Best option to maintain CDL "just in case"?

Discussion in 'Experienced Truckers' Advice' started by PAPPY3X, Sep 23, 2021.

  1. PAPPY3X

    PAPPY3X Bobtail Member

    Feb 23, 2018
    Retired/don't drive, and received notice that my CDL will be downgraded if I don't submit a USDOT Medical Examiner's Certificate.

    Holding on to the CDL as a ticket to job opportunities if finances unexpectedly hit the fan (age 63). When USDOT Medical Examiner's Certificate expires, what is the best way to keep the option open to restore my NY-issued CDLA driving privileges in the future? The NYSDMV website and phone contact didn't help answer this Q.

    A Med Exam costs $89, and would need 3 exams to keep my CDL until it expires in 2027. Is there a cheaper way, such as a downgrading to another license classification that keeps the open the option of restoring my CDLA until 2027?

    Thanks for your time!
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  3. jason6541

    jason6541 Road Train Member

    Mar 5, 2012
    Omaha, NE
    Not that I am aware of, Need to keep med card valid. Use to be in my state that
    They would downgrade you but not revoke CDL. Just as long as you didn’t operate a commercial vehicle. As soon as a valid Ned card was presented it was upgraded again.
    But since everything is tied together electronically now. My state doesn’t allow it. May want to call your local office for specifics in your state
    PAPPY3X Thanks this.
  4. Lucky12

    Lucky12 Medium Load Member

    Nov 24, 2019
    If medical card is expired beyond 90 days, some states require retesting to get CDL. $89 every two years is likely your cheapest option.
  5. Chinatown

    Chinatown Road Train Member

    Aug 28, 2011
    Henderson, NV & Orient
    Don't risk your cdl; keep the physical updated. States are changing laws frequently, so best to just take the safe route and keep the physical updated; don't let it expire even for one day.
  6. homeskillet

    homeskillet Road Train Member

    Jun 1, 2013
    Dayton, OH
    Can't say for NY, but in Ohio you can certify for excepted interstate (Tier 2), non-excepted intrastate (Tier 3), or excepted intrastate (Tier 4), which do NOT require a DOT card.

    I certified Tier 2 after I got fired from the bus company, and stayed that way for 9 months cutting meat at a Major Midwestern supermarket chain.

    When I found a driving job, I went and got a DOT card, took the long form to Ohio BMV to certify Tier 1 (non-excepted interstate), then got haulin'.

    New York State, well........can't say, but good luck.
    tscottme, 4merlinn2, Numb and 2 others Thank this.
  7. MLC Adventures

    MLC Adventures Medium Load Member

    May 2, 2021
    Your CDL will still be good, just not active. If you need it, get your health card.
    PAPPY3X Thanks this.
  8. PAPPY3X

    PAPPY3X Bobtail Member

    Feb 23, 2018
    Thanks for all your replies-

    Took Jason6541's advice by calling my local DMV office -hadn't occurred to me after finding no answer on the DMV website or phone line.
    The local DMV rep was very helpful and informative!
    Was told that if I don't update my Med Exam Cert then my license is downgraded from CDL, but my actual physical license held is not replaced.
    They said that because I paid the CDLA license fee through 2027, DMV won't take that driving option away.
    If I want to restore CDLA driving privileges, have until 2yrs AFTER my CDLA expires in 2027 to do that.
    All I have to do is go to my local NYSDMV with a USDOT Medical Exam Certificate and pay $17.50 fee to restore my CDLA.

    Rep was very knowledgeable -therefore though no written documentation for her info, I do trust that it is true (and it makes sense!)

    Thanks again for all your fast replies -greatly appreciated!
  9. SoulScream84

    SoulScream84 Road Train Member

    Mar 21, 2020
    It's good that you got some information directly from the source; but if it were me, and I could afford to so so, I would just get the new exams. Things can change quickly with how the handle licensing, and keeping the license completely updated is the best way to avoid future problems.
  10. PAPPY3X

    PAPPY3X Bobtail Member

    Feb 23, 2018
    Thanks for your reply-

    Pushing the Trust Button on this one-

    If NYS plans a change their licensing procedure that would cancel my CDLA, then would expect to receive a notification that provides me the opportunity to reactivate my CDLA or select whatever the new option is to retain the right to reactivate. My CDLA is bought and paid for through 2027, so don't expect NYS to just cancel it out of the blue.

    Probability I'll need my CDLA is low -therefore much prefer the $17.50 to reactivate if needed vs. paying what amounts to "insurance" totalling $270 for (3) medical exams thru 2027!
  11. Val_Caldera

    Val_Caldera Light Load Member

    Apr 2, 2021
    Greensboro, NC
    I was recently informed by NC DMV that "you can still upgrade to a A (without all the new reqs) within a year of getting the Class C".

    I'm Retired at 60 few.
    22 years with class A, Fun & Done!
    snowwy Thanks this.
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