Rhode Island simplifies permitting process

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Feb 20, 2024
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Rhode Island is the latest state to simplify the permitting process by offering its citizens access to its permitting portal. The official website explains that, "The Rhode Island Statewide Permitting Initiative will establish a uniform, web-based system to be used by the State, its municipalities, and taxpayers for statewide permit management, inspection management, and electronic plan review." From what I can see, Rhode Islanders will be able to use the portal to apply for a mobile restaurant permit, a Commercial/Industrial Roofer License, and everything in between. It's a step in the right direction.
 
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Rhode Island, United States
That's great news, gives citizens a lot more options when it comes to the permits they can file. Along with that, streamlining the process and making it easier, should result in faster turnaround rates when filing and obtaining said permits.

Thanks for sharing!
 
It's good to see more states improving upon their permitting system and services. There are still a lot of states behind on doing this. We need the permitting process to be easier for people if anything.

From what I can see, Rhode Islanders will be able to use the portal to apply for a mobile restaurant permit, a Commercial/Industrial Roofer License, and everything in between. It's a step in the right direction.
Are those the only permits they allow so far? Or do they cover the majority of permits?
 
The really cool thing about RI's permitting portal is that such a large number of permit programs are now using the exact same opengov.com system. If you check out the portal website, you'll see what I mean. You can click on any one of the numerous state/municipal program seals and be taken to program-specific websites that are all organized exactly the same. For contractors, food service operators, and others who need permits across multiple RI jurisdictions, I'm sure the simplicity and consistency of this system has been a refreshing change.

Are those the only permits they allow so far? Or do they cover the majority of permits?

Good question. It's not clear to me what proportion of RI's permit programs are using the portal but seems like most are probably represented - at least judging by all the jurisdictions listed on the main portal page. It'd be interesting to know whether RI is making participation in the new system mandatory or optional.
 
It'd be interesting to know whether RI is making participation in the new system mandatory or optional.
From what I've read, it's a mandatory system, at least for the building and construction permits. Thankfully, there are kiosks located in various government and agency lobbies throughout the state. So, if you don't have easy access to a computer, or you need some help filling out the applications, you won't be stuck.
 
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