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Legal Statutes: Rhode Island

UPDATED May 25, 2017

Rhode Island Statutes

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Chapter 69. Electronic Tracking of Motor Vehicles

back to top11-69-1. Electronic Tracking of Motor Vehicles

(a)(1) Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, it is an offense for a person to knowingly install, conceal, or otherwise place or use an electronic tracking device in or on a motor vehicle without the consent of the operator and all occupants of the vehicle for the purpose of monitoring or following the operator, occupant, or occupants of the vehicle.

(2) Definitions. As used in this section:

(i) The term “dealer” has the same meaning as set forth in § 31-5-5 and includes, for purposes of this section, an assignee of the dealer;

(ii) The term “person” does not include the manufacturer of the motor vehicle, provider of telematics equipment and services, or entities that rent motor vehicles; and

(iii) The term “starter interrupt technology” means technology used to remotely disable the starter of a motor vehicle.

(b)(1) It shall not be a violation if the installation, concealment, placement, or use of an electronic tracking device in or on a motor vehicle is by, or at the direction of, a law enforcement officer in furtherance of a criminal investigation and is carried out in accordance with the applicable state and federal law.

(2) If the installation, concealment, placement, or use of an electronic tracking device in or on a motor vehicle is by, or at the direction of, a parent or legal guardian who owns or leases the vehicle, and if the device is used solely for the purpose of monitoring the minor child of the parent or legal guardian when the child is an occupant of the vehicle, then the installation, concealment, placement, or use of the device in or on the vehicle without the consent of any or all occupants in the vehicle shall not be a violation, unless the person utilizing the tracking device has an active restraining order or no contact order against them for the protection of any vehicle occupant.

(3) It shall not be a violation of this section if an electronic tracking device is attached to stolen goods for the purpose of tracking the location of the stolen goods, whether or not they may be transported in a vehicle, or if installed, concealed, placed, or used in or on a vehicle as a vehicle theft recovery device.

(4) It shall not be a violation of this section if an electronic tracking device, including but not limited to devices also containing technology used to remotely disable the starter of a motor vehicle, is installed and/or used by a motor vehicle dealer in connection with the credit sale, loan, or lease of a motor vehicle with the express written consent of the vehicle's purchaser, lessor, or lessee.

(5) It shall not be a violation of this section if an electronic tracking device is installed and/or used by a business that is authorized to transact business in this state and the tracking device is used by the business for the purpose of tracking vehicles that are owned or leased by the business and driven by employees of that business, its affiliates, or contractors of that business or its affiliates.

(c) The provisions of this section shall not apply to a tracking system installed by the manufacturer of a motor vehicle, a provider of telematics equipment and services, or installed and/or used by an entity renting out vehicles, or installed or provided by an insurance company with the vehicle owner's or vehicle lessee's permission to monitor driving habits for insurance rating purposes.

(d) A violation of this section is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in prison, or up to a one thousand dollar ($1,000) fine, or both.

P.L. 2016, ch. 39, § 1, eff. May 31, 2016; P.L. 2016, ch. 41, § 1, eff. May 31, 2016.