Rhode Island Military and Veteran Benefits
Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Benefits
Health Insurance Benefits
Parks and Recreation Benefits
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Facilities in Rhode Island
Rhode Island Military Resource Locator
Summary of Rhode Island Military and Veterans Benefits: Rhode Island offers special benefits for Service members, Veterans and their Families including Veterans employment preference, property tax exemptions, education assistance and scholarships as well as special vehicle license plates. Eligibility for some benefits may depend on residency, military component, and Veteran disability status.
Rhode Island Office of Veterans Services Assistance: The Rhode Island Office of Veterans Services has an online contact form for Veterans and their Family members to request assistance regarding benefits under federal, state, and local laws.
RIVets Online Contact Page
Rhode Island State Benefit Highlights and Eligibility
Rhode Island Taxes on Military Retired Pay: Beginning January 1, 2023, military retired pay is exempt from Rhode Island personal income tax.
Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) does not withhold taxes for state or local income tax, but it is reported annually on IRS Form 1099-R. All TSP distributions are subject to state taxes and early distributions may incur higher taxes.
Rhode Island Taxes on Military Pay: Military pay received by a resident Service member follows federal tax rules and is subject to Rhode Island income tax.
Rhode Island Taxes on U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Military Disability Retirement Pay: Military Disability Retirement Pay received as a pension, annuity or similar allowance for personal injury or sickness resulting from active service in the U.S. Armed Forces should not be included in taxable income. Some payments considered disability benefits include:
- Disability compensation and pension payments for disabilities paid either to Veterans or their Families
- Grants for homes designed for wheelchair living
- Grants for motor vehicles for Veterans who lost their sight or the use of their limbs, or
- Benefits under a dependent-care assistance program
See IRS Publication 525 for more information.
Rhode Island Taxes on U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Disability Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC): DIC is a tax-free monetary benefit paid to eligible survivors of Service members who died in the line of duty or eligible survivors of Veterans whose death resulted from a service-connected injury or disease.
Rhode Island State Taxes on Military Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP)/ Reserve Component Survivor Benefit Plan (RCSBP)/ Retired Serviceman’s Family Protection Plan (RSFPP): SBP, RCSBP and RSFPP are taxed in Rhode Island.
Rhode Island does offer a retirement pension tax deduction of up to $15,000, this amount increases to $20,000 for the 2023 tax year. Surviving Spouses must meet the following requirements to be eligible:
- 65 years old or older
- Receive a federally taxable pension or annuity
- Have an adjusted gross income of $ $119,750 or less
In addition, Surviving Spouses who are 65 or older and have an adjusted gross income of less than $25,000 can receive a 2% tax credit, up to a maximum of $500. This credit can only be claimed once.
Rhode Island General Laws 44-30-26
Rhode Island Personal Income Tax Guide, Modifications for Income from Pensions, 401(K) Plans, Annuities, and Other Such Sources
Rhode Island Nonresident State Tax Exemption: Military pay received by a nonresident Service member stationed in Rhode Island is not subject to Rhode Island income tax. If the Service member holds a separate job, income received from that job is subject to Rhode Island income tax.
Income earned in Rhode Island by a nonresident Spouse of a nonresident Service member stationed in Rhode Island is also exempt from state income taxes. Spouses are only eligible if they are in Rhode Island because their Service member Spouse is stationed there.
Rhode Island Property Tax Exemptions: Property taxes are assessed by local municipalities, each with their own forms, regulations and exemption amounts. Exemptions can be claimed for a resident’s real estate tax bill or on their motor vehicle tax bill. To qualify, appropriate documentation is required by the municipality at the time of application.
Please contact the local tax assessor for exemption amounts, eligibility and documentation requirements.
Rhode Island City and Town Directory
- Rhode Island General Laws 44-3-4 - Veterans Exemptions by county
- Rhode Island General Laws 44-3-5 – Gold Star Parents’ Exemption
- Rhode Island General Laws 44-3-24 - Reevaluation of Real Property
Rhode Island National Guard State Tuition Assistance Program (STAP): STAP provides a tuition waiver for Rhode Island National Guard Service members who are attending the Community College of Rhode Island, Rhode Island College, or the University of Rhode Island. Service members must pay for books and any required fees.
- Waives tuition for up to five classes per semester (fall or spring)
- May be used in conjunction with VA educational assistance
Who is eligible for STAP? To be eligible Service members must meet the following requirements:
- Rhode Island National Guard Service member pursuing an associate, bachelor’s, or master’s degree
- Must be in good standing and not be flagged for adverse action
- Must have one-year military commitment at end of the semester for every 12 credits
- Discharge date must be after end of class date
For more information, contact the Rhode Island National Guard Education Office:
Rhode Island National Guard Education Office
Joint Force Headquarters
645 New London Avenue
Cranston, RI 02920
Rhode Island National Guard State Tuition Exemption Program (STEP): STEP provides one tuition free course per summer semester from the Community College of Rhode Island, Rhode Island College, or the University of Rhode Island for Rhode Island National Guard Service members. STEP can be used with VA educational benefits.
Service members can take four classes per enlistment and are eligible for four more for every year they extend their enlistment.
Who is eligible for STEP? This program is available to Rhode Island National Guard Service members who are pursuing a certification, an associate, bachelor’s or master's degree.
For more information, contact the Rhode Island National Guard Education Office:
Rhode Island National Guard Education Office
Joint Force Headquarters
645 New London Avenue
Cranston, RI 02920
Free Tuition for Surviving Spouse and Children of Deceased Rhode Island National Guard Service Members: Rhode Island will pay the tuition at a state supported college or university for a Surviving Spouse or Child of a Rhode Island National Guard Service member who died in the line of duty. This financial assistance only applies to tuition and may be used for up to four years.
Who is eligible for Free Tuition for Surviving Spouse and Children of Deceased Rhode Island National Guard Service Members? The Surviving Spouse and Children (between 16–21 years old) of a Rhode Island National Guard Service member who died in the line of duty are eligible. Students should contact the school’s financial aid office for more information and how to apply.
Rhode Island Higher Educational Institutions Information
Rhode Island Disabled Veterans Tuition Waiver: Rhode Island resident Veterans who have a service-connected disability rating from the VA of 10% or more are eligible for a tuition waiver at Rhode Island public institution of higher learning. This waiver only covers tuition and does not pay any required fees or the cost of books.
Veterans must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) before applying and is required to provide a recent copy of documentation from the VA as proof of their disability. Any scholarships or grants the Veteran is eligible for is applied toward the cost of tuition first and will reduce the amount of the Veteran’s Tuition Waiver. Students should contact the school’s financial aid office for more information and how to apply.
Rhode Island General Laws 30-30.1-1
Rhode Island Higher Educational Institutions Information
Rhode Island Residency for Tuition Purposes for Service Members, Veterans and Eligible Dependents: Active duty Service members, their dependents and eligible Veterans can receive in-state tuition rates at the Community College of Rhode Island, Rhode Island College, or the University of Rhode Island.
Who is eligible for Rhode Island Residency for Tuition Purposes for Service Members, Veterans and Eligible Dependents? The following individuals are eligible for in-state tuition regardless of their state residency:
- Service members serving in the U.S. Armed Forces who were on active duty for 30 or more days, their Spouse, and dependents
- Veterans discharged from active duty service in the U.S. Armed Forces after less than 30 days due to a service-connected injury
- Students living in Rhode Island using transferred VA education benefits or Fry Scholarship recipients
For more information, please call 401-736-1164.
Rhode Island Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children (MIC3): The purpose of this compact is to remove barriers to educational success imposed on Children of military Families due to frequent moves and deployment of their parents by:
- Facilitating the prompt enrollment of Children of military Families and ensuring that they are not placed at a disadvantage due to difficulty in the transfer of educational records from the previous school district or variations in entrance or age requirements
- Facilitating the student placement process through which Children of military Families are not disadvantaged by variations in attendance requirements, scheduling, sequencing, grading, course content or assessment
- Facilitating the qualification and eligibility for enrollment, educational programs, and participation in extracurricular academic, athletic and social activities
- Facilitating the on-time graduation of Children of military Families
- Providing for the enforcement of administrative rules implementing the provisions of this compact
- Providing for the uniform collection and sharing of information between and among member states, schools and military Families under this compact
- Promoting coordination between this compact and other compacts affecting military Children
- Promoting flexibility and cooperation between the educational system, parents and the student in order to achieve educational success for the student
Primary Point of Contact
Rhode Island Employee Leave for Military Duty: All Rhode Island employers must grant leave for National Guard and U.S. Armed Forces Reserves Service members when ordered to military training or duty.
Who is eligible for Rhode Island Employee Leave for Military Duty? Employees on orders for training or active duty with the National Guard or the U.S. Armed Forces Reserves are eligible for leave for military duty.
Rhode Island General Laws 30-11-6
Rhode Island State Employee Differential Pay During Military Duty: State employees who are Service members serving in the National Guard, or the U.S. Armed Forces Reserves are eligible for differential pay. Differential pay is paid to offset the difference between the employee’s state base pay and the pay received while serving on federal active duty.
Who is eligible for Rhode Island Employees Leave for Military Duty? State employees serving in the National Guard or U.S. Armed Forces Reserves and are called up for federal active duty are eligible for differential pay for one year.
Rhode Island Military Family Leave: Companies must provide unpaid Family military leave to an employee during the time federal or state activation orders are in effect. The amount of leave depends on the size of the employer:
- Employers with 51 or more employees must allow employees to take up to 30 days of leave
- Employers with 15 to 50 employees must allow employees to take up to 15 days of leave.
Who is eligible for Rhode Island Military Family Leave? The Spouse or parent of a Service member called to state or federal active duty lasting longer than 30 days is eligible.
Rhode Island Civil Service Veterans Hiring Preference: Rhode Island offers a Veteran hiring preference for Veterans applying for competitive state employment. Preference is given by adding points to passing civil service entrance exam scores.
Veterans are awarded the following:
- Veterans receive 5-point credit
- Disabled wartime Veterans receive 10-point credit
Who is eligible for Rhode Island Civil Service Veterans Hiring Preference? Veterans must meet one of the following requirements to be eligible for Veteran’s preference:
- Served 30 or more days on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces and received a discharge other than dishonorable
- Served less than 30 days on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces and was discharged due to a service-connected disability
- Retired from the National Guard or U.S. Armed Forces Reserves after 20 or more years of service
Disabled Veterans must meet the following requirements:
- Was awarded a campaign ribbon or expeditionary medal earned in a conflict, war, undeclared war, or contingency operation, and
- Received an Honorable or General discharge, and
- Was awarded a service-connected disability rating from the VA
Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training (DLT) Career Centers, Veteran Services: DLT Career Centers offer specialized assistance and "Priority of Service" to eligible Veterans and their Spouse.
Priority of service gives eligible individuals preference over others for Workforce Investment Act employment, training, and placement services. This includes providing first access to services when offered for a limited time and giving preferred registration in limited enrollment situations.
Some of the services offered include:
- Job search assistance and access to online job listings
- Career counseling
- Coaching on job search skills
- Workshops on a variety of job search strategies
- Access to resources (computers, reference materials, resume building software, and economic data)
- Networking groups
Who is eligible for DLT Career Centers, Veteran Services? Eligible Veterans include those who have served in an active or reserve component of the U.S. Armed Forces and were discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable.
Also eligible are Spouses of Veterans who:
- Died as a result of a service-connected disability
- Are totally disabled as a result of a service-connected disability
- Service members who are listed as missing in action, captured, or forcibly detained for more than 90 days
For more information contact the Veterans Service Coordinator at 401-462-4131.
Rhode Island Office of Veterans Services, DLT Career Centers, Veteran Services Fact Sheet
DLT Career Center Directory
Federal Employment Veteran’s Hiring Preferences: By Federal law, Veterans who are disabled or who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces during certain specified time periods or in military campaigns are entitled to preference over non-Veterans in hiring into the Federal civil service and in retention during reduction in force. Veterans may be entitled to 5 or 10 points included in any scoring process for examination or interviews.
5-point Hiring Preference: Five points are added to the examination score or rating of a Veteran who served:
- During a war, or
- During the period April 28, 1952, through July 1, 1955, or
- For more than 180 consecutive days, other than for training, any part of which occurred after January 31, 1955, and before October 15, 1976, or
- During the Gulf War from August 2, 1990, through January 2, 1992, or
- For more than 180 consecutive days, other than for training, any part of which occurred during the period beginning September 11, 2001, and ending on August 31, 2010, the last day of Operation Iraqi Freedom, or
- In a campaign or expedition for which a campaign medal has been authorized. Any Armed Forces Expeditionary medal or campaign badge, including El Salvador, Lebanon, Grenada, Panama, Southwest Asia, Somalia, and Haiti, qualifies for preference
10-point Compensable Disability (CP) Preference: Ten points are added to the examination score or rating of a Veteran who served at any time and who has a compensable service-connected disability rating of at least 10% but less than 30%.
10-Point 30% Compensable Disability Preference (CPS): Ten points are added to the passing examination score or rating of a Veteran who served at any time and who has a compensable service-connected disability rating of 30% or more.
10-Point Disability Preference (XP): Ten points are added to the passing examination score or rating of:
- A Veteran who served at any time and has a present service-connected disability or is receiving compensation, disability retirement benefits, or pension from the military or the VA but does not qualify as a CP or CPS, or
- A Veteran who received a Purple Heart
10-Point Derived Preference (XP): Ten points are added to the passing examination score or rating of Spouses, Surviving Spouses, or mothers of Veterans. Both a mother and a Spouse (including Surviving Spouse) may be entitled to preference based on the same Veteran's service if they both meet the requirements. However, neither may receive preference if the Veteran is living and is qualified for Federal employment.
Ten points are added to the passing examination score or rating of the Spouse of a disabled Veteran who is disqualified for a federal position along the general lines of their usual occupation because of a service-connected disability. Such a disqualification may be presumed when the Veteran is unemployed and:
- Is rated by appropriate military or VA authorities to be 100% disabled and/or unemployable, or
- Has retired, been separated, or resigned from a civil service position because of a disability that is service-connected in origin, or
- Has attempted to obtain a civil service position or other position along the lines of their usual occupation and has failed to qualify because of a service-connected disability
Preference may be allowed in other circumstances but anything less than the above warrants a more careful analysis.
A campaign medal holder or Gulf War Veteran who originally enlisted after September 7, 1980, (or began active duty on or after October 14, 1982, and has not previously completed 24 months of continuous active duty) must have served continuously for 24 months or the full period called or ordered to active duty. The 24-month service requirement does not apply to 10-point preference eligible Veterans separated for disability incurred or aggravated in the line of duty, or to Veterans separated for hardship or other reasons under Title 10 U.S.C. 1171 or 1173.
Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA): USERRA protects civilian job rights and benefits for Veterans and members of reserve components. USERRA also protects Service member rights and benefits by clarifying the law, improving enforcement mechanisms, and adding Federal Government employees to those employees already eligible to receive Department of Labor assistance in processing claims.
Absence from Work for Military Duty: USERRA establishes the cumulative length of time that an individual may be absent from work for military duty and retain reemployment rights to five years. Exceptions to the five-year limit, including initial enlistments lasting more than five years, periodic National Guard and U.S. Armed Forces Reserve training duty, and involuntary active duty extensions and recalls, especially during a time of national emergency. USERRA establishes that reemployment protection does not depend on the timing, frequency, duration, or nature of an individual's service if basic eligibility criteria are met.
Disability Accommodation: USERRA provides protection for disabled Veterans, requiring employers to make reasonable efforts to accommodate the disability. Service members recovering from injuries received during service or training may have up to two years from the date of completion of service to return to their jobs or apply for reemployment.
Return to Work without Loss of Seniority: USERRA provides that returning Service members are reemployed in the job that they would have attained had they not been absent for military service, with the same seniority, status and pay, as well as other rights and benefits determined by seniority. USERRA also requires that reasonable efforts (such as training or retraining) be made to enable returning Service members to refresh or upgrade their skills to help them qualify for reemployment. USERRA also provides that while an individual is performing military service, they are deemed to be on a furlough or leave of absence and are entitled to the non-seniority rights accorded other individuals on non-military leaves of absence.
Extension of Health and Pension Plans: Health and pension plan coverage for Service members is provided for by USERRA. Individuals performing military duty of more than 30 days may elect to continue employer sponsored health care for up to 24 months; however, they may be required to pay up to 102% of the full premium. For military service of less than 31 days, health care coverage is provided as if the Service member had remained employed. USERRA clarifies pension plan coverage by making explicit that all pension plans are protected.
Who is eligible for USERRA benefits? Veterans, U.S. Armed Forces Reserve or National Guard Service members who leave a position for training or active military service are eligible.
The Department of Labor, through the Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS), helps all individuals who have a claim under USERRA, including Federal and Postal Service employees.
VETS Regional Office Locations
Rhode Island Unemployment Compensation for Ex-Service Members (UCX) Program: Service members separating from active duty service in the U.S. Armed Forces may qualify for unemployment compensation if they cannot find a job. The UCX program provides benefits under a program administered by the state for the federal government. VA benefits do not affect UCX benefits, but military retired pay reduces UCX benefits dollar for dollar.
Who is eligible for the Rhode Island UCX Program? To be eligible Service members must have served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces and received an honorable discharge.
Rhode Island Unemployment Insurance (UI): Rhode Island's Department of Labor and Training administers the UI program that provides temporary financial assistance for workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own. UI is a partial, short-term replacement of lost wages while workers are seeking other work and is not intended to be a permanent source of income.
Employers pay all costs of the UI program. The amount of benefits applicants may be eligible for is determined by the amount of work they performed and wages they earned during the 18 months prior to filing the claim.
Applicants will need to provide the following information to file an initial claim:
- Driver's license or state-issued ID number
- Names, addresses, phone numbers, and dates of employment for all employers in the last 18 months
- Rate of pay and income from each employer
- Name and local number of labor union or hiring hall (if applicable)
- Alien registration number (A-number), if not a U.S. citizen
- DD214 if a former Service member in the past 18 months
- SF8 or SF50 If a former federal employee in the past 18 months
- Names, Social Security numbers and dates of birth for all dependent Children (if applicable)
Applicants can file a claim online using the Rhode Island UI Online Claims System or by telephone at 401-415-6772 (866-557-0001 for out of state applicants).
Rhode Island UI Frequently Asked Questions
Rhode Island Guide to Filing an Unemployment Claim
Rhode Island Veteran Designation on Driver’s License or ID Card: Rhode Island offers a free Veteran or Disabled Veteran designation on Rhode Island driver’s licenses and ID cards.
Who is eligible for Rhode Island Veteran Designation on License or ID Card? Veterans who received an honorable discharge from the U.S. Armed Forces are eligible for the Veterans designation.
Disabled Veterans who received an honorable discharge and have a service-connected, 100% disability rating from the VA are eligible for the Disabled Veteran designation.
Veterans are required to complete the Rhode Island Division of Motor Vehicles, Veteran Designation on a License or ID Card Application, or the Rhode Island Division of Motor Vehicles, Application for License, ID Card or Permit and provide a copy of their DD214, or other proof they received an honorable discharge. Disabled Veterans will also be required to provide certification from the Providence VA Regional Office Rhode as proof of eligibility for the Disabled Veteran designation. Veterans can apply at any Rhode Island Division of Motor Vehicle Locations .
Rhode Island Special Operator’s License for Active Duty Service Members: Rhode Island resident Service members serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces are eligible for a Special Operator’s license that does not expire until 30 days after they are discharged.
Service members can apply for the Special Operator’s license at any Rhode Island Division of Motor Vehicle Locations. Service members are required to complete the Rhode Island Division of Motor Vehicles, Application for License, ID Card or Permit and provide official documentation as proof they are serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces (military ID, orders, etc.).
Rhode Island Commercial Driver License (CDL) Military Skills Test Waiver: Rhode Island offers a CDL skills test waiver to Service members and former Service members based on their military training and experience.
Service members who are currently licensed and served within the past year in a position in the U.S. Armed Forces that required them to operate a military motor vehicle equivalent to a Commercial Motor Vehicle are eligible. CDL knowledge tests cannot be waived. Transfer of school bus and passenger endorsements are prohibited.
Applicants must also meet the following requirements:
- Not had more than one license (except for a military license) in the past two years
- Not had any license suspended, revoked, or cancelled in the past two years
- Not had any convictions for any type of motor vehicle for the disqualifying offenses (listed on the application)
- Not had more than one conviction for any type of motor vehicle for serious traffic violations (listed on the application)
- Have not had had any conviction for a violation of military, state or local laws relating to motor vehicle traffic control (other than a parking violation) as a result of a traffic accident and has no record of an accident in which they were at fault.
Applicants can submit a completed Rhode Island Division of Motor Vehicles, Application for Military Skills Test Waiver (including certification by their commanding officer) at any Rhode Island Division of Motor Vehicle Office Locations.
Rhode Island Disabled Veteran Disability Parking Placard: Rhode Island offers a Disabled Veteran Parking Placard to Veterans who have a 100% service-connected disability rating from the VA.
Disabled Veterans are required to provide a War Related Disabled Declaration letter from the Providence VA Regional Office as proof of eligibility. Once the Veteran receives the War Related Disabled Declaration letter from the VA, they can send their letter and a completed Disability Parking Placard For Disabled Rhode Island Veterans application by fax to 401-462-0829, or by mail to:
Rhode Island Division of Motor Vehicles
Attn: Disability Parking Placard Office
600 New London Avenue
Cranston, RI 02920-3024
Free Rhode Island Vehicle Registration and Driver’s License for Disabled Veterans: Wartime Veterans with serious disabilities may be exempt from Rhode Island vehicle registration and driver’s license fees.
Who is eligible Free Rhode Island Vehicle Registration and Driver’s License for Disabled Veterans? To be eligible Veterans must have received an honorable discharge for service in the U.S. Armed Forces during a wartime period and meet one of the following requirements:
- Lost or lost the use, one or both of their arms, hands, feet, or legs
- Received a grant from the VA for a specially adapted vehicle
- Received a VA combined, service-connected disability rating of 100%
- Rated "individually unemployable" due to a service-connected disability
Rhode Island Military and Veteran License Plates: Rhode Island offers six distinctive military and Veteran license plates to honor the service and sacrifice of Veterans, retired Service members, Service members and Family members.
Applicants must provide proof of service (i.e., DD214) and a Rhode Island Division of Motor Vehicles, Application for Registration and Title Certificate Form to apply for military and Veteran License plates. Some license plates may require further documentation to verify eligibility. Costs are listed in the Rhode Island Division of Motor Vehicles Plate Fees webpage. Applicants must visit a Rhode Island Division of Motor Vehicles Office to apply.
Rhode Island Purple Heart License Plate: The Rhode Island Purple Heart license plate is available to recipients of the Purple Heart Medal. These plates may be used on private or commercial vehicles weighing 10,001 lbs. or less. There is no initial or renewal fees for this license plate. Only one set of plates is authorized. Plates may be transferred to the unremarried Surviving Spouse. If there is no Surviving Spouse, a Family member may keep one of the plates as a keepsake.
Veterans are required to provide a copy of their discharge papers (DD214 or other official proof of military service) as well as official documentation they received the Purple Heart.
Rhode Island General Laws 31-3-48
Rhode Island Veteran License Plate: The Rhode Island Veteran license plate is available to honorably discharged Veterans for use on private or commercial vehicles weighing 12,000 lbs. or less and motorcycles. Plates may be transferred to the unremarried Surviving Spouse. These license plates are now available with a waving flag design and will have the Veteran’s Branch of Service.
Veterans are required to provide a copy of their DD214, or other official documentation as proof they received an honorable discharge.
Rhode Island General Laws 31-3-53
Rhode Island Gold Star Family License Plate: The Rhode Island Gold Star Family license plates are available to the immediate Family members of a Service member who was killed in the line of duty under one of the following circumstances:
- While serving in war
- During a period of armed hostilities
- While engaged in military operations involving armed conflict with an opposing foreign force
- While serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in armed conflict when the U.S. is not a belligerent party against an opposing armed force
- Died as a result of an international terrorist attack
- While serving in a military operation outside the U.S. as part of a peacekeeping force
These plates may be used on private or commercial vehicles weighing 12,000 lbs. or less. Only one set of plates will be issued to an eligible Family member.
Who is eligible for the Rhode Island Gold Star Family License Plate? Applicants must meet the eligibility requirements for a Gold Star Lapel Button to be eligible for a Rhode Island Gold Star Family license plate. These Family members include:
- Parents, adoptive parents, or foster parents (in loco parentis)
- Surviving Spouse
- Child, adopted Child, stepchild or foster Child
- Sibling, half-sibling, adopted sibling or step-sibling
The Rhode Island Office of Veterans Services must certify eligibility. Applicants must mail a completed Gold Star Family Special Registration Plate Request for Certification Letter and a copy of the Department of Defense, Report of Casualty (DD1300), death notice of the Service member, or any other supporting documentation to:
Rhode Island Office of Veterans Services
Attention: Gold Star Family Special Registration Plate Certification
560 Jefferson Boulevard, Suite 206
Warwick, RI 02886-1371
If the applicant is not listed on the Report of Casualty, or death notice, other official documentation will be required to prove Family relationship to the deceased Service member.
Rhode Island General Laws 31-3-111
Rhode Island Disabled Veteran License Plate: The Rhode Island Disabled Veteran License plate is available to Veterans who have a 100% disability rating from the VA. These plates may be used on private or commercial vehicles weighing 6,300 lbs. or less.
There is no initial or renewal fees for this license plate. Only one set of plates is authorized. Plates may be transferred to the unremarried Surviving Spouse.
Veterans are required to provide a copy of their discharge papers (DD214 or other official proof of military service) and must request official documentation from the Providence VA Regional Benefits Office indicating they have a 100% disability rating before they apply.
Providence VA Regional Benefits Office
380 Westminster Street
Providence, RI 02903
Rhode Island National Guard State Sponsored Life Insurance (SSLI): SSLI offered through the National Guard Association of Rhode Island to Rhode Island National Guard Service members is made up of several voluntary group life policies that are designed to help meet the needs of National Guard Service members and their Families. Every member of the Rhode Island National Guard is covered with $1,000 SSLI at no cost to the Service member.
Key Benefits of the SSLI:
- Over $500,000 in coverage available through a combination of the SSLI plans
- Coverage available for Spouse and Children
- Rates do not go up when Service members separate from the National Guard
- Coverage 24 hours a day, 365 days a year
- No war or aviation exclusion
- Service members are eligible for $10,000 SSLI coverage at no cost for the first year of service in the Rhode Island National Guard (must enroll within 180 days of joining)
For more information, please call 800-633-8333.
National Guard SSLI Frequently Asked Questions
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Life Insurance: The VA provides life insurance benefits to Veterans, active and reserve component Service members and their Families to provide financial security given the extraordinary risks involved in military Service. The VA provides the following life insurance benefit programs:
- Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI)
- Veterans’ Group Life Insurance (VGLI)
- Family Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (FSGLI)
- Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance Traumatic Injury Protection Program (TSGLI)
- Service-Disabled Veterans’ Life Insurance (S-DVI)
- Veterans’ Mortgage Life Insurance (VMLI)
TRICARE Reserve Select Health Insurance: TRICARE Reserve Select is a premium-based plan, available worldwide for Selected Reserve, (U.S. Armed Forces Reserves and National Guard Service members) and their Families who meet the following qualifications:
- Not on active duty orders
- Not covered under the Transitional Assistance Management Program
- Not eligible for or enrolled in the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) program or currently covered under FEHB, either under their own eligibility or through a Family member.
The plan provides comprehensive health care coverage when a Service member is not activated and covered by active duty TRICARE benefits.
Rhode Island National Guard Medical Coverage and Compensation for Injury, Illness, Disability and Death Incurred on State Active Duty: Rhode Island National Guard Service members serving on state active duty who are injured, become ill, disabled or die in the line of duty are eligible for medical coverage and compensation under Rhode Island Workers’ Compensation Laws.
Rhode Island Worker's Compensation Laws, Title 28, Chapters 29 through 38
Who is eligible for Rhode Island National Guard Medical Coverage and Compensation for Injury, Illness, Disability and Death Incurred on State Active Duty? Rhode Island National Guard Service members serving on state active duty are eligible for medical coverage and compensation for injury, illness, disability, or death.
Rhode Island Hunting and Fishing Benefits for Service Members and Veterans: Rhode Island offers several hunting and fishing benefits to Service members and Veterans. A short description of each is listed below. Applicants are required to show documentation proving eligibility when they apply:
- Active Duty Service members – Military ID
- Veterans – DD214
- Disabled Veterans – VA Disability Certification Letter
Applicants can apply online at Rhode Island Outdoors, in person at the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, Office of Boating Registration and Licenses in Providence (Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.), at an Authorized In-Person Sales Agent, or they can mail applications to:
Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management
235 Promenade Street, Room 360
Providence, RI 02908
Extension of Rhode Island Hunting and Fishing Licenses for Members of the U.S. Armed Forces: If a Rhode Island resident has a valid hunting or fishing license when they join the U.S. Armed Forces it will remain valid until six months after their discharge.
Free Rhode Island Hunting and Fishing Licenses for 100% Disabled Veterans: A Veteran who has a 100% disability rating from the VA is eligible for free Rhode Island hunting and fishing licenses.
Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, Application for 100% Permanent Disability Fishing/Combination License
Nonresident Service Members can Purchase Rhode Island Hunting and Fishing Licenses for Resident Prices: Nonresident Service members can purchase hunting and fishing licenses at resident prices.
Free Rhode Island State Park Passes for 100% Disabled Veterans: Rhode Island offers the State Park Disability Pass for use at any state owned recreational facility to disabled Veterans who have a 100% service-connected disability rating from the VA.
The State Park Disability Pass authorizes free admission and parking but does not exempt the following:
- Licensing fees
- Camping fees
- Picnic table fees
- Specialized facility use fees
- Use of equestrian areas
- Performing art centers
- Game fields fees
- Mule shed fees
If the disabled Veteran cannot drive, the vehicle transporting the Veteran will not be charged.
Veterans must apply in person at the Rhode Island State Parks and Recreation Headquarters and are required to show official documentation (dated within the past year) from the VA that states they have a 100% service-connected disability.
Rhode Island State Parks and Recreation Headquarters
1100 Tower Hill Road
North Kingstown, RI 02852
Goddard Park Golf Course Fee Exemption for Totally Disabled Veterans: Rhode Island resident Veterans who have a 100% permanent and total, service-connected disability rating from the VA are exempt from paying any fees to play golf at the Goddard Park Golf Course. For more information call the Clubhouse at Goddard Memorial State Park from April 1st through the 3rd Saturday in November at 401-884-9834 or year-round at Division Headquarters at 401-667-6200.
Rhode Island City Housing Authorities' Veterans' Preference: Wartime disabled Veterans receive first placement preference when space is available in public housing for the elderly. In addition, some local housing authorities have additional policies for Veterans' preference for their housing programs.
- Veterans’ preference in local housing developments - Cranston, East Greenwich, East Providence, Woonsocket, Johnston (in elderly and disabled housing)
- Service-connected disabled Veterans’ preference - Burrillville (100% disability required), Bristol (in elderly housing), East Greenwich, Lincoln, Warren, Woonsocket
- Preference to Families of deceased Veterans - East Greenwich
The Housing Authority of the City of Pawtucket has 10 housing units allocated to chronically homeless applicants. Disabled Veterans and Veterans who served in World War II or before are given preference.
Who is eligible for Rhode Island City Housing Authorities' Veterans' Preference? For the state elderly placement preference, Veterans must have been disabled while serving in war or conflict. Veterans must have been discharged under other than dishonorable conditions. Veterans must meet all other eligibility requirements for the housing project.
For more information, applicants should contact the local housing authority in their city or town.
Rhode Island Housing Authority Office Directory
Rhode Island General Laws 45-25-18.10
Rhode Island General Laws 45-26-12
Rhode Island Bus Pass Program for Disabled Veterans: The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority Bus Pass Program offers No-Fare and Half-Fare Bus Passes for eligible Veterans.
The No-Fare Bus Pass is offered to low-income Veterans and authorizes free rides on all fixed routes. Half-Fare Bus Passes are offered to eligible disabled Veterans and authorizes half price fares during off-peak hours and full fare prices during peak hours on all fixed route service.
Who is eligible for the Rhode Island Bus Pass Program for Disabled Veterans? Veterans must meet the following requirements to be eligible:
- Half-Fare Bus Pass – Veterans who have a 70% or higher disability rating from the VA
- No-Fare Bus Pass - Veteran’s income must be below 200% of Federal Poverty levels
Eligible Veterans will be issued a Bus Pass ID Card for $25 that is valid for five years. Veterans should apply at the Kennedy Plaza Ticket Sales and Information Window at 1 Kennedy Plaza, in Providence.
Veterans are required to provide the following documentation:
- Photo ID
- VA award letter showing disability rating of 70% or higher for Half-Fare Bus Passes
- Proof of income for the No-Fare Bus Passes
Veterans may be eligible for a personal care assistant to ride free. For more information, please call 401-784-9500, extension 604.
Rhode Island Military Family Relief Fund: The Rhode Island Military Family Relief Fund provides grants for emergency situations for eligible active duty, Rhode Island National Guard or U.S. Armed Forces Reserves Service members and their Families. Grants are provided for emergencies that can reasonably be expected to be resolved with one time assistance. Emergency assistance grants can be provided for expenses such as rent or mortgage, utilities, medical services, prescriptions, insurance, or vehicle payments.
The Rhode Island Military Family Relief Fund also provides casualty based grants for the Families of Service members who are injured, killed, or declared missing in action (MIA), or a prisoner of war (POW).
The maximum amount for a one-time financial or casualty grant is $5,000 per Service member or immediate Family member.
Who is eligible for the Rhode Island Military Family Relief Fund? For a need based grant applicants must have a financial need, have at least one year of satisfactory military service and meet one of the following requirements:
- Active duty or U.S. Armed Forces Reserve Service members assigned to a unit located in Rhode Island
- Service member who is a legal resident of Rhode Island
- Rhode Island National Guard Service member
For a casualty based grant the cause of injury or duty status change must be a result of being deployed or mobilized in support of the Global War on Terrorism, a contingency operation or in support of homeland security. Service members must have at least one year of satisfactory military service and meet one of the following requirements:
- Received Purple Heart
- Received a non-combat injury
- Was killed in the line of duty
- Listed as MIA or a POW
For dependents to be eligible they must be registered in the Defense Eligibility Enrollment Reporting System (DEERS) or have other documentation as proof they are a dependent of an eligible Service member.
For more information, please call a Family Assistance Center Specialist at 401-275-1241.
Rhode Island Military Family Relief Fund Brochure
Rhode Island Veterans Justice Outreach Program: The Veterans Justice Outreach Program helps Veterans avoid unnecessary criminalization of mental illness and extended incarceration. This program involves cooperation between VA Medical Center staff, local law enforcement, and treatment services, to help Veterans avoid subsequent arrests.
Veterans' Justice Outreach specialists (VJOs) are responsible for direct outreach, assessment, and case management for justice-involved Veterans in local courts and jails. VJOs link eligible Veterans to appropriate services provided through the VA Health Administration. VJOs also coordinate with judicial and law enforcement partners and educate them on Veterans' issues.
Who is eligible for the Rhode Island Veterans Justice Outreach Program? Participants must meet basic VA health care eligibility. Those interested should call 401-639-0163.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Health Care Eligibility Fact Sheet
Recording of Rhode Island Veterans Military Records without Fee: A Veteran’s military service records may be recorded in the office of the Town or City Clerk (except in Providence, where it is recorded in the Office of the Recorder of Deeds) free of charge.
Rhode Island Veterans Home Community Living Center: The Rhode Island Veterans Home, located on Mount Hope Bay in Bristol, provides quality assisted living and nursing care to Rhode Island war Veterans.
Services Provided Include:
- Social activities
- Medical and nursing care
- Rehabilitative services
- Dental care
- Pharmacy services
- Physical and occupational therapies
- Social work services
- Transportation to Providence VA Medical Center
Who is eligible for care at the Rhode Island Veterans Home Community Living Center? To be eligible Veterans must meet the following criteria:
- Received an honorable discharge after at least 90 days of active duty service during wartime
- Rhode Island resident for two consecutive years prior to date of application, or entered the U.S. Armed Forces from Rhode Island
Veterans are required to provide the following documentation:
- Medical records from primary care physician (at least two previous years)
- Copy of guardianship or power of attorney for health care or finances if applicable
For more information, please call 401-253-8000.
Rhode Island Veterans Home
480 Metacom Avenue
Bristol, RI 02809
Rhode Island Veterans Memorial Cemetery: The Rhode Island Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Exeter provides a dignified final resting place for Service members, Veterans, and their eligible Family members.
The cemetery offers in-ground casket burial, in-ground cremation burial, above ground columbarium cremation sites and committal services. All Veterans and Service members eligible for burial at the cemetery are entitled to Military Funeral Honors.
Burials for Veterans are provided at no cost, eligible Family members are charged a fee for the grave liner.
Who is eligible for Burial at the Rhode Island Veterans Memorial Cemetery? Eligibility requirements for the burial at the Rhode Island Veterans Memorial Cemetery are the same as for VA National Cemeteries except for a Rhode Island residency requirement. Exact eligibility requirements can be viewed at the VA, National Cemetery Administration Eligibility webpage. The following are the general eligibility requirements:
- Discharged from active duty service in the U.S. Armed Forces under conditions other than dishonorable
- Died while serving on active duty, or
- Served at least 20 years in the National Guard or U.S. Armed Forces Reserves and qualified for military retired pay (or would have qualified except death occurred before age 60), or
- Reserve component Service members if they were activated for federal service, (active duty for training does not qualify)
- Spouses and dependents (burial of dependent Children is limited to unmarried Children under 21 years old, or 23 years old if a full-time student at an approved educational institution, or a Child who develops a lifelong disability prior to age 21)
- Veteran must have been a Rhode Island resident for two consecutive years prior to death or entered the U.S. Armed Forces from Rhode Island
Burial at Public Expense for Rhode Island Veterans: Rhode Island pays the funeral expenses of honorably discharged wartime Veterans who do not have the ability to pay for a funeral.
Rhode Island Military Funeral Honors for Veterans: When requested by the Family of an honorably discharged, wartime Veteran, the Rhode Island Adjutant General provides a firing squad, and when possible, a bugler to play "Taps," live (not synthesized or pre-recorded). Family members should request Military Funeral Honors through their funeral director.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Facilities in Rhode Island: The VA has numerous resources available for Veterans and Family members. Please see the local location listing for your nearest facility.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Cemeteries in Rhode Island: The VA National Cemetery Administration does not maintain a national cemetery in Rhode Island. Rhode Island has one state Veterans cemetery. Please see the local location listing for the nearest cemetery.
Military Installations in Rhode Island
Please see the Rhode Island Military Resource Locator for additional information.
Rhode Island National Guard
U.S. Army Reserve (USAR)
99th Readiness Division