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Old 08-04-2008, 03:10 PM   #1
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NY's 'R' Endorsement doesn't cover air brakes

Just so you know, even though the NYS DMV website talks about the 'R' endorsement as being fairly easy and useful for skoolies, it's not so.

Here's what the 'R' endorsement is described as:
Quote:
Originally Posted by NYS DMV Driver manual - Chapter 01
Recreational Vehicle or "R" endorsement - Recreational vehicles, with or without air brakes, are not defined as commercial vehicles. You may apply for an "R" endorsement for your Class D or Class E driver license to allow you to operate a recreational vehicle (RV) with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of over 26,001 lbs. (11,794 kg) or more.

To obtain an "R" endorsement, you must: submit a completed Application for Driver License or ID Card (MV-44), indicating a license amendment, to any state or county motor vehicle office; pay a permit fee, which is valid for up to two road tests; and pass a road test in the size and type of vehicle you will be driving. No written test is required. To take the road test, you must be accompanied by a licensed driver at least 21 years old who has a license valid for the type of vehicle you will be driving during the test (e.g., a driver license with an "R" endorsement or the appropriate Commercial Driver License). The road test will be about 15 minutes in length and will include turns, intersections and backing the vehicle to the curb. Upon passing the road test, you must go to a motor vehicle office and pay the required fee to complete the license amendment process.
But, upon calling and asking to be sure (I had a couple of registration questions for the interim between getting the bus and meeting RV requirements and insurance stuff for the transit permit), I was told, by two different DMV people that -any- vehicle with air brakes requires a CDL with air qualifications.



Is the CDL a real pain to get and is there anything super special about the DOT physical that apparently my doctor doesn't do?

Thanks ...
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Old 08-04-2008, 03:25 PM   #2
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Re: NY's 'R' Endorsement doesn't cover air brakes

DMV employees don't know s**t and the same goes for half the cops. Take the vehicle code with you when you go. If anyone gives you a hard time ask for their sup. When I was trying to find what I had to do to register my bus as a RV, I started at the Highway Patrol. Spoke with three officers that had NO CLUE. They said I should go to the DMV. So I went. Waited in line, got to the window and the lady told me to ask the guy locking the doors. I asked him. What a mistake. After he was done with his dribble, I told him that he was just making it up as he went along. Show me the vehicle code I asked. He didn't know it. I left and went to another DMV. I was done in 20 minutes. I got a temp and have to bring the bus back for a vin verification and have them look at my RV stuff. Stand your ground at the DMV without being an ass. If you don't, they will make you do things that you don't have to. Good luck.
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Old 08-04-2008, 03:39 PM   #3
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Re: NY's 'R' Endorsement doesn't cover air brakes

Heh ...

Thanks. I'll see what I can dig up from the actual code on it, I guess ...

Gods, what a headache this is being ... And I've not even had the fun of -getting- the bus yet!
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Old 08-04-2008, 06:49 PM   #4
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Re: NY's 'R' Endorsement doesn't cover air brakes

I'm with Cal on this one. I have learned to take a copy of the statutes with me whenever I do something beyond just getting new tags. There is a pretty good DMV office here in town, but even there you can get have a hard time. When I registered my bus I had no problem. A coworker of mine went to register his hotrod, requesting "street rod" plates with a vanity message (two separate things) which he knew was possible. He even knew the price. The lady said it wasn't impossible and had to get her supervisor. Then he stated that he wanted two plates which is the norm in Minnesota. Even the supervisor argued that street rods only require one plate. He said he knew that, but wanted two. His logic? He's entitled to them (he's paying for two either way) and wanted a spare in case one got lost! Long story short...don't give up and go in well armed but humble.
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Old 08-04-2008, 09:06 PM   #5
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Re: NY's 'R' Endorsement doesn't cover air brakes

Thanks for the encouragement.

I think I'm just going to see if I can get the bus delivered, convert it to RV, and then just quietly go about getting my 'R' endorsement if they won't take a scale reading for the GVWR ...
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Old 10-08-2008, 10:59 PM   #6
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Re: NY's 'R' Endorsement doesn't cover air brakes

Quote:
is the CDL a real pain to get . . . .
Probably the biggest pain is the higher license & renewal fees - I can't find the fees on the DMV website, but I know you pay a bit more.
The CDL and the "R" endorsement road tests will probably be identical. I don't know if for the "R" endorsement you will have to do the full walk-around pre-check or not. The CDL and air brake endorsement will require written tests to get the learner's permit.

Tip: in NYS, the written test fee is per sitting, not per exam. You can take as many tests as you want at one sitting for a single fee. If you flunk one or more tests and want to try again, that's counted as a new sitting and a new fee.

I was jokingly challenged by an NYSP Staff Sergeant (now retired) who used to do commercial vehicle inspections, to get the tank+hazmat "X" endorsement. I paid one price and walked out of the county clerk's office with CDL, air brakes, tractor-trailer, doubles & triples, tank, hazmat, and passenger endorsements. I didn't know about metal coil and tow truck endorsements, because they weren't listed in the main DMV CDL guide. You have to download those two guides from the website. Maybe I'll add those when I take the hazmat renewal test (when I'm ready to pay for fingerprints). Since I took the road test with a semi-trailer flatbed, not a coach, my commercial passenger endorsement was then limited to 7 seats.

Quote:
. . . and is there anything super special about the DOT physical that apparently my doctor doesn't do?
I have my primary care doctor add the DOT requirements to my annual physical each year. The cards are good for two years.
In addition to the usual blood pressure/pulse/breathe for the stethoscope stuff, I have to:
-take an eye test (letter chart on the wall at ~20 feet)
-get a hearing test (four to six tones in each ear)
-pee in a cup (for sugar or something - I don't think it's drugs)
-get an electrocardiogram

It's no big deal, it adds maybe 20 minutes overall to the appointment.

Quote:
if they won't take a scale reading for the GVWR ...
They don't have to weigh it - the plate on the wall is a giveaway. In NYS per VTL-502-a the CDL license requirement is based on the heavier of:

- the registered GVWR
- the manufacturer's GVWR
- the actual loaded weight being operated

Though re-reading that paragraph closely, if a CDL is required ONLY because of passengers or hazmat (i.e. in a station wagon) the registered weight applies.

I think i remember if you get an RV title, the registered weight becomes the empty weight instead of the loaded weight (saves $$$), but I can't quote you a reference on that.
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Old 11-20-2008, 11:06 PM   #7
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Re: NY's 'R' Endorsement doesn't cover air brakes

I was chatting with a buddy Tuesday night who is THE bus safety expert for NYS DOT. He gets to follow up on the investigations of all the skoolie crashes with kids aboard. He is positive the 'R' endorsement for non-commercial RVs over 26,000 is all you need, air brake endorsement not required. For what it's worth. (He also was emphatic about the NYS 14 days from plates to non-yellow paint law.)
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Old 11-24-2008, 08:49 AM   #8
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Re: NY's 'R' Endorsement doesn't cover air brakes

That's awesome to know!

And, I did my absolute best to get that 14-day thing done, but the guy at the DMV told me I had to have it painted -before- getting the plates ...

I'm amazed at the beaurocracy that has so many people who don't know what the rules are ...

I got lucky though, turns out the 'fine print' in the city of Buffalo is that a vehicle sitting in your driveway has to have a valid inspection, so we were covered and didn't need plates as fast as I got 'em ... Which I found out two days after the plates were on the bus ...
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Old 11-24-2008, 01:50 PM   #9
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Re: NY's 'R' Endorsement doesn't cover air brakes

And to think, this is our tax dollars at work!!! What a racket!
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Old 11-24-2008, 10:41 PM   #10
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Re: NY's 'R' Endorsement doesn't cover air brakes

OK, your DMV guy didn't jive with my friend's memory, so I had to check:
Vehicle & Traffic Law, Article 9, Section 375 Equipment:
Quote:
21. Every motor vehicle having a seating capacity of more than seven passengers, and used primarily to transport pupils or pupils and teachers to and from school, shall be painted the color known as "national school bus chrome."
In the event, however, such a motor vehicle so painted shall cease to be used to transport pupils or pupils and teachers, the color of paint herein provided for, shall be changed to another color, within fifteen days of relicense.
There you have it. Nice paint job, though.
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