Rhode Island Identity Theft Laws

An act of identity theft involves the unauthorized use of another individual's personally identifying information (such as a Social Security number) to open fraudulent credit card accounts or to commit other crimes with that person's identity. But while computers are used quite a bit to perpetrate these types of crimes, identity thieves often find sensitive data by digging through garbage cans and stealing mail. State identity theft laws vary a bit in classifications and penalties, but are similarly structured.

Rhode Island Identity Theft Law at a Glance

The following chart provides details about identity theft laws in Rhode Island, including the state definition of the crime and different ways it can be committed. See FindLaw's Identity Theft section to learn how to protect yourself and what to do once you're identity has been stolen.

Code Section R.I. Gen. Laws ยงยง11-49.1-1 (2000) et seq.
Statutory Definition of Identity Theft  

A person commits identity fraud by committing any of the following acts:

  • Knowingly and without lawful authority, producing an identification document or a false identification document
  • Knowingly transferring an identification document or a false identification document knowing that the document was stolen or produced without lawful authority
  • Knowingly possessing, with intent to use or transfer unlawfully, five (5) or more identification documents (other than those issued lawfully for the use of the possessor) or false identification documents
  • Knowingly possessing an identification document (other than one issued lawfully for the use of the possessor) or a false identification document, or financial information with the intent that it will be used to defraud the United States, the State of Rhode Island, any political subdivision of it or any public or private entity
  • Knowingly transfering or possessing a document-making implement with the intent to produce a false identification document or another document-making implement which will be so used
  • Knowingly possessing a false identification document that is (or appears to be) a genuine ID document of the U.S., the State of Rhode Island. or any political subdivision of it or any public or private entity which is stolen or produced without lawful authority knowing that the document was stolen or produced without such authority
  • Knowingly transferring or using with intent to defraud a means of identification or financial information of another person living or dead, with the intent to commit, or to aid or abet, any unlawful activity that constitutes a violation of federal, state or local law
Classification of Crime/Penalties Automatic felony First conviction: imprisonment up to 3 years or fine up to $5,000 or both; second conviction: imprisonment for 3 to 5 years or fine up to $10,000 or both; third or subsequent conviction: imprisonment for 5 to 10 years or fine of $15,000 minimum or both
Who May Prosecute Any prosecuting authority
Exemptions to Identity Theft Laws Criminal statute does not apply to minors seeking to obtain privileges denied to minors
Civil Lawsuit Allowed? -
Civil Remedies Available -
Misc. Any property used as a means of violating identity theft laws will be seized and forfeited to the state, proceeds to go 20% to Attorney General earmarked for identity theft investigation, 80% to other state/local law enforcement agencies

Note: State laws are always subject to change at any time through the enactment of newly signed legislation or voter-approved ballot initiatives, or through other means. You should contact a Rhode Island consumer protection attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Research the Law

Rhode Island Identity Theft Laws: Related Resources

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

Contact a qualified attorney.