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Motorcycle Laws in Rhode Island


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This page will answer the most common questions we receive about motorcycle laws and licensing requirements in  Rhode Island.

Continue reading to find your answer and follow links to explore some of these topics in greater depth. 

Motorcycle Helmet Law in Rhode Island

Motorcycle helmets are required for riders under 21 years old.

Additionally, eye protection like a face shield or goggles is also required unless the motorcycle has a windshield.

A motorcycle helmet is one of the most important pieces of safety equipment. Wearing one can greatly reduce your chances of being seriously injured or killed if you are involved in a motorcycle crash

Read more about motorcycle helmet laws and safety.

Rhode Island Motorcycle Noise Restrictions & Exhaust Requirements

A proper muffler is required and cannot produce excessive noise or excessive smoke.

Noise restrictions may be enforced by local law enforcement or during periodic inspections. 

Local jurisdictions may have their own ordinances regarding motorcycle noise limits.

Motorcycle Safety Inspections and Equipment Requirements

Period safety and equipment inspections for motorcycles in Rhode Island are performed with each registration period.

Some of the equipment requirements for Rhode Island motorcycles include:

  • Rearview mirror on the left.
  • Fenders on both front and rear wheels.
  • Handlebar maximum height of 15” above the seat.

Motorcycle Passenger Laws in Rhode Island

There are no passenger restrictions for motorcycles in Rhode Island.

Whenever you ride with a passenger:

  • Be sure to give them instructions on what they’ll need to do. 
  • Make sure they can comfortably reach the passenger handholds and footrests. 
  • Make sure that they are wearing all of the necessary motorcycle safety equipment.

Learn more about riding with passengers on your motorcycle.

Requirements for Daytime Running Lights for Motorcycles in Rhode Island

Using daytime headlights is not required for motorcycles in Rhode Island.

Using headlights during the day can help to increase your visibility to other drivers. 

This is a smart thing to do regardless of whether the law requires it. 

Rhode Island Lane Splitting Laws

Lane splitting is illegal in Rhode Island.

There are some nuances to lane splitting, lane filtering, and lane sharing. 

Learn more about lane splitting.

Motorcycle Title Laws & VIN Verifications

The state of Rhode Island issues titles to all motorcycles, except bikes that are model year 2000 or older.

VIN verifications are performed when registering an out-of-state motorcycle.

If you buy a motorcycle without a title or are moving from a state that doesn’t issue titles, the registration documents and the Bill of Sale should serve as proof of ownership.

Learn more about motorcycle registration and title requirements in Rhode Island.

Find some helpful tips for when you buy a motorcycle.

Minimum Motorcycle Insurance Coverage in Rhode Island

Motorcycle insurance is required in Rhode Island, the minimum coverage limits are:

  • $25,000 bodily injury coverage per person.
  • $50,000 bodily injury coverage per accident.
  • $25,000 property damage coverage per accident. 

Remember, the minimum liability requirements kick in during the event of a collision with another vehicle. If you need more coverage for things like theft, single vehicle collisions, and other types of damage you’ll need to get a policy with comprehensive and collision coverage as well. 

Compare quotes for free, and find cheaper motorcycle insurance

Learn more about motorcycle insurance in Rhode Island.

Motorcycle Safety Course Requirements & Details

An approved motorcycle safety course is required to get a motorcycle license in Rhode Island.

Completing the course will waive the requirements for the skills test and written exam.

A motorcycle safety course is a great way to get familiar with the basics of riding, learn about the most important motorcycle laws, and become a safer, smarter rider. No riding experience is necessary to complete a course.  

Learn more about motorcycle safety courses and Basic Rider Training programs.

Is a Driver’s License Required to get a Motorcycle Endorsement in Rhode Island?

Before you get a Rhode Island motorcycle license, you will need to already have a standard driver’s license. 

Motorcycle Permit & Licensing Requirements in Rhode Island

A motorcycle instruction permit is not required.

Learn how to get a motorcycle license in Rhode Island.

Rhode Island Motorcycle License Age Requirements

The minimum age to begin the Rhode Island motorcycle licensing process is 16 years old.

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