Sea ice friction models are necessary to predict the nature of interactions between sea ice floes. These interactions are of interest on a range of scales, for example, to predict loads on engineering structures in icy waters or to understand the basin-scale motion of sea ice. Many models use Amonton's friction law due to its simplicity. More advanced models allow for hydrodynamic lubrication and refreezing of asperities; however, modeling these processes leads to greatly increased complexity. In this paper we propose, by analogy with rock physics, that a rate- and state-dependent friction law allows us to incorporate memory (and thus the effects of lubrication and bonding) into ice friction models without a great increase in complexity. We support this proposal with experimental data on both the laboratory (∼0.1 m) and ice tank (∼1 m) scale. These experiments show that the effects of static contact under normal load can be incorporated into a friction model. We find the parameters for a first-order rate and state model to be A = 0.310, B = 0.382, and μ0 = 0.872. Such a model then allows us to make predictions about the nature of memory effects in moving ice-ice contacts.