According to Rhode Island state law, a motorcycle is defined as a “motor vehicle having not more than three (3) wheels in contact with the ground and a saddle on which the driver sits astride, except bicycles with helper motors.” Individuals seeking to operate a motorcycle in the state of Rhode Island will need to secure an (H) restriction on either their operator’s license or commercial driver’s license. To receive this endorsement, applicants must pass a motorcycle driving course and properly apply for a motorcycle permit. Eligible applicants must be at least 16 years old. If under 18, parental consent is required to obtain a permit. After holding a motorcycle permit for 30 days, individuals may apply for their full license endorsement. All operators must also ensure they meet the required motorcycle insurance laws.
Motorcycle License Requirements
- At least 16 years of age
- Parental consent if under 18
- Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) motorcycle safety certificate
- LI-1 form
- Valid Rhode Island operator’s license or commercial driver’s license
- Fee of $26.50
- Written examination
- Vision test
- Road test
If an applicant already holds a motorcycle license in another state, they can have their endorsement transferred to their Rhode Island driver’s license without the need retake any examinations or meet additional education requirements.
Motorcyclists in Rhode Island are required to demonstrate proof of financial responsibility for the future. The minimum motorcycle insurance requirements are 25/50/25. This is $25,000 in bodily injury coverage for injuries or death occurring to a single individual in an accident, $50,000 in bodily injury coverage for injuries or death occurring to multiple individuals in an accident, and $25,000 in property damage coverage. Proof of financial responsibility is required to register a vehicle and must be carried with you at all times while operating the vehicle. In terms of obtaining motorcycle insurance, RI has three methods of demonstrating proof of financial responsibility:
- Buy insurance — Individuals can purchase the required or desired motorcycle insurance policy from an insurance broker or agent. This will require the payment of a premium, usually split into monthly sums.
- Bond as proof — Individuals can secure a bond from a surety company within the state. This requires an individual to leverage cash or real estate as proof of financial responsibility.
- Money or securities as proof — An individual can demonstrate proof of financial responsibility by making a deposit of $60,000 in either cash or securities.
When seeking a motorcycle insurance estimate, keep in mind rates are influenced by a number of factors. Most motorcycle insurance companies take into consideration your age, gender, location, marital status, driving record, and the type of vehicle you operate when calculating motorcycle insurance cost for each customer. Another thing to consider is how many miles a day you typically travel because the more you travel, the more likely you are to have an accident. Typically, a young, unmarried male will have a high motorcycle insurance premium because he is considered part of a high-risk demographic. In addition, if you have a history of traffic tickets or accidents, you can expect your premiums to be higher. Motorcycle insurance coverage is often more expensive than standard car insurance because of the increased risk of injury in the case of an accident.
It is important to understand and obey state traffic laws while operating a motor vehicle of any kind. Motorcyclists run the risk of receiving traffic tickets, increasing their insurance rates, and even losing their license if they fail to comply with state traffic laws. Some important laws for Rhode Island are listed below:
- Eye protection as approved by the administrator of the division of motor vehicles is required.
- Helmets are required for operators under the age of 21.
- Rear view mirrors are required on all motorcycles, motor scooters, and motor-driven cycles.
- Handlebars on a motorcycle may not exceed 15 inches in height above the uppermost portion of the seat when depressed by the weight of the operator.
- Passengers must have their own separate seat, foot-rest, and handlebar or grip.
- Passengers must wear a helmet.
- Certificate of inspection must be displayed for all motorcycles on the road.