RI Insurance Requirements
The financial responsibility laws in the state of Rhode Island require every driver and vehicle owner to be financially responsible in case of an accident. The most practical way to do this is to purchase liability insurance on your vehicles. The minimum coverage required by the state is as follows:
- $25,000 for Bodily Injury Liability person
- $50,000 for Bodily Injury Liability for all persons in an accident
- $25,00 for Property Damage Liability
These limits are the Rhode Island state minimums. Drivers can have higher limits and additional coverage, such as physical damage coverage for their vehicle, medical payments coverage, and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
Drivers must carry proof of insurance and present it to any law enforcement officer if they stop you for a traffic violation or if you have been involved in an accident where injury or damage has occurred. A valid insurance ID card must be presented to provide proof of insurance coverage. If the insurance policy has lapsed or the driver does not have insurance, the Rhode Island Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will suspend the driver’s privileges until proof of insurance is received.
The state of Rhode Island follows a Tort system for settling losses caused by an auto accident. This means that in the case of an accident, someone must be at fault. The person who is at fault is responsible for injuries and damages caused by the accident and must pay for all the damages and injuries to the other party. This is usually handled by ones insurance company. Because Rhode Island is a Tort state it is usually recommended by insurance companies that the driver carry higher insurance limits than the state minimums.
RI SR22 Requirements
Violations such as reckless driving, driving under the influence (DUI), refusing to test when asked by law enforcement, at fault accidents or driving without insurance could cause you to have to file an SR 22 as proof of financial responsibility.
It is against the law in Rhode Island to operate a vehicle if the driver has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. The limits are less for drivers under the age of 21 and commercial drivers. The DUI laws in Rhode Island also include driving under the influence of controlled substances such as marijuana, cocaine, inhalants and other drugs.
Penalties for a first time DUI offense in the state of Rhode Island are as follows:
- Up to 1 year in jail and/or
- 10 to 60 hours of community service
- A fine of from $100 to $300 for BAC of .08
- A fine of from $100 to $400 for BAC up to .15
- A fine of $500 for BAC which is higher than .15
- A highway assessment fee of $500
- License suspension from 30 to 180 days for BAC of .08
- License suspension from 3 months to 12 months for BAC up to .15
- License suspension from 3 months to 18 months for BAC which is higher than .15
- · Attend a special course about driving while intoxicated
Rhode Island has an implied consent law that means that you agree to submit to a chemical test of your breath, urine or blood if a law enforcement officer suspects that you are driving under the influence. If you refuse to submit to the test, your license will be suspended immediately for 90 days. There could be additional fines and penalties applied by the court.
The information contained in the above article is intended as informational and does not constitute legal or insurance advice. Insurance requirements in the State of Rhode Island are subject to change. If you have questions or want more information visit the Rhode Island Division of Insurance at http://www.dbr.state.ri.us/divisions/insurance/
or the Rhode Island Division of Motor Vehicles at http://www.dmv.ri.gov/
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