Saturday, January 19, 2019

CDL permit

To drive a bus you need a Commerical Drivers Licence (CDL) Class B with a "P" for passenger endorsement.  To get a CDL you have to pass written, medical and skill tests.  The first stop is the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to take tests for a learners permit.

Hanging around at the DMV is quite the experience. After 3 trips I became acquainted with the staff and relieved to receive the permit.  New jobs are stressful in ways we don't expect. I witnessed test anxiety and hope others find ways to clear this written hurdle.

To prepare for the written test I read the manual, took a practice test and finally discovered the app.  After my initial failure, a DMV staff asked if I had "seen the app?" which turned out to be a Godsend.   Air brakes, combination vehicles, passenger safety is all new to me; the app is a test simulator which helped me pass on my second attempt. I took a third trip to the DMV because the second visit was too close to quitting time and didn't leave enough time for the paperwork.

At my final DMV visit,  I was left wondering whether the $64 dollars required for the permit would be a barrier for potential drivers.  While joyously leaving, an acquaintance waiting in the lobby asked me for the $2 he was short to get an ID and I easily shared it with him.  It saddens me to think of how something as simple as a $13 ID can be a roadblock for many. 

The medical test must be conducted by a licensed "medical examiner" who in my case was a Nurse Practitioner (NP) at an Occupational Medicine Clinic. Medical exams are required every 24 months to renew your CDL.  Eavesdropping in the waiting room I realized it was full of truck drivers and the nurse who took my vital signs said drivers are the bulk of their business.

The young NP who conducted my exam reassured me that the red patch in my eye was probably due to strain from the race I ran the previous week.  She was not concerned about the eye, but remarked that not many of her CDL exams are with 50k runners.  I passed the medical exam with flying colors.

New drivers get 8 weeks of training to pass the skill tests. I am confident that this training will afford many more humbling failures as well as the gratification of learning new skills.

1 comment:

  1. Hooray!!! So excited to witness your journey!! God is Good.