Commercial (CDL)

Breaking News

Many CDLs can now be renewed online.

On November 29, 2021, FMCSA issued a new Waiver in Response to the COVID-19 Emergency. This waiver extends the previous waiver and is effective September 1, 2021 and expires on February 28, 2022.

During this time, FMCSA:

Waives the requirement CDL or CLP holders provide the State Driver Licensing Agency with an original or copy of a subsequently issued medical examiner's certificate, provided that they have proof of a valid medical certification that expired on or after September 1, 2021 is waived until February 28, 2022. For those whose medical certification expired on or after September 1, 2021 the requirement is waived until February 28, 2022.  Based on this waiver, the RIDMV will not downgrade a CDL/CLP if the CDL/CLP holder's medical card expired on or after September 1, 2021 until February 28, 2022 for medical cards expiring on or after September 1, 2021.

Commercial (CDL)

Attention all CDL Drivers and Schools- Effective 02/07/2022

Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT)

Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) is a set of new Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) minimum training standards for commercial driver license (CDL) holders and applicants. ELDT is required for drivers applying the first time for a Class A or Class B CDL; upgrading existing CDL's (Class B CDL to Class A CDL); or adding the following endorsements: hazardous materials (H), passenger (P), or school bus (S).

State driver licensing agencies are required to verify CDL applicants ELDT completion prior to allowing applicants to take a skills test for a Class A or Class B CDL, or a passenger (P) or school bus (S) endorsement, or a knowledge test prior to obtaining the hazardous materials (H) endorsement for the first time.

FMCSA has proposed a compliance date of February 7, 2022, for training providers to upload driver training certification to the Training Provider Registry, and for state driver licensing agencies to confirm driver applicants have met the ELDT requirements.

ELDT is a FMCSA program and is not administered by the Rhode Island DMV. For more information please select one of the links below or call the FMCSA information line at 1-800-832-5660 or the FMCSA Rhode Island Field Office at 401-431-6010.

Entry-level driver training information

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)

Notice from FMCSA Regarding Training Provider Registry

On June 28, 2021, FMCSA updated the Entry-Level Driver Training Provider Registry website to enable training provider registration. Training providers can visit:

When it is fully implemented, the Training Provider Registry will:

  • List training providers who have registered with FMCSA and self-certified that they meet the Federal requirements in the Entry-Level Driver Training (EDLT) final rule.
  • Retain information about which CDL applicants have successfully completed entry-level driver training so that States can verify completion of entry-level driver training prior to administering a CDL skills or knowledge test.

Only training providers that register with FMCSA through the Training Provider Registry, and certify their compliance with Federal and State regulations, will appear on the public list and be able to submit information certifying a driver's successful completion of training. The list of registered training providers will be available to the public later this year.

Resources for Training Providers

Training providers can access the following resources on the TPR website:

Resources for Enforcement

The ELDT regulations will improve safety by ensuring that all entry-level drivers receive and successfully complete comprehensive training from a self-certified training provider prior to obtaining a CDL, upgrade, or endorsement.

For more information about the ELDT requirements or the Training Provider Registry, FMCSA personnel can contact Joshua Jones, FMCSA CDL Division, at

All CDL transactions are done at the DMV headquarters in Cranston.

State Requirements for Certification as an ELDT Provider

In addition to meeting the federal requirements set forth in the FMCSRs, applicants wishing to become certified to provide ELDT training and be listed in the Training Provider Registry must comply with state regulatory provisions. ELDT training encompasses both theory (classroom) training, as well as behind the wheel (practical) training. The requirements that must be met and the agencies that provide oversight are different depending on the type of training offered.

Classroom/Theory Training

In order to provide classroom/theory training for compensation, a Training Provider must obtain a proprietary school license through the Rhode Island Office of the Postsecondary Commissioner. If you wish to apply for a proprietary school license, please email DMV.ELDT@DMV.RI.GOV.

In the event that the training is being performed by an employer or state/municipal body for the benefit of its employees and no funding is received for the training, the Training Provider may apply for an exemption from the proprietary school requirement. Please complete the OPC Exemption Application below and email it to DMV.ELDT@DMV.RI.GOV.

Behind the Wheel Training

In order to provide behind the wheel training for compensation, a Training Provider must obtain a commercial driving school license and/or an instructor’s license, both of which are issued by the DMV. Please complete the appropriate application below and email it to DMV.ELDT@DMV.RI.GOV.

In the event that the training is being performed by an employer or state/municipal body for the benefit of its employees and no funding is received for the training, the Training Provider must submit an affidavit attesting to the fact that the training program is not open to the public and funding is not received for the training. Under the conditions set forth in the affidavit, a commercial school and/or instructor’s license is not required. Please complete the DMV ELDT Affidavit below and email it to DMV.ELDT@DMV.RI.GOV .


    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:

    • A valid, unexpired U.S. passport;(Please note, if you have obtained or renewed your passport within the last 6 months, please bring an additional Identity Document, as your passport may not verify with the national database)
    • 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 applicants 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,
    • 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 your new Medical Card or Certificate to the DMV online or in person within 15 days of issuance. Submit a Medical Card or Certificate to the DMV online

    Eligibility Requirements for a CDL

    • You must be at least 21 years old. However, you can receive a license valid for intrastate (within state) travel at age 18.
    • You must hold a valid operator's license for at least two years, with no suspensions or revocations.

    Applying for a CDL with CDL Tests / Out of State CDL Transfer

    • You must list your Social Security Number on the application, have proof of status (see examples in the first paragraph), and either a RI driver's license or an out of state CDL. Customers transferring an out of state CDL must additionally bring a Medical Card and two proofs of residency.
    • The written tests are given at the Cranston DMV only from 8:30 am to 2:00 pm. You must start with and successfully pass the General Knowledge exam before you can move onto other testing. For those testing for School Bus, you must first take and successfully pass the Passenger exam before taking the School Bus exam. You must pass all required written CDL tests before taking the skills test. If you fail a test, you must wait five business days before taking the test again. After passing all tests required, you must apply for the permit necessary to take the skills test. A valid Medical Card must be on file with the DMV for your permit to be processed.
    • Only the applicant is allowed inside the exam room

    CDL Road Tests 

    • The skills test will be administered by the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) beginning 1/1/2022. For more information call (401) 462-2122.
    • To schedule a CDL Road Test appointment, you must fill out the Registration Form for CDL Road Test completely, scan the form and email to the CDL website at

    CDL Permit

    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.


    Costs are listed in the DMV Commercial Fee Table

    Contact Us