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Old 12-03-2012, 05:00 PM   #1
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'R' Endorsement for Driver's License in NY

There's been lots of folks who have posted on endorsements or different classes required on one's driver's license for motorhomes having higher gross weight values.

Here in the Empire State of New York, an 'R' endorsement (standing for Recreational Vehicle) is required to operate a motorhome which exceeds 26,000 lbs Gross Vehicle Weight or Combined Weight. Combined weight includes actual weight of your trailer or toad.

So, for example, my coach has a GVWR of 27910 lbs, with an actual weight of 25,500 lbs when weighed at the CAT scales. My GCVWR is 37,910 lbs. My toad's actual weight is 3450 lbs.

Driving my coach w/o the toad, I am actually legal as my actual weight is below the 26,000 lb limit as set by New York state. But when I tow our car, I am now over the 26K lb limit for a standard license in NYS.

I decided to go ahead and get my 'R' endorsement on my license to legally operate RV's over 26K lbs combined weight. Took the test today.

The examiner had a few young ladies to test ahead of me. Two of them, after their standard road test in a car, got out, and hugged their driver who accompanied them, which I believe was their parent, and let Dad drive home (ouch). The third one drove home with Mom in the passenger's seat (success!).

My turn next. He talked to the person who accompanied me for my test, asked to see his license, which was a CDL. He was then left standing at the curb as the examiner and I drove off in my coach.

We drove around making several right hand and left hand turns, drove in some city traffic, and within about 10 minutes we were back from where we started. The examiner was pleasant and gave me a 100% and a ' Good Job' on my paperwork.

It was a pleasant experience, other than dealing with the office staff inside in preparing the paperwork for the driving exam.

No written exam was required. Examiner did ask me if the coach had air brakes, which I replied 'yes'. No other questions asked on dealing with the air brakes. He asked me if I knew the height of my coach, which I quickly replied with the correct answer.

So after 10 years of driving a diesel pusher, I am now technically legal in the great state of NY.
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Old 12-05-2012, 05:00 AM   #2
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Congrats! I am assuming those of us from States that do not require any special endorsements will not have a problem, am I assuming correctly?
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Old 12-05-2012, 05:47 AM   #3
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Don,

Where did you schedule the test? I may become "legal" too in the spring before we go on more trips. Had not thought I would do it but could not hurt.

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Old 12-05-2012, 07:51 PM   #4
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Don,

Where did you schedule the test? I may become "legal" too in the spring before we go on more trips. Had not thought I would do it but could not hurt.

Dan
First you have to get a 'R' permit from the DMV. Requires a visit to any local DMV plus $10. You can take the test in Canandaigua, Rochester, Dansville, or Batavia. I took mine in Batavia. If you call the Rochester district, you can schedule the test over the phone for all the locations above except Batavia. Batavia requires you to physically go to the DMV to schedule the test . I chose Batavia as it's closest to where I live (didn't want to do Rochester).
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Old 12-05-2012, 07:57 PM   #5
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Congrats! I am assuming those of us from States that do not require any special endorsements will not have a problem, am I assuming correctly?
If your state does not require any special endorsement over 26K lbs, then you're good to go in all states. Each state provides reciprocity to the laws of your state, where your driver's license is issued.

For me, I'm now legal in all 50 states and Canada.
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Old 12-05-2012, 08:00 PM   #6
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Correction RE Weights (From NYS DMV Website)


A driver with a Class D license can now operate a personal use vehicle (for example a rental vehicle or a recreational vehicle or RV) with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 26,000 lbs. or less that tows another vehicle that has a GVWR of 10,000 lbs. or more, but the gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of the two vehicles together must be 26,000 lbs. or less.
Note: The requirement for an "R" endorsement (Class D or Class E license) to operate a recreational vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 lbs. or more remains in effect.
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Old 12-07-2012, 07:53 PM   #7
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Correction RE Weights (From NYS DMV Website)


A driver with a Class D license can now operate a personal use vehicle (for example a rental vehicle or a recreational vehicle or RV) with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 26,000 lbs. or less that tows another vehicle that has a GVWR of 10,000 lbs. or more, but the gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of the two vehicles together must be 26,000 lbs. or less.
Note: The requirement for an "R" endorsement (Class D or Class E license) to operate a recreational vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 lbs. or more remains in effect.
I think the above is consistent with my original post.
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Old 12-07-2012, 08:34 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Pusherman View Post
I think the above is consistent with my original post.
I think what bluepill was pointing out is the requirement is based on your GVWR regardless of what your actual weight is. With your GVWR at 27,910 you would still need the 'R' endorsement even if you weren't towing.
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Old 12-07-2012, 08:45 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pusherman View Post
There's been lots of folks who have posted on endorsements or different classes required on one's driver's license for motorhomes having higher gross weight values.

Here in the Empire State of New York, an 'R' endorsement (standing for Recreational Vehicle) is required to operate a motorhome which exceeds 26,000 lbs Gross Vehicle Weight or Combined Weight. Combined weight includes actual weight of your trailer or toad.

So, for example, my coach has a GVWR of 27910 lbs, with an actual weight of 25,500 lbs when weighed at the CAT scales. My GCVWR is 37,910 lbs. My toad's actual weight is 3450 lbs.

Driving my coach w/o the toad, I am actually legal as my actual weight is below the 26,000 lb limit as set by New York state. But when I tow our car, I am now over the 26K lb limit for a standard license in NYS.

I decided to go ahead and get my 'R' endorsement on my license to legally operate RV's over 26K lbs combined weight. Took the test today.

The examiner had a few young ladies to test ahead of me. Two of them, after their standard road test in a car, got out, and hugged their driver who accompanied them, which I believe was their parent, and let Dad drive home (ouch). The third one drove home with Mom in the passenger's seat (success!).

My turn next. He talked to the person who accompanied me for my test, asked to see his license, which was a CDL. He was then left standing at the curb as the examiner and I drove off in my coach.

We drove around making several right hand and left hand turns, drove in some city traffic, and within about 10 minutes we were back from where we started. The examiner was pleasant and gave me a 100% and a ' Good Job' on my paperwork.

It was a pleasant experience, other than dealing with the office staff inside in preparing the paperwork for the driving exam.

No written exam was required. Examiner did ask me if the coach had air brakes, which I replied 'yes'. No other questions asked on dealing with the air brakes. He asked me if I knew the height of my coach, which I quickly replied with the correct answer.

So after 10 years of driving a diesel pusher, I am now technically legal in the great state of NY.
Your reasoning is good, but not correct. If your coach has a designated weight above what your license is good for, you are not legal. Your license needs to be for gross weight irreguardless of what actual weight is. Call your local PD for clairafication.
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Old 12-08-2012, 10:54 AM   #10
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Smile

I agree with the language Bluepill pulled from the DMV website regarding the 'R' endorsement language around GVWR. What makes this an interesting discussion is that I actually talked to 2 judges and 1 high-level sheriff, who owns a DP and is familiar with this law, who all agreed that law enforcement would go by the registered weight on the vehicle's registration to determine weight rating. Therefore, they all agreed that I would be legal w/o the 'R' endorsement.

But as you have correctly sited in your posts, the language reads around GVWR, which in their definition they are adding the weight of a towed vehicle. So for this reason and others, I chose to get the 'R' endorsement, as even though I have 3 opinions on the interpretation on it from high level law enforcement and judges, I still wouldn't want to test it in a court of law in the event of an accident.

Good interpretation on your part(s), and I concur (even with the opinions I have received as I described).

P.S. Both judges own motorhomes. One of them stated that if I ended up in his town, I would be legal. But I travel waay farther than the boundaries of his jurisdiction.
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Old 11-06-2014, 02:00 AM   #11
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I took my road test today in New York for my R endorsement. My fifth wheel GVWE is 15500 Lbs and my dually is around 13000 Lbs. Combos over 26000 Lbs need an endorsement in NY.
When I got to the road test site in Malone NY the DMV tester came up to me and said "I don't think you need and R, you need an A-O for this rig" I had a dually with a 40' Alpine fifth wheel. I told her according to NY motor vehicle regulation a personal use vehicle is exempt CDL. She said she had placed a call to Albany to clarify. She told me in her years she has never given a road test to someone pulling a fifth wheel only motorhomes. Around 10 minutes later, she came over and said lets go, they decided you need an R endorsement. She was actually very nice during the entire process.
We went for a tour of the town, down a side street where she had me parallel park, then back the rig up along the curb for approximately 50-100 feet. We then went into the busier section of town and drove through some traffic and ended back where we started.
She proceeded to write me a 10 day temporary license and I guess I now go to DMV to get a new one.
I think the whole process will cost around $25 and I think it is probably a good thing the state does it. The problem is most people towing these rigs don't know they need anything other than their regular D license.
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Old 11-07-2014, 03:28 PM   #12
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I took my "r" rest last Tuesday. it was over 45 minutes. I was asked questions on air brakes, speed on the highway, suggested speed on off ramps, maximum load of unmarked bridges. did several lefts and rights, had to parallel park and back up straight 50 feet. examiner was very nice and I did pass. btw, I took the test in beacon, ny
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