TITLE 31
Motor and Other vehicles

CHAPTER 31-10.3
Rhode Island Uniform Commercial Driver's License Act

PART 31-10.3-1
General Provisions

SECTION 31-10.3-3


§ 31-10.3-3 Definitions.

Notwithstanding any other provisions of title 31, the following definitions apply to this chapter unless the context requires otherwise:

(1) "Administrator" means the division of motor vehicles administrator, the chief executive of the division of motor vehicles, an agency within the department of revenue.

(2) "Alcohol or alcoholic beverage" means (a) beer as defined in 26 U.S.C. 5052(a), of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954; (b) wine of not less than one-half of one percentum (0.5%) of alcohol by volume; or (c) distilled spirits as defined in section 5002(a)(8), of said code.

(3) "Base license" means the operator's or driver's license without any classifications, endorsements, or restrictions.

(4) "Bus" means every motor vehicle designed for carrying sixteen (16) or more passengers (including the driver).

(5) "Cancellation of driver's license" means the annulment or termination by formal action of the department of a person's driver's license because of some error or defect in the license (or application) or because the licensee is no longer entitled to the license.

(6) "Certified commercial driving instructor" means any person who gives commercial driver training or who offers a course in driver training, and who is certified as such by the administrator.

(7) "Commerce" means:

(i) Trade, traffic, and transportation within the jurisdiction of the United States within the state; between a place in a state and a place outside the state, including a place outside the United States; and

(ii) Trade, traffic, and transportation in the United States that affects any trade, traffic, and transportation in paragraph (i) of this subdivision.

(8) "Commercial license" means a license issued by the department in accordance with the standards contained in Part 383 of Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations, referred to as 49 C.F.R. Part 383, as it may be revised from time to time, to an individual that authorizes the individual to operate a class of commercial motor vehicle.

(9) "Commercial motor vehicle" means a motor vehicle, or combination of vehicles, used to transport passengers or property if the motor vehicle:

(i) Has a gross combination weight rating of twenty-six thousand one (26,001) or more pounds, of a towed unit with a gross vehicle rating of more than ten thousand pounds (10,000 lbs.), or has a gross vehicle weight rating of twenty-six thousand one (26,001) or more pounds;

(ii) Is designed to transport sixteen (16) or more passengers, including the driver; or

(iii) Is transporting hazardous materials as defined in this section.

(10) "Controlled substance" means any substance as classified under § 102(6) of the Controlled Substance Act (21 U.S.C. 802(6)) and includes all substances as listed in schedules I through V of Part 1308 of Title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations, referred to as 21 C.F.R. Part 1308 as they may be revised from time to time.

(11) "Conviction" means an unvacated adjudication of guilt or a determination that a person has violated, or failed to comply with, the law in a court of original jurisdiction, or by an authorized administrative tribunal, an unvacated forfeiture of bail or collateral deposited to secure the person's appearance in court, a plea of guilty or nolo contendere accepted by the court, the payment of a fine or court cost or violation of condition of release without bail, regardless of whether or not the penalty is rebated, suspended, or probated.

(12) "Department" means the department of revenue acting directly or through its duly authorized officers and agents.

(13) "Disqualification" means withdrawal of the privilege to drive a commercial motor vehicle due to:

(i) The suspension, revocation, or cancellation of a commercial driver's license by the state or jurisdiction of issuance; or

(ii) Any withdrawal of a person's privileges to drive a commercial motor vehicle by a state or other jurisdiction as the result of a violation of state or local law relating to motor vehicle traffic control (other than parking, vehicle weight or vehicle defect violations); or

(iii) A determination by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration that a person is not qualified to operate a commercial motor vehicle under Part 391 of Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations, referred to as 49 C.F.R. 391, as they may be revised from time to time.

(14) "Driver's license" means a license issued by the department to an individual that authorizes the individual to operate a motor vehicle on the highways.

(15) "Employee" means any operator of a commercial motor vehicle, including full-time, regularly employed drivers; casual, intermittent or occasional drivers; leased drivers; and independent, owner-operator contractors (while in the course of operating a commercial motor vehicle) who are either directly employed by or under lease to an employer.

(16) "Employer" means any person, including the United States, a state, or a political subdivision of a state, who or that owns or leases a commercial motor vehicle or assigns persons to operate such a vehicle.

(17) "Farm tractors" means every motor vehicle designated and used primarily as a farm implement for drawing plows, mowing machines, and other implements of husbandry.

(18) "Fatality" means the death of a person as a result of motor vehicle accident.

(19) "Felony" means any offense under state or federal law that is punishable by death or imprisonment for a term exceeding one year and/or fine of one thousand dollars ($1,000) or more.

(20) "Gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR)" means the value specified by the manufacturer as the maximum loaded weight of a single or a combination (articulated). The GVWR of a combination (articulated) vehicle (commonly referred to as the "gross combination weight rating" or GCWR) is the GVWR of the power unit plus the GVWR of the towed unit or units.

(21) "Hazardous materials" means any material that has been designated as hazardous under Part 172 of Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations, referred to as 49 C.F.R. 172 or any quantity of a material listed as a select agent or toxin in Part 73 of Title 42 of the Code of Federal Regulations, referred to as 42 C.F.R. 73 as they may be revised from time to time.

(22) "Motor vehicle" means a vehicle, machine, tractor, trailer, or semi-trailer propelled or drawn by mechanical power and used on highways; or any other vehicle required to be registered under the laws of this state; but does not include any vehicle, machine, tractor, trailer, or semi-trailer operated exclusively on a rail.

(23) "Operator's license" means driver's license.

(24) "School bus" means a commercial motor vehicle used to transport preprimary, primary, or secondary school students from home to school, from school to home, and to and from school-sponsored events. School bus does not include a bus used as a common carrier.

(25) "Secretary" means the Secretary of Transportation of the United States.

(26) "Serious traffic violation" means a conviction when operating a commercial motor vehicle except weight, defect, and parking violations of:

(i) Excessive speeding involving any single offense for any speed of fifteen miles per hour (15 mph) or more above the posted speed limit;

(ii) Reckless driving as defined by state or local law or regulation including, but not limited to, offenses of driving a commercial motor vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of person or property;

(iii) Improper or erratic lane changes;

(iv) Following the vehicle ahead too closely;

(v) A violation, arising in connection with a fatal accident, of state or local law relating to motor vehicle traffic control;

(vi) Operating a commercial motor vehicle without obtaining a commercial license;

(vii) Operating a commercial motor vehicle without having his or her commercial license in his or her immediate possession; or

(viii) Operating a commercial motor vehicle without possessing a commercial driver's license containing the endorsements or classifications applicable to the type of vehicle being operated or for the passengers or type of cargo being transported; or

(ix) Operating a commercial motor vehicle while using a hand-held mobile telephone.

(27) "State" means a state of the United States and the District of Columbia.

(28) "Tank vehicle" means any commercial motor vehicle that is designed to transport any liquid or gaseous materials within a tank that is either permanently or temporarily attached to the vehicle or the chassis. These vehicles include, but are not limited to, cargo tanks and portable tanks as defined in Part 171 of Title 49 of the Federal Hazardous Material Regulations, referred to as 49 C.F.R. 171 as they may be revised from time to time. However, this definition does not include portable tanks having a rated capacity under one thousand (1,000) gallons.

(29) "Withdrawal" means any suspension, revocation, cancellation, disqualification, out-of-service of any license, privilege, endorsement, restriction, or classification of any license.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1990, ch. 176, § 1; P.L. 2005, ch. 77, § 2; P.L. 2005, ch. 82, § 2; P.L. 2008, ch. 98, § 11; P.L. 2008, ch. 145, § 11; P.L. 2014, ch. 257, § 1; P.L. 2014, ch. 307, § 1.)