Commercial (CDL) & Chauffeurs
All CDL transactions are done at the DMV headquarters in Cranston.
New Proof of Status Requirement
The Rhode Island DMV will be implementing the following for all Domiciled CDL drivers:
Beginning April 1, 2016, all CDL drivers must provide Proof of Status as a U.S. Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident, as well as proof of Rhode Island residency, when renewing a CDL, applying for a CDL, updating a CDL or transferring a CDL from another state. This is required by 49 CFR 383.71.
Acceptable Documentation for U.S. Citizen:
- Original, valid, unexpired U.S. Passport.
- Certified copy of a birth certificate filed with a State Office of Vital Statistics or equivalent agency in the individual's State of birth, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
- Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) issued by the U.S. Department of State.
- Certificate of Naturalization issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
- Certificate of Citizenship issued by DHS.
Acceptable Documentation for Lawful Permanent Resident:
- Valid, unexpired Permanent Resident Card, issued by USCIS or INS.
If you are unable to provide Proof of Status as a U.S. Citizen or Lawful Permanent Residence, you must provide:
An unexpired employment authorization document (EAD) issued by USCIS or an unexpired foreign passport accompanied by an approved I-94 form documenting the applicant’s most recent admittance into the United States. Proof of Rhode Island residency must also be presented. This is required by 49 CFR 383.71(f)(2)(i). Applicants under this section will receive a “non-domiciled” CDL.
*Only original documents are accepted.
New Medical Certification Requirements
Please Note: Failure to comply will result in the CDL license being downgraded immediately to a regular operators' license.
- As of May 21, 2014, all Department of Transportation medical exams must be performed by "Certified" medical examiners. A
complete list of Certified Medical Examiners can be found on the National Registry website, https://nationalregistry.fmcsa.dot.gov
- Starting April 20, 2016, FMSCA requires both CDL drivers and Certified Medical Doctors to use the New Medical Examiners Certificate and New Medical Examiners Report. If the DOT physical was prior to this date, we will accept previous medical cards for Self Certification. All Certified Doctors have been informed.
- All CDL holders will be required to show their Medical Examiner's Certificate and Medical Examination Report Form for all transactions of non-excepted drivers.
- You must present a valid Medical Card or Certificate to obtain a Commercial Learner's Permit (CLP).
- New Medical Certification requirements: A Guide for Commercial Driver's License (CDL) Holders
- Self Certification Form
- You must present your new Medical Card or Certificate to the DMV with in 15 Days of issuance
Rhode Island's NEW Commercial Driver's License Manual (English)
Commercial Driver's License Manual (Español)
Eligibility Requirements for a CDL
Applying for a CDL
- The written test is given at the DMV headquarters in Cranston.
- Before taking the skills test you must pass the written portion of the CDL test. If you fail you must wait five business days before taking the test again. After passing all test required you must apply for the permit necessary to take the skills text.
- The skills test is administered by the Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI). For more information, call (401) 825-1146. Instructions for CDL Road Test Examination
Applicants must apply for a CDL instruction permit before receiving a Commercial Driver's License. You will receive the instruction permit after completing your written exam. The Applicant must show a valid Medical Card to obtain a permit if they are Self-Certified in a non-excepted status.
CDL Military Skills Test Waiver
The NEW CDL Military Skills Test Waiver form must be used by service members who are currently licensed and who are/were employed for one year in a military position requiring the operation of a military motor vehicle equivalent to a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV). This waiver allows a qualified service member to apply for a CDL without taking a skills test. CDL knowledge (written) test(s) cannot be waived. The form must be signed by commanding officer.
A license issued to drive a limousine, taxi, or small van carrying under 14 passengers is denoted as an "R" endorsement on your regular operator's license. You must complete and review: