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oletimer

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I have had a CDL ever since they came out, because of the trucks I drove in the business. At that time, the state (Kansas) told me all my employees, including the secretary who drove a company vehicle at times, also needed a CDL. All the other employees even the ones that only drove pickups, and cars, also needed a CDL. Needless to say, I had all of them take the easy(at that time) test and become certified. Still had a business to run, so I sent 3-4 at a time for the all day process. I wanted some of them to get the Hazmat endorsement, and some did, some did not including my sons, but they did get the tanker, air brake, motorcycle, and PASSENGER BUS.

Kinda a joke at the time, for some anyway. I have kept my CDL, and transferred to Texas 18 years ago, but dropped the Hazmat. Even though I don't drive commercial anymore, I don't know why I want it, but??

 

Anyway, I received a notice today from Texas Department of Public Safety, that says they are downgrading my license to a non-commercial, because I didn't fill out a "Self-Certification Affidavit" (CDL-7). I do have a current medical card, but I now have to be re-certified. I'm not afraid of the test, but won't be back to Texas until September. I can take it in Kansas, then transfer again, but just wonder if it is worth it, or should I let it go. I'm 71, and never plan to work commercial again. I guess I'm just trying to stay young. What do you-all think? Thanks, Dick T

 

BTW, I tried to do a search on the forum about this but kept getting kicked off, and with no results, is that just me?

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Dick t

 

I'm new to the forum, having just purchaced a 730 volvo and trying to take our life on the road.

 

In real life I'm a physican who does a lot of CDL medical examinations. With the recent changes in that program, I think you will find it is going to become more expensive and a real pain to continue going through that process.Since you don't need the certification nor plan to use it in the future, I would drop it.

 

Orrin M

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Dick, don't do it...dump that dang thing.

 

Now, the problem is ( if you are a Texas resident) is that that they are downgrading you to a class C drivers license and you cannot drive your Volvo with a class C. You will need a class A drivers license, not a commercial drivers license but a plain old drivers license. It would have been a simple process to convert your class A cdl to a class A dl but now you will have to go take the tests all over. They aren't bad but a pain considering that you coulda just walked in and requested it before the downgrade. You might wanna call a Texas licensing office SOON and see if you can still do it.

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I agree with everything Big5er said. Downgrade to a Class A and you will be golden. In other discussions here the general opinion was a CDL can be a detriment for our type of usage as you are often held to a higher standard.

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oletimer, The forum search tool is iffy some days and never all that great, instead use Google to search by telling it to only look for results from this site. Just copy/paste this to your Google search bar:

 

site:www.rvnetwork.com

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Well, guess I'll go with the class A. This will be different because, the only "A" I ever got in High School was in music, and I wasn't even that good at that. Opps, is "that" a preposition? See what I mean?

 

BTW, thanks for the comments, and thank you Stan, I'll try to remember "that". WOW

 

Dick T

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He can renew it, and get a P restriction. That way, he won't have to do a test, and won't be required to have a medical exam card. He just won't be allowed "drive for hire," if the need ever came up.

Why bother to have a "C" dl if you are not driving commercially?? A "C"dl costs more that a dl, for one and secondly isn't needed to drive an HDT. Also, restriction "P" is "stated on license" and none of the "P" restrictions I am familiar with would exempt someone from a medical card. Which one are you looking at?

 

Once his license has been downgraded in order to get his "C"dl back, he will have to take the written and the driving test. He can't "renew" his cdl because it didn't "expire" it was administratively downgraded to a Class C operators license.

Texas DPS had a bit of a snafu in the original round of downgrades, but they are quickly correcting that and that is why I told him to call them quickly to see if he could possibly convert his Class A cdl to a Class A dl and avoid the downgrade.

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So why dont you contact TX DPS and ask?

He may have by now, but the answer to your question is because the clerks there may not know. I had more trouble getting a Class A drivers license than I would have thought possible. If the clerk hasn't done it or seen it you may get an incorrect answer. Too many times they answer with what they "think" they know, are adamant with their wrong answer and do not appreciate being told, shown or proven wrong.

In my case they insisted that a Class A was only a CDL. I asked if they had a copy of the Texas Transportation code, and if they had ever bothered to read it (which they didn't much appreciate) and asked why section 521 stated that there were 4 classes of non commercial licenses, (Class M, C, B and A) if they didn't exist. Needless to say, I thought it best to take the driving test at a different office than that one.

 

After all, Dick's original question was "what do y'all think?" not "what do y'all know". But at this point Texas enforcement personnel are not enforcing the downgraded CDL because of the snafu. If CMV operators have a valid medical certificate and a downgraded DL , then they can still drive. It will be worked out soon and a lot of CDL drivers are gonna be in a bad way when they get stopped and told that the CDL in their hand is not a cdl anymore but a Class C license. They better have a friend with a CDL that can come pick up that truck for them. In Dick's case he won't be out of service (not a CMV) just cited for the wrong class of license.

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The clerks in drivers license bureaus many times don't know what is required. After the Colorado State Patrol told me they were "positive" that I needed a CDL to drive a HDT registered and used as an RV I asked which class. They didn't know but said check with the license bureau. They said I needed a class B. It is difficult to get the correct answers.

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I had more trouble getting a Class A drivers license than I would have thought possible. If the clerk hasn't done it or seen it you may get an incorrect answer.

 

I can vouch for that. Getting my original Class A six years ago wasn't a problem at the DPS office where I originally upgraded, but I did have a minor problem this year when I went to an "address change and renewals only" DPS office near my home to renew it.

 

The clerk looked at my old license and said "Class A? What in the world is this?". Even after I explained it to her she was hesitant to process the renewal, right up until the State Trooper sitting next to her said "He's right. Go ahead and process it.".

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Sorry I have been so long in a response, but have been trying to get this thing resolved.

 

We still have a home and our farm in Kansas, so we come back for 2-4 months every summer get caught up on all the work, and to see friends, and family. I got this downgrade notice VIA mail while here, and it couldn't have happened at much worse of a time. Susan, and I have both had a few health issues lately, and had to check in for a tune-up so we could continue this great lifestyle, and tear ourselves up some more. As per Big5er, I tried to contact Texas DPS by both web and phone to change to a Class A license, but had little/no luck. So I got this bright idea to just move back to Kansas for a while, and transfer my license, and at the same time change it to a Class A. After three 30+ mile trips, I found I could transfer OK, but had to keep the CDL. So that is what I did, $35. They didn't even ask about my medical card, BTW it is expired now,(I think) and even though I just had a complete physical, my Doctor is not registered with KDOT!! I think I will wait for a while, then try to downgrade my new Kansas CDL class A to a non-commercial class A. That is the license I want.

 

Thanks folks for all the comments, and help. Dick T

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I just got my Kansas class A non-commercial license last week.

 

FYI I have a Kansas CDL class B and do not pull a fifth wheel camper, but pull a large open trailer with 3 jeeps on it that we use for pleasure only.

 

When I originally went to the DL office there was a small argument between the the Noncommercial person and the DOT person on what license I was required to have.

The Noncommercial person said yes you need a CDL. I explained to them that there is nothing commercial about what we do. The DOT person overheard conversation and chimed in.

After some questions from the DOT person, he said since we do not receive prize money or have sponsors I did not need to be commercial. A Noncommercial class A license is what I needed to get.

 

My process went as follows:

 

Studied the Kansas Driving Handbook Noncommercial Driver’s Manual.

Went to DL office took standard Noncommercial Driver’s written test.

Went back a few days later with the truck and trailer and did the Noncommercial Driver’s road test.

My road test consisted of checking all exterior truck and trailer lights.

Tester jumped in and we drove 6 or 7 miles with 3 right turns and 7 left turns.

That was it. Not sure if that is standard testing or maybe I did less because of having a CDL class B.

 

It was a lot less painful than expected.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The answer is if your State does not require a CDL don't get one. Arizona does so I have A CDL. Had about 1-1/2 years ago triple heart bypass surgery so needed a echo cardiogram only medical for 1 year. This time stress EKG and renew for another. I think the stress EKG and 1 year renewal goes on for 3 year from time surgery. Bottom line you have any medical issues it is pain. So don't if you don't have to.

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Why bother to have a "C" dl if you are not driving commercially?? A "C"dl costs more that a dl, for one and secondly isn't needed to drive an HDT. Also, restriction "P" is "stated on license" and none of the "P" restrictions I am familiar with would exempt someone from a medical card. Which one are you looking at?

 

Once his license has been downgraded in order to get his "C"dl back, he will have to take the written and the driving test. He can't "renew" his cdl because it didn't "expire" it was administratively downgraded to a Class C operators license.

Texas DPS had a bit of a snafu in the original round of downgrades, but they are quickly correcting that and that is why I told him to call them quickly to see if he could possibly convert his Class A cdl to a Class A dl and avoid the downgrade.

 

For the past 4 1/2+ years that I've had my Class A CDL,...I've never been required to have a medical card, unless I was driving for hire. When I renewed my license last year in September, I told the clerk that I wanted to downgrade to a Class A Non-CDL, because I drive big vehicles recreationally. She had told me that if I did that,...I'd have to take the driving test. I had told her that I didn't have time for all of that. Then she suggested "that I keep my Class A CDL status, but have a "P" restriction on it. That way, you won't have to worry about obtaining and keeping a medical card." On the back of my license, it says exactly "RESTRICTIONS - P - If CMV, only trans personal prop inter," which is actually P18 of the DL endorsements and restrictions codes. Hope that helps in your understanding.

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Ok, First, I would have questioned the need to take a driving test to retain your Class A license. You are not changing the class only the type of license. Why would you have to take a test to get a license for something you are already licensed for?

The only exemptions from a medical certificate in "interstate" movement on a CDL are below,,,and hauling personal property is NOT one of them. (And they put the emphasis on the word "only".)

when you drive a CMV in interstate commerce only for the following exempted activities:

  • As federal, state or local government employees
  • The transportation of human corpses or sick or injured persons
  • The operation of fire truck or rescue vehicles while involved in emergency and related operations
  • Primarily in the transportation of propane winter heating fuel when responding to an emergency condition requiring immediate response such as damage to a propane gas system after a storm or flooding;
  • In response to a pipeline emergency such as a leak or rupture
  • In custom harvesting on a farm or to transportation of farm machinery and supplies used in the custom harvesting operation to and from a farm or within 150 miles of the farm (does not apply to the transport of hazardous materials requiring a placard or to combination vehicles)
  • Beekeeper in the seasonal transportation of bees
  • As a private motor carrier of passengers for non-business purposes
  • To transport migrant workers

 

You might also check out this Texas DPS webpage. It plainly says that anyone claiming to be exempt from the medical certificate requirements , for "intrastate movement" (Category 4) must have "been regularly employed operating a CMV prior to August 28, 1989" or engaged in an exempt activity which it lists as "oil/water well servicing and/or drilling or mobile crane operations". Neither of those exemptions says anything about hauling personal property and/or5 having a cdl of only 4 years. I question the clerks understanding of the "P18" restriction but it is something that I will check with my DPS contacts about, since that is not the enforcement guidelines they have given us. I hope that helps in your understanding of why, if I was in your shoes, I would be concerned about the information you got from a clerk. As I said before, none of the "P" restrictions that I am familiar with will exempt you from needing a medical certificate, even if you are hauling your own property.

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Big5er,

 

While it is true that the only exemptions are those which you listed, the underlying requirement for the medical is tied to the driver being involved in Interstate Commerce.

 

The Self-Certification is a statement by the CDL holder, declaring their intentions, should they engage in commercial operations. If a CDL holder were to declare that they would only partake in commercial operations under one, any or all of the excepted categories and then never ever engage in any sort of commercial operations, there are no problems whatsoever. They would only be committing an offense if they did, in fact, engage in a commercial operation and the activity was not one of the listed exceptions.

 

The fact of whether a driver presenting on the side of the road has a valid medical, no medical, or has filed as exempt, will not be a factor, unless he/she is involved in Interstate Commerce at the time of the contact.

 

Just Sayin...... ;-)

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Ok, First, I would have questioned the need to take a driving test to retain your Class A license. You are not changing the class only the type of license. Why would you have to take a test to get a license for something you are already licensed for?

 

The only exemptions from a medical certificate in "interstate" movement on a CDL are below,,,and hauling personal property is NOT one of them. (And they put the emphasis on the word "only".)

 

 

 

You might also check out this Texas DPS webpage. It plainly says that anyone claiming to be exempt from the medical certificate requirements , for "intrastate movement" (Category 4) must have "been regularly employed operating a CMV prior to August 28, 1989" or engaged in an exempt activity which it lists as "oil/water well servicing and/or drilling or mobile crane operations". Neither of those exemptions says anything about hauling personal property and/or5 having a cdl of only 4 years. I question the clerks understanding of the "P18" restriction but it is something that I will check with my DPS contacts about, since that is not the enforcement guidelines they have given us. I hope that helps in your understanding of why, if I was in your shoes, I would be concerned about the information you got from a clerk. As I said before, none of the "P" restrictions that I am familiar with will exempt you from needing a medical certificate, even if you are hauling your own property.

 

Big5er,

I made a couple of phone calls and asked about the restriction. I got the same answer each time. They all said that I was not required to have a medical card. But if I got hired, and was asked to drive a company's CMV, then I'd have to get a medical card to get that P Restriction removed. My P Restriction states, "If CMV, only personal property INTERstate," not INTRAstate. This is why when these kinds of topics come up, I always suggest to get that particular restriction, so that you don't end up getting forced to "Downgrade," or retest to get a NON-CDL. It makes it easier and less of a hassle to just walk in and sign a form, and down the road you go,...instead of spending a day or two with those people. This route is geared more towards people who are in the same boat as Oletimer,...who used to drive for a living, and is now retired.

 

I was able to check out the link that you referred me to. Based off of that site, I would fall into Category 2,...which does exempt me from a medical card, as well as Category 4. I'm retired, so neither section in Category 4 would apply to me.

 

Also, I stated the 4 1/2 year time period, because the laws may have been different before that, and obviously different since then. Which is why when I origianlly got it, I wasnt required to get a medical card.

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The fact of whether a driver presenting on the side of the road has a valid medical, no medical, or has filed as exempt, will not be a factor, unless he/she is involved in Interstate Commerce at the time of the contact.

 

Just Sayin...... ;-)

LOL you guys do what you are comfortable with. Like oletimer said, he simply got a letter saying that his was being downgraded. They didn't "force" him to downgrade, they just did it to him. The "self certification" was only the start. Do you really believe they are simply going to ask the driver: "Are you exempt?" and take his word for it? If you have not supplied documentation that you fit into the exemption (or had a verifiable CDL since 1989), Texas is just gonna turn your license into a Class C operators license. What will happen is that he will present his Class A license and be told that is has been downgraded and it's no longer a Class A. That is what will happen roadside, commercial or not. That is the situation that the original poster was facing.

 

The entire U.S. is currently in the process of adding the medical certs to the driiving record (trying to play catch-up with the Canadians and the Mexicans who have done it that way for years).

 

I have no idea why I even bother. After all, I have no idea what I am talking about and y'all do so I'll just quit. After all, y'all checked with a clerk at the DMV. They couldn't ever be wrong.

 

Safe travels...see ya roadside.

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Sorry if I hit a nerve there, that was not my intention at all.

 

Based on what you wrote, I don't think you understood my points, I was definitely not saying that OleTimer should blow off the whole thing and just claim he was not a commercial driver so he was good to go.

 

As you said, there is a federal mandate that all CDL holders file the self-certification. It is quite simple, he did not file a certification by the deadline so his state downgraded him. You guys already covered his different options and I fully agree with what you wrote regarding the need for the Class A or a CDL.

 

My main point is that if he or any other CDL holder were to file a self-certification stating that they would fall under the Exempt category IF they were to ever operate a Commercial Vehicle, they are completely within the Code of Federal Regulations. There is no requirement to even state which of the exemptions would apply to the driver. Again, that is all based on the fact that IF the driver is going to operate a commercial vehicle, they better be doing so under one of those exempt categories or they got a medical.

 

At the same time I can appreciate your frustration for people posting that the basis for their post is based on what a clerk, dispatcher, neighbor, Boy Scout or trucker may have told them.

 

Again, sorry if I added to your frustration,

 

John

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I guess we can all agree that there was some misunderstanding here. Oletimer stated that "they are downgrading my license to a non-commercial." A non-commercial what,....A, B, C? He never specified it. My assumption was that he was downgraded from a Class A CDL to a Class A DL, while others assumed it was downgraded to a Class C. That's why I made the suggestion about the P Restriction. I made that suggestion, because that is what I did, to keep my Class A CDL without having to obtain a medical card, and taking another test, period. I haven't found, or heard of anywhere that states that we can change our license status ONLY at the time of renewal. If I'm wrong about that, please verify it, because I'm always open to constructive criticism. I'm not on here to insult anyone's intelligence. But, in regards to this topic, the information that I have received,...from the clerks, my personal LE contacts, and the suggested link that I was referred to, leads me to the same results. Therefore, my homework is done, according to this forum. According to the suggested link, I've filled out the

Certification of Physical Exemption 49 CFR PART 391/390 CDL-10. I fall into Category 2, which states, "This category will NOT require a medical examiners certificate, but are required to meet Texas medical standards," not Category 4, which I keep getting "placed in." The Excepted Activity is Diplayed on my CDL, which was stated in one of my earlier posts.

 

One question I have is,...why all the generalized statements about the clerks? They're no different than any other person who has a job, or is considered a professional. Some know what they're doing, and some don't. It would rub people, the wrong way if I said, "ALL LEOs think they know the law!" The truth is, they ALL don't. Just speaking from personal experiences. We all got our license one way or another. I honestly know that everyone on here didn't get their license without any issues. So, to say that "I wouldn't trust a clerk," or "They couldn't never be wrong," is a generalized statement that I will totally disagree with. On the other hand, why would we suggest or recommend our members to call the DMV/DPS offices anyway, when after all, we supposedly "don't trust them?" With that being said, who am I supposed to believe,...the professional Escapee forum members only, and no one outside of "our little circle?" Certainly not. From what I can see, we have DMV/DPS locations that are "easy" to deal with, and others that are a total PITA.

 

Big5ver, I respect everything you've done for us,...not only the knowledge and advice that you give to us on here,...which can come across as harsh to some,(the LGT posts, lol)...but also the job that you currently or formerly had, out there on the road. Laws change all the time, and we don't even know it. I know that you personally, would know a lot more than most who are on this forum. If I were in your shoes,...I'd consider the suggestion of others, when what's working for them is "outside of your box." If you're honest with yourself, you'd do your own research as I have done. We all come on here to share our experiences, opinions, and thoughts with others who have questions,...and for you to totally deny me of my shared experience to others, is not doing them justice. When the next man in the same situation comes along, he can do his homework as well as I did, to make his own informed decision. I say all that in no way to get you all riled up. Just wanted you to know that.

 

Other than that, I hope to see you and many others out on the road. I would like to personally get to meet and know you all, as well as attend some of the events. But being retired, and still having kids with 9 more years of school left, won't allow me to venture very far for very long.

 

Leonard

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