Drivers must perform steps for Rhode Island CDL renewal every few years, in order to continue operating commercial vehicles. A commercial drivers license, or CDL, permits motorists to operate large or heavy machinery, as well as several types of commercial vehicles. Commercial drivers must renew their credentials with the Rhode Island Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The CDL renewal requirements are not the same as the requirements for standard drivers license renewals, since CDLs permit drivers to operate a bevy of specific vehicle types. Drivers can further expand their driving privileges by adding endorsements to their credentials, though this requires various other requirements during the renewal process.

Drivers must renew commercial drivers license documents in person, at any DMV location throughout the state. It is important for motorists to renew their CDLs before they expire. The renewal process helps ensure that all commercial motorists are updated on the latest safety regulations and operational rules, as well as physically fit to operate commercial vehicles. Some CDL holders may be required to take additional knowledge exams and medical evaluations to renew their credentials. To learn more about the Rhode Island renewal process, read the following topics discussed below.

When to Renew Your CDL License in Rhode Island

Drivers must perform a CDL renewal before their licenses expire. In Rhode Island, CDLs are valid for a maximum of five years, or two years for drivers 70 years of age or older. The Rhode Island DMV notifies all drivers prior to their dates of expiration. This notice must be furnished at the renewal appointment, so motorists should take care to keep it in their personal records.

Rhode Island has a CDL expiration grace period of five years, which allows motorists to renew their CDLs even after they expire. Any CDL holder whose credentials have been expired for more than five years must reobtain a permit, complete all skills tests and sit for knowledge tests.

CDL Renewal Testing Requirements in Rhode Island

The CDL renewal requirements in Rhode Island differ from the requirements found in other states. For example, whereas other states may require motorists to take knowledge or skills tests during each renewal, Rhode Island CDL holders are not required to retake any exams during renewals.

However, motorists who wish to add any endorsements to their licenses must provide proof of passing all required tests before renewing their credentials.

What do you need to renew your CDL in Rhode Island?

If you are wondering, “What do you need to renew your CDL license?” you must be aware of all the documents necessary to renew your credentials. There are a handful of documents you must provide to the DMV during your renewal appointment. These include the following:

  • Your current license
  • Your DMV renewal form (if you received one from the Rhode Island DMV)
  • Your Social Security card (unless your card was previously documented and validated by the DMV when you first applied)
  • Cash or personal check to pay the renewal fee

In addition to the documents listed above, when drivers attempt to renew CDL credentials, they must provide proof of status. U.S. citizens must provide one of the following documents:

  • An valid, unexpired U.S. passport
  • A certified copy of a birth certificate filed with a State Office of Vital Statistics, or with an equivalent agency in the individual’s birth state, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands
  • A Consular Report of Birth Abroad, issued by the U.S. Department of State
  • A Certificate of Naturalization, issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
  • A Certificate of Citizenship issued, by the DHS

Note that lawful permanent residents must present a valid, unexpired permanent resident card, issued by the USCIS or the INS.

Some drivers completing a CDL renewal in Rhode Island will be asked to complete a new medical evaluation or certificate during the process. This requirement depends on the type of credential a driver wishes to renew.

CDL Renewal Process in Rhode Island

To renew commercial drivers license documents in Rhode Island, motorists must attend an in-person appointment at a Rhode Island DMV location. Drivers are not permitted to perform mail-in or online renewals for commercial driver licenses.

It is recommended that motorists gather all CDL renewal requirements, and begin the process as soon as they receive notice from the DMV. Likewise, drivers should call ahead to schedule a renewal appointment, or learn the hours of operation to ensure a speedy process.

Rhode Island CDL Permit Renewal Requirements

Rhode Island CDL permit renewal procedures are accepted only once after the initial date of expiration. In Rhode Island, commercial learners permits (CLPs) are valid for a certain number of days. All commercial motorists must have a CLP for at least 30 days before applying for a commercial license.

How long is a CDL permit good for? Rhode Island CDL permits are valid for a period of 90 days. They may be renewed for an additional 90 days. This probationary period restricts drivers’ activities. For example, they may only drive on public roads and must drive while accompanied by a CDL holder.

Drivers asking, “Can I renew my CDL permit after it expires?” will find that once a driver’s CDL permit expiration date passes, he or she must either renew the permit or apply for a CDL. The permit may be renewed only once for, 90 days.

Hazardous Material Endorsement CDL Renewal Requirements in Rhode Island

The Rhode Island CDL license renewal procedure varies for drivers who hold a hazardous material endorsement, or plan to add it to their licenses. A hazardous material endorsement, or hazmat, permits drivers to operate different types of vehicles carrying hazardous materials.

Renewing a CDL with a hazmat endorsement requires drivers to ensure their background checks with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) are still valid. If expired, drivers must pay for a renewed background check before they can receive a renewed CDL. Furthermore, motorists must bring the below items:

  • Their current licenses
  • Their DMV renewal forms (if they received them)
  • Their Social Security card
  • Their clearance letters from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA)

CDL Renewal Fees in Rhode Island

The Rhode Island CDL renewal price varies, depending on the type of license, and whether the driver is adding any new endorsements to the credential. The Rhode Island CDL renewal cost numbers are shown below:

  • Five-year CDL renewal: $81.50
  • Two-year CDL renewal (70 years of age or older): $33.50
  • CDL permit renewal: $41.50
  • CDL tests: $10
Last updated on Friday, March 6 2020.