Each search conducted by a law enforcement officer that does not result in criminal charges shall be documented in a computer-aided dispatch (CAD) entry or other police-generated report. Each search conducted by a law enforcement officer that results in criminal charges shall be documented in a police- generated report. The CAD entry or formal police report shall include the date, time, and location of the stop/search, along with the "reasonable suspicion" or "probable cause" leading to the search. The CAD entry or formal police report shall also include the race, age, and gender of the individual(s) searched and the results of the search. The document, exclusive of information identifying the law enforcement officer, shall be a public record, subject to the access to public records act, § 38-2-2(4)(D), law enforcement exemptions. For purposes of this section, "computer-aided dispatch" (CAD) means an electronic system used by public safety agencies to facilitate incident response and communications in the field that electronically records information on call taking, dispatching, location verification, mapping, and other functions for public safety
- (d)With the exception of operators who are subject to federal motor carrier regulations, no operator of a motor vehicle shall be requested to provide any documentation or identification other than a driver's license, motor vehicle registration, and/or proof of insurance when the motor vehicle has been stopped solely for a traffic violation, unless there exists reasonable suspicion or probable cause of criminal activity or the operator has failed to produce a valid driver's license
- (e)If a violation of the traffic laws in this title is used to stop a motor vehicle for non-related investigatory reasons, the law enforcement officer shall document in writing or electronically the investigatory basis for the stop. The documentation of such stops shall commence no later than twelve (12) months after passage of this act and shall be assessed every six (6) months by the respective police department as to whether
- (f)Any evidence obtained as a result of a search prohibited by subsection (a) or (b) shall be inadmissible in any judicial proceeding. Nothing contained herein shall be construed to preclude any search otherwise based upon any legally sufficient cause
Different Types of Driving Reports in the State
The state offers only two types of driving records. The first is an unofficial report that individuals can purchase online and print out. The second is a certified copy that users can obtain online using the subscription service or in person at the Adjudication Office.
The unofficial record will contain the driver's name, address, date of birth, gender, driver's license number, issue date, expiration date, and CDL information (if applicable). It will also show all driving-related violations and the court case ID along with punishment such as court-ordered drug or alcohol rehab.
A certified copy will contain the same information as the report above, but it will also include a seal from the Division of Motor Vehicles (RI DMV) to certify it is legitimate and a complete, correct record.
Criminal Driving Offenses
Criminal driving offenses are serious and usually result in the driver losing their license, going to jail for a number of months, and paying a hefty fine. Sometimes a judge will impose other punishments as well. Some examples of criminal driving offenses in the state are:
- Reckless driving - the first offense in a misdemeanor (1 year in prison) and a second offense becomes a felony (5 years in prison)
- Fleeing an officer
- Vehicular manslaughter
- Hit and run
- Excessive speeding
- Driving without a license or a suspended or revoked one
- Passing a school bus
Commercial drivers may face harsher penalties.
Civil Driving Offenses
On the other hand, civil driving offenses are far less serious and usually result in just a fine (ticket). Some examples of these types of crimes are:
- Illegal parking
- Faulty U-turn
- Failure to yield
- Tailgating (following too close)
- Running a red light or not stopping at a stop sign
State Department of Motor Vehicles Driving Statistics
The state of RI keeps track of driving data so they can formulate safety programs and decrease fatalities. Some interesting motor vehicle statistics for the state are:
- The highest number of driving fatalities in the state are between the ages of 45-64
- The Rhode Island motor vehicle fatality rate is lower than the national rate
- The Rhode Island injury rate is more variable than the national rate
- Rhode Island seatbelt usage is consistently less than the national average
Driver License Record Search Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some frequently asked questions about state driving records.
Who Can Get a Copy of Your Rhode Island Driving Report?
Anyone who has the correct information and complies with state and federal Driver Privacy Protection Act (DPPA) laws can get a copy of your driving record. Someone can do so online or visiting the DMV office.
Can I Use the Online Systems to Get BMV Records?
Yes. The DMV website online system is a fast, easy way for someone to view their own record and quickly print a copy.
What Information Do I Need to Get a Motor Vehicle Report (MVR)?
When ordering a copy of your own record, you will need your full name, date of birth, zip code (that matches your license), and your driver's license number.
Does the State Use a Points System?
No. The state does not use a point system for driving infractions. Instead, they use driving reports to allow the user to keep track of their own offenses. You must keep track of your own good driving record.
Helpful State Driving Record Links
Below are some helpful state driving record links.
Disclaimer: The materials presented here are for informational purposes only. The information is taken from state and local resources, and is current as of the most recent site update. Changes made by state and local departments and agencies after our latest update may render some information and fees outdated, and may cause links to break and forms to be unavailable. Infotracer strongly encourages you to visit the relevant state and local resources to ensure you have the most recent information.