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Old 04-13-2013, 07:42 AM   #1
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R Endorsement Road Test Scheduled - NYS

My wife and I really enjoyed the NYS DMV experiences of people seeking the "R" endorsement. We went thru the very same process and had identical experiences which included confusion with registering the MH.

Because we never had an RV previously, we had done quite a bit of preparation. As it was, it took a total of (4) DMV visits with documentation from the DMV site, Drivers Manual and MFG spec sheet. Our process also required the DMV staff "Huddle" which led to them making multiple calls over multiple visits. The Supervisor really got the permitting "done" for us eventually and our sincere thanks to her.

The lessons learned: Go to the DMV with all possible documentation and records; Be patient and prepared to educate the DMV staff; Plan to work with a Supervisor; AND as others have stated clearly - get the endorsement for all the right reasons regardless of the extended process.

My question for fellow NYS RVers - has anyone taken the "R" endorsement Road Test in Albany who would be willing to take a few minutes to share their experience as I prepare for my Road Test in May.
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Old 04-13-2013, 09:36 AM   #2
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Perhaps you could explain what it is your refering to. Have no idea what an R endoserment is or what it's for. It must be a New York thing I assume.
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Old 04-13-2013, 09:54 AM   #3
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Perhaps you could explain what it is your refering to. Have no idea what an R endoserment is or what it's for. It must be a New York thing I assume.

X2...in Ca. you just need your driver's license (unless it's over 40'...then you need an endorsement)
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Old 04-13-2013, 10:02 AM   #4
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If a coach is over 40' in CA you need a different driver's license, not an endorsement.

I think the OP has made it very clear he's asking for advice regarding the process in New York.
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Old 04-13-2013, 10:50 AM   #5
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John,

Was the confusion with the "R" endorsement or the registration of the MH? I am registered, no problem, but am thinking of getting the endorsement (for all those reasons). My issue is the same as your's, not sure who would go with me to the DMV for the road test. I understand it could be someone with "C" license also, is that what you understand? It may be esier to find a C than an R endorsement to ride along.
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Old 04-13-2013, 11:56 AM   #6
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In NYS, as well as a few other states, if the GVWR is over 26,000lb, you should have a special drivers license. In NYS it's call a 'R' endorsement. Our DMV offices have little to no idea what is needed at each step of the way to get your endorsement. Even the examiner for the road test called his boss to determine what to test me on. Performing a parallel park maneuver was the most challanging.

Searching this site you will find previous discussions on this topic, such as r-endorsement or NYS-r-endorsement or nys-r-endorsement-road-test or r-endorsement-in-nys are just a few.
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Old 04-13-2013, 01:43 PM   #7
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I would call bull on the parallel parking. It is not even required for a CDL.
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Old 04-13-2013, 02:25 PM   #8
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I just got my 'R' endorsement this past December.

In NY state, most driver's licenses are Class D, which allows you to drive anything up to a Gross Combined Weight of 26,000 lbs. You either need the 'R' endorsement for anything over 26,001 lbs, or a Commercial Driver's License. I don't recommend the CDL, unless you need it to drive professionally. If you are towing a car, you must add both the weight of the motorhome and car together, and if it exceeds 26,001 lbs, you need the endorsement.

I took my test in Batavia. For the Rochester folks, it can be done in Canandaigua, Dansville, Rochester, or Batavia.

The driver's test consisted of driving the coach through the town of Batavia, on city streets, making left and right hand turns. I pulled up to a curb to park, and that was it. Took maybe 10 minutes. Make sure you use your mirrors, even exaggerating your head movement so the examiner can verify you're using your mirrors. Be sure to make full stops at a stop sign, and don't drive past the white line when coming to a stop. Try not to turn severely into the oncoming lane when making a right turn. Use your turn signals well in advance.

I too had the same experience at the DMV. Most of them don't know what an 'R' endorsement is.

Dan, you can either have someone with a CDL ride with you to take the test, or someone else with an 'R' endorsement. Call or PM me. I will ride with you.
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Old 04-13-2013, 08:46 PM   #9
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Quote:
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John,

Was the confusion with the "R" endorsement or the registration of the MH? I am registered, no problem, but am thinking of getting the endorsement (for all those reasons). My issue is the same as your's, not sure who would go with me to the DMV for the road test. I understand it could be someone with "C" license also, is that what you understand? It may be esier to find a C than an R endorsement to ride along.

Dan,

Pusherman (Don) and rsflight have explained well what I had to learn - one frustrating step after another. Hard to believe that it is a State classification (endorsement in NYS) that could have consequences for NY 26K+ lbs RV drivers yet DMVs have so little knowledge.


Don - thank you for sharing your road test experience. From what I have been able to determine from reading similar posts in 2011 and 2012 for NYS, there seems to be significant variances when it comes to the road tests.

I am having a friend with a NYS CDL "A" go to the test with me. Much easier to find a CDL driver than someone with a "R" endorsement. So, for now I have a Permit to drive our MH and (2) chances to take the road test over the ensuing year (May for me). But, I have not been able to find any published information stating whether or not I must have a qualified driver always accompanying me until I have passed the test.

When I first learned that often the road test included parallel parking, I thought it was ridiculous. But actually, I don't believe the objective is to insure the driver can parallel park - it demonstrates the driver's ability to perform multiple maneuvers in control of the vehicle in a short period of time.
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Old 04-13-2013, 08:55 PM   #10
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I just got my 'R' endorsement this past December.

In NY state, most driver's licenses are Class D, which allows you to drive anything up to a Gross Combined Weight of 26,000 lbs. You either need the 'R' endorsement for anything over 26,001 lbs, or a Commercial Driver's License. I don't recommend the CDL, unless you need it to drive professionally. If you are towing a car, you must add both the weight of the motorhome and car together, and if it exceeds 26,001 lbs, you need the endorsement.

I took my test in Batavia. For the Rochester folks, it can be done in Canandaigua, Dansville, Rochester, or Batavia.

The driver's test consisted of driving the coach through the town of Batavia, on city streets, making left and right hand turns. I pulled up to a curb to park, and that was it. Took maybe 10 minutes. Make sure you use your mirrors, even exaggerating your head movement so the examiner can verify you're using your mirrors. Be sure to make full stops at a stop sign, and don't drive past the white line when coming to a stop. Try not to turn severely into the oncoming lane when making a right turn. Use your turn signals well in advance.

I too had the same experience at the DMV. Most of them don't know what an 'R' endorsement is.

Dan, you can either have someone with a CDL ride with you to take the test, or someone else with an 'R' endorsement. Call or PM me. I will ride with you.
Don

Don - did your road test include any pre-inspections of your MH ? How about demonstrating your knowledge of the air brakes ? Did your test include entrance and exit of a limited access highway?

I have been told the road test will take 30 minutes and I am starting just on the outskirts of Albany.
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Old 04-14-2013, 12:52 PM   #11
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Don - did your road test include any pre-inspections of your MH ? How about demonstrating your knowledge of the air brakes ? Did your test include entrance and exit of a limited access highway?

I have been told the road test will take 30 minutes and I am starting just on the outskirts of Albany.
There is no written exam for an 'R' endorsement in NYS.

If the inspector asks you why you didn't do a 'walk-around' before the test in front of him, tell him you did it before leaving for the road test. I would do it before you leave for the test, by the way, checking to make sure all your lights are working properly. He will check your inspection and registration, and could ask to see if the lights are working properly. In my case he did not.

There is no requirements that you orally review with the inspector how the air brakes operate, or how to test them, or bleed them down (there is on a CDL, however). He may ask you if the coach is air brake equipped. Assuming it is, the proper answer will be 'Yes'. He might ask some simple questions, like how many psi do the brakes have to be up to to release the parking brake (answer=75psi), but again, you don't have to demonstrate to the inspector anything on how the air brake system works for an 'R' endorsement. He's looking for your general understanding that you know and are comfortable with your coach.

Make sure you remember the height of your coach to the highest accessory on the roof. Always good to demonstrate knowledge of the coach by answering the examiner's questions.

Answer any questions the inspector asks to the best of your knowledge, but do not offer any other information if not asked.

My examiner was a very nice and polite individual. I greeted him and introduced him to my ride-along, who had a CDL. He asked to see his CDL. The ride was short and sweet. He asked me a couple questions, like how high my coach was, and if it did have air brakes. I knew both answers. At the end, he wrote on my exam paper 'Nice Ride'.

My test was conducted within the city limits of Batavia, NY. No highways. I don't think I ever got past 20 mph. Took about 10 minutes.

You might choose a testing location which keeps you in a smaller town or suburb away from heavy traffic or highways. Batavia is a busy little town (4 lanes on main street, but traffic lights and 30 mph) but I never left the right lane, and he had me turning on a lot of side streets to demonstrate I know how to make left and right hand maneuvers. And yes, there were lots of parked cars on both sides of the street I had to dodge, but the side street traffic was light. Just pull around them like you would do in your car.

My test was a breeze. I got a '100%'.

One more antidote. Don't think that since your coach is below 26K lbs actual weight, that you have to be over 26,001 lbs when taking the test ride, and must drag your toad along to the road test. They won't weigh the coach, and you certainly don't have to make the exam any harder than it need be. Keep the toad at home.

My coach's actual weight is under 26,001 lbs, as is its registered weight. However, my GVWR is 27,910 lbs, GCWR is 37,910, and when towing my car I exceed the 26,001 actual combined weight. Therefore legally by NYS laws I am required to have the 'R' endorsement when towing, and some can argue even when I'm not towing.
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Old 04-14-2013, 03:01 PM   #12
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There is no written exam for an 'R' endorsement in NYS.

If the inspector asks you why you didn't do a 'walk-around' before the test in front of him, tell him you did it before leaving for the road test. I would do it before you leave for the test, by the way, checking to make sure all your lights are working properly. He will check your inspection and registration, and could ask to see if the lights are working properly. In my case he did not.

There is no requirements that you orally review with the inspector how the air brakes operate, or how to test them, or bleed them down (there is on a CDL, however). He may ask you if the coach is air brake equipped. Assuming it is, the proper answer will be 'Yes'. He might ask some simple questions, like how many psi do the brakes have to be up to to release the parking brake (answer=75psi), but again, you don't have to demonstrate to the inspector anything on how the air brake system works for an 'R' endorsement. He's looking for your general understanding that you know and are comfortable with your coach.

Make sure you remember the height of your coach to the highest accessory on the roof. Always good to demonstrate knowledge of the coach by answering the examiner's questions.

Answer any questions the inspector asks to the best of your knowledge, but do not offer any other information if not asked.

My examiner was a very nice and polite individual. I greeted him and introduced him to my ride-along, who had a CDL. He asked to see his CDL. The ride was short and sweet. He asked me a couple questions, like how high my coach was, and if it did have air brakes. I knew both answers. At the end, he wrote on my exam paper 'Nice Ride'.

My test was conducted within the city limits of Batavia, NY. No highways. I don't think I ever got past 20 mph. Took about 10 minutes.

You might choose a testing location which keeps you in a smaller town or suburb away from heavy traffic or highways. Batavia is a busy little town (4 lanes on main street, but traffic lights and 30 mph) but I never left the right lane, and he had me turning on a lot of side streets to demonstrate I know how to make left and right hand maneuvers. And yes, there were lots of parked cars on both sides of the street I had to dodge, but the side street traffic was light. Just pull around them like you would do in your car.

My test was a breeze. I got a '100%'.

One more antidote. Don't think that since your coach is below 26K lbs actual weight, that you have to be over 26,001 lbs when taking the test ride, and must drag your toad along to the road test. They won't weigh the coach, and you certainly don't have to make the exam any harder than it need be. Keep the toad at home.

My coach's actual weight is under 26,001 lbs, as is its registered weight. However, my GVWR is 27,910 lbs, GCWR is 37,910, and when towing my car I exceed the 26,001 actual combined weight. Therefore legally by NYS laws I am required to have the 'R' endorsement when towing, and some can argue even when I'm not towing.

Don,

I want to thank you for the information it was exactly what I need to learn. Although I believe there will be differences between the various testing locations you account helps with what can be expected.

Yes, our coach does has air brakes and weighs in at 25,600 lbs - ULVW so for me there's no question about the need for an "R" endorsement for NYS.

We took delivery of our 2009 36' coach last November and it went in to storage the day it arrived. I have never driven a MH or for that matter ever had reason to trailer anything so, for me this is a new skill to be learned. I am quite comfortable piloting sail and power boats larger than our coach so I have respect for what it takes to handle a MH safely.

Had my very first 2 1/2 hour drive this morning with my "ride along CDL" friend. It was a good practice - highway, side roads and a lot of time in an empty parking lot - but learning to parallel park is not as easy as it sounds or as easy as a car. That will take more work to get it right first time. But what concerns me the most is knowing what's best to do in the many situations that will arise (as in boating) that can avoid uncomfortable outcomes or progressively worse situations. That I consider as - "experience" and it'll take time, as it did with boats.

My test is already scheduled for about 4 weeks out. So, I have a lot more practice needed before I'll see a 100%.

Thank you for your help.
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Old 04-14-2013, 03:19 PM   #13
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I would call bull on the parallel parking. It is not even required for a CDL.
You obviously do not have a Texas B CDL You will back 50' or so, make all the turns you can, then parallel park (sort of). The hard part was remembering the numbers for the air brake portion of the pre test walk around. When does the low air warning go off, when will the brakes lock up due to loss of pressure, how long should it take for the air to build up again? How do you dump the air to prove the bells go off? What are slack adjusters what are you looking for. How do you check all the lights. Do you know what will get you a equipment ticket?

She was very professional and polite but I would not want to cross her. Must have been a marine DI in a previous life.
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Old 04-14-2013, 04:07 PM   #14
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You obviously do not have a Texas B CDL You will back 50' or so, make all the turns you can, then parallel park (sort of). The hard part was remembering the numbers for the air brake portion of the pre test walk around. When does the low air warning go off, when will the brakes lock up due to loss of pressure, how long should it take for the air to build up again? How do you dump the air to prove the bells go off? What are slack adjusters what are you looking for. How do you check all the lights. Do you know what will get you a equipment ticket?

She was very professional and polite but I would not want to cross her. Must have been a marine DI in a previous life.
Didn't have to do any of that stuff for my 'R' endorsement in NYS. There is no requirement to know all the air brake stuff, as I stated before, like a Commercial Driver's License (CDL). Examiner did not make me parallel park. All I had to do was pull straight in along a curb.

I do agree all that stuff is required for taking the CDL, including a written exam. Not so for the 'R' endorsement in NYS.
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