MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The state plans to add a new commercial driver’s license testing location to Shelby County, the WREG Problem Solvers have learned.
The revelation came during an investigation into delays and issues encountered by Ronnie White of Memphis.
For the last year, White had a paper permit to drive a commercial vehicle.
“I’m trying to become a truck driver,” he said. “It’s to supplement my income.”
In July, he went to Jackson, Tennessee to take his final test to get his commercial driver’s license. Of the seven CDL skills test locations, Jackson is the closest to Memphis.
“Not only is it time consuming, you have to spend your resources, put money in your vehicle to go up there,” he said.
At least he’d only have to go one time, or so he thought. His truck got hit during the test on the closed course.
“Another vehicle, which was testing, struck the vehicle that I was in. Myself and the instructor were sitting side by side. No one was hurt. He stopped the test. Jackson police came up there,” he said.
By the time police finished taking the accident report, instructors told White he’d have to reschedule the rest.
He drove back to Memphis and called, but was never able to make another appointment. He waited so long, his permit expired.
“The communication system they have is not accurate enough,” he said.
The WREG Problem Solvers contacted the state about White’s issue. A spokesperson for the Department of Safety said White never did anything wrong, but the system did flag his application, keeping him from scheduling a redo until we got involved.
“It’s common for people who intentionally commit fraud to wait until the last second of their license validity to try to take advantage of the system,” DPS spokesperson Wesley Moster said. “…our system flagged it out of precaution. We have spoken with him and took care of his situation.”
“I feel okay but it’s still, the stress of going through the whole process all over,” he said.
White hoped his story would help others avoid a similar situation, including other Memphis drivers applying for a CDL.
“You taking that truck you drove up there out of service, so that’s your employer losing money on the truck. It’s very stressful,” he said.
As a result, the state tells WREG they are working on opening a new driver services center in Shelby County in the Arlington area within the next two years.
State officials also tell us they are short-staffed and have several open positions including for phone operators and license test examiners.
► Got a problem? Contact WREG Problem Solver Stacy Jacobson at 901-543-2334 or firstname.lastname@example.org