Commercial Driver FAQs in Rhode Island

What actions must I take if convicted of a traffic violation?

By law, you are required to notify your employer within 30 days. If you're ticketed in another state, you must inform both your company and Rhode Island's Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) within 30 days.

Do I have to go through the testing process if, while in the armed services, I owned a military license to drive heavy equipment?

Rhode Island will honor your military license by not mandating a road test, provided you are applying for the same class of license.

What special endorsements should I be aware of?

Rhode Island requires endorsements for double and triple trailers, tanker vehicles, school buses, and vehicles placarded for hazardous materials.

What do I need to know If I'm looking to obtain a hazardous material (hazmat) endorsement?

Under the U.S. Patriot Act, you must submit to a background check. In addition, you must be fingerprinted and provide verification that you're a U.S. citizen or a permanent legal resident. Fingerprinting is handled at:

  • 1050 Warwick Ave
  • Warwick, RI 02888

Be sure to bring a completed security threat assessmentto the fingerprinting office. You'll also need a credit card, money order, or electronic check to pay the $85.50 processing fee.

If you have questions, call (855) 347-8371.

What are the ramifications for DUI?

You will be charged with DUI if your blood alcohol count (BAC) is 0.04% or higher. Upon conviction, you will lose your CDL for 1 year after the 1st offense. If caught again, you will lose your CDL for life.

What are the requirements for a school bus endorsement?

Rhode Island adheres to strict standards for all school bus applicants. Before considering a job as a bus driver, you must first make sure you meet the following requirements:

  • Be at least 21 years old.
  • Have at least 3 years of driving experience and boast a flawless driving record.
  • Not be convicted of a felony of any kind.

If you qualify, you must then obtain a CDL license with a school bus endorsement. Testing, which is handled by the Licensing Section at the Division of Motor Vehicles Pawtucket location, is rigorous.

You must pass a few different written tests: general knowledge, passenger endorsement, school bus endorsement, and air brake. Only then will you be able to apply for a CDL permit.

You must also pass a driving skill test in order to earn the school bus endorsement.

Downloading Rhode Island's Bus Driving Manual is recommended. It covers everything you need to know to pass the long list of exams.

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