Q: I have a friend, a former Rhode Islander, who now lives in Germany. She has a Rhode Island driver's license from earlier days living in R.I.
She visits her children in the U.S. a couple of times each year. Her license is up for renewal, which she wants to renew. How can she renew her license without a permanent R.I. address?
— Emilio I.
A: Only residents of Rhode Island can renew their driver license or state identification card. Examples of what can be used for “Proof of Residency” can be found on our “Checklist for Licenses and ID Cards.” This checklist can be found on our website (www.dmv.ri.gov) in the “Forms/Checklist” tab.
Documents such as a current utility bill (within the past 60 days), property tax bill from the immediate preceding year or a personal check/bank statement (within the past 60 days) are examples of what can be used to prove residency. There are several more documents listed that are allowed as proof.
People with a foreign license are allowed to use that license for driving for one year from their date of entry into the United States. If the license is in a foreign language, it should be translated into English.
Q: I would like to have my plates remade. I have the wave plate but would like to have the sailboat plate. I'm confused on the application, which states $47.50 for an initial order of the sailboat plate. So, would I pay the $47.50 for the sailboat remake or $32.50 since the plates are a remake?
— Linda T.
A: If you are getting the sailboat plate for the first time, then the fee would be $47.50. If you are remaking the sailboat plate because you already have it and want a newer and cleaner version, then the fee for the remake will be $32.50.
Sailboat plates are known as the “Alternative Design Plates,” RIGL 31-3-60, and came about in 1991 and were on vehicles the following year.
This plate is only available in Passenger and Commercial plate types. Residents who have this plate should check their Registration Certificate to make sure it indicates sailboat in the Plate Design section of their certificate. If it indicates another design — such as wave or Plum Beach Lighthouse — please use the “Feedback & Questions” tab that is on the right hand side of our website (dmv.ri.gov) to let us know.
If you’re able to include a photo, that would be helpful but not necessary. We will correct the plate design and resend you a new registration certificate with the correct plate design.
Chuck Hollis is assistant administrator of the Rhode Island Division of Motor Vehicles. Please email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Ask the DMV” in the subject field.
This article originally appeared on The Providence Journal: Can a RI license be renewed without a Rhode Island address? DMV answer