Getting a Driver’s License in RI? Here’s How

After your arrival at your host family home, you should receive a “Welcome Call” from me, Joan Lowell, or your Go Au Pair Local Area Representative. Within the first couple of weeks, your LAR will visit you and your host family to review the program guidelines and check on you in your new home. After you settle in for a week or two, you will go get your social security number (see my last post). Now you are ready to get a driver’s license.

The State of Rhode Island does recognize your license issued in your home country or an International Driver’s Permit, which is a translation of your license from your home country, for a period of 12 months from its issuance. That means you really do not have to get a state-issued driver’s license until your second year, but I still recommend you get it, as it will give your host family, and you, more confidence in your driving skill. If you or your host family decide you do need to get your license (during your second year, for example), visit the RI Division of Motor Vehicles website for up-to-date information about obtaining your license.

In Rhode Island, you will have to first take a written exam at the registry building (on the computer) and pass a simple eye exam. In order to properly prepare yourself for the written exam, study the RI Driver’s Manual (available in English and Spanish) before attempting the test. When you go to the Division of Motor Vehicles, take the following items with you:

1) Passport
2) I-94 Card
3) DS-2019
4) Valid Social Security Card
5) Written confirmation that you are a participant in the Au Pair Program which documents your Rhode Island address (your Welcome Package has a letter for the social security office; you can copy this to use).

Read the signs carefully when you enter so that you go in the right line and take the right ticket.

After you pass the written and eye exams, you will receive your permit, which gives you some limited permission to drive. You will then be given a date for your “on the road” test, which you will do with your host family’s care you plan to use. While you are waiting to take the over the road portion of your test, it is important to get as much practice as possible with an experienced driver sitting in the passenger seat giving you tips and pointers. This will get you used to driving with an adult passenger who is critiquing your driving skill, which is what the instructor will do.

I made a video with the Au Pair Sis giving au pairs advice on how to become more confident driving in America. See my advice

Good luck and as always, contact me with your questions anytime. I can be reached at 401.309.1925 or

ap in car with boy2


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s