Drivers of semi-trucks, buses and other large vehicles must obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL) to operate these vehicles legally. The written and road tests for the Rhode Island CDL determine whether the driver has sufficient skills and knowledge to handle these vehicles safely on the roadway.
While the Rhode Island Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) provides a study guide to prepare for the CDL exam, it is often a good idea to obtain additional training at a reputable school to maximize your chances of success. Rhode Island CDL license training is available through various schools and institutes.
After passing the CDL knowledge test, you will be able to train using commercial vehicles. Such training is vital to prepare for the driving skills test. When you pass the skills test, the Rhode Island DMV will award you with a commercial driver’s license.
Here are the steps to take to obtain a Rhode Island CDL.
Get the training manual at your local DMV office
The name of the manual is the Rhode Island Division of Motor Vehicles Commercial Driver’s License Manual. Download this guide off the DMV website at no cost.
Get your physical exam
You will need a medical and physical fitness exam to obtain your Rhode Island CDL. You can download the exam form at the DMV website. Once you receive your physical exam, you will receive a card or certificate that you must bring with you when you apply for your commercial driver’s license.
Study for the knowledge test
Use the Commercial Driver’s License Manual to study for the knowledge test. You can also find additional study guides and resources online. If you will be applying for a particular type of job, you will need to know what types of information will appear on your test. For example, a hazardous materials (HAZMAT) driver will need special endorsements for their test, and they will need to undergo a criminal background investigation. If you fail the written test, you must wait at least five days before you can take the exam again.
Train for the skills test
Once you pass the CDL knowledge test, you will receive a Rhode Island CDL permit that will allow you to train using commercial vehicles with a driver who possesses a CDL. At this point, it is a good idea to receive formal training for the type of commercial vehicle that you will drive.
You can enroll in a truck or bus driver school, for example. Proper training is important for certain types of jobs. You can use major search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing to find CDL trainnig schools in your area. The Professional Truck Driver Institute (http:// ptdi.org/schools/schools.aspx) provides certification for East Coast truck driving schools.
Pass the CDL road test
Once you complete your road training, you will need to take the test at the DMV. Usually, you can get a vehicle for testing from your current or prospective employer, or from your training school. Otherwise, you may rent a vehicle from a commercial agency. A commercially licensed driver must accompany you to the roadtest.
The Community College of Rhode Island administers the CDL test in the state. To schedule a test, you can call (401) 825-1146. Once you pass, you can go a Rhode Island DMV office to apply for your CDL. You will need to bring your Social Security card and your current driver’s license. You will also need proof that you passed both the knowledge test and the road test.
Initially, you will receive a temporary license that you can use for 60 days. The DMV will mail the hard copy of the license to your address. If it does not arrive in 30 days, you can call the DMV at (401) 462-4368.
Rhode Island CDL license cost varies according to various factors. Here is a breakdown of the CDL fees from the DMV (subject to change):
• Application — $11.50
• Chauffeur License — $26.50
• Duplicate License — $26.50
• License Renewal 70 and older (2 years) — $25.50
• License Renewal (5 years) — $61.50
• Test (each) — $10.00
• Transfer License (out of state) — $45.50
• Update License — $6.50