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Old 10-19-2013, 08:30 AM   #11
louie870
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Originally Posted by pitchindad View Post
This is an issue that has gotten a lot of attention on the RV blogs. I currently own a 38' Holiday Rambler which weights in at 32,000 dry. You are both right it is the manufacturer's weight rating that a DPS officer will go by. I have driven my MH over 100,000 miles and have never been stopped but I got the class B because if by some chance I did have a wreck and it was my fault my insurance would pay but cancel my coverage. This COULD cause me to be put in the high risk pool which I don't think any one wants to be in.
It is a Class A or B commerical license, you only have to answer 19 questions and when you get 19 right then it the computer says you passed. You then schedule a test with the DPS inspector in your RV when you pass they issue you the license. I studied about 1 hour on a Friday afternoon and then went and took the test. It really is no big deal but if you happen to have a wreck it could be a hugh deal. I just didn't want to take the risk when I could comply with the law.
My dad is in NM now and called and said he's been in touch with the Tx DOT office but no one around there seems to know what he is talking about. They don't get request for this very often so everyone is clueless. He said they keep directing him to the commercial handbook study guide. Do you know what he needs to study for the non-commercial class A? He also wants to know what is required in the driving portion of the test. Thanks in advance!
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Old 10-20-2013, 11:02 AM   #12
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I had to get my class B license, also known as Class B exempt, also known as Class B Non CDL to drive my motorhome which is well over the 26K limit.

Now, the Class A, which your dad is getting to be able to tow over 10K lbs., he will need to head over to the Escapees forum and search for Class A Texas. He will find plenty of info there. Unfortunately, calling the DPS is a waste of time because with rare exceptions they are unfamiliar with the law. For the Class A license, I studied one chapter from the commercial drivers study manual given out by DPS. That covers everything on the written test which is basically trick questions and useless stuff like "what year did it become necessary to have two taillights." Like I say, tho, look thru the Escapees site and you will find out exactly what you need to study. Test is easy.

The next challenge will be finding a place to actually take the test as many of the DPS licensing offices no longer give the test, are booked for months or are otherwise impossible to deal with as they have no familiarity with the non CDL tests. I will give you one good tip which I strongly advise you to pass on to your Dad. Schedule the driving test at Fort Stockton if he's going to be coming into W. Tx. Pleasant, competent people, easy city to drive in, and real straight forward to deal with. Both my wife and my sister took their tests here and the experience was completely different from mine which was in Alice, and really tough with a tight lipped examiner. Yes, she did make me parallel park a 36' motorhome. I passed, but just and I'm a good driver with prior commercial experience.

Hope this helps your Dad. He's doing the right thing, getting caught in a wreck without the proper license will mean no insurance most likely, and major hassles. Lots of people, including some DPS will tell you they know of no requirement, but believe me, there is one.
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Old 10-21-2013, 07:23 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by skypoke View Post
I had to get my class B license, also known as Class B exempt, also known as Class B Non CDL to drive my motorhome which is well over the 26K limit.

Now, the Class A, which your dad is getting to be able to tow over 10K lbs., he will need to head over to the Escapees forum and search for Class A Texas. He will find plenty of info there. Unfortunately, calling the DPS is a waste of time because with rare exceptions they are unfamiliar with the law. For the Class A license, I studied one chapter from the commercial drivers study manual given out by DPS. That covers everything on the written test which is basically trick questions and useless stuff like "what year did it become necessary to have two taillights." Like I say, tho, look thru the Escapees site and you will find out exactly what you need to study. Test is easy.

The next challenge will be finding a place to actually take the test as many of the DPS licensing offices no longer give the test, are booked for months or are otherwise impossible to deal with as they have no familiarity with the non CDL tests. I will give you one good tip which I strongly advise you to pass on to your Dad. Schedule the driving test at Fort Stockton if he's going to be coming into W. Tx. Pleasant, competent people, easy city to drive in, and real straight forward to deal with. Both my wife and my sister took their tests here and the experience was completely different from mine which was in Alice, and really tough with a tight lipped examiner. Yes, she did make me parallel park a 36' motorhome. I passed, but just and I'm a good driver with prior commercial experience.

Hope this helps your Dad. He's doing the right thing, getting caught in a wreck without the proper license will mean no insurance most likely, and major hassles. Lots of people, including some DPS will tell you they know of no requirement, but believe me, there is one.
Thanks a lot. I forwarded this to my dads email.
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Old 10-21-2013, 07:55 AM   #14
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Texas requires it and while you're there, take along your DD214 and have the Veterans designation put on your license.
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Old 10-21-2013, 07:32 PM   #15
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One more comment on this and I'll sign off. This can be a frustrating experience, the trick is to deal with a DPS testing office that knows the law. While I strongly recommend taking the driving test in Ft. Stockton (I have heard also that it is possible to take it in Van Horn), to get good solid info on what to study for the written portion of the test, CALL THE DPS TESTING OFFICE IN LIVINGSTON TX. Not trying to shout or be rude, but these people administer this test more than any other office in Tx. They know the rules, because this is where the motherlode of snowbirds who are establishing domicile in Tx. are, and they all have to get the Class A or B non CDL license for their RVs. Unfortunately, they are typically booked months in advance for these drivers tests but they can at least tell you what to study.

It used to be Chapter 14 or 15 from the Texas Commercial Drivers handbook but the book has changed. I believe it is available online, ask the folks in Livingston for a link. Good luck, and fortunately you only have to do it once. I took it and guided my wife and sister through it also with exactly this info.
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Old 10-22-2013, 06:10 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by skypoke View Post
One more comment on this and I'll sign off. This can be a frustrating experience, the trick is to deal with a DPS testing office that knows the law. While I strongly recommend taking the driving test in Ft. Stockton (I have heard also that it is possible to take it in Van Horn), to get good solid info on what to study for the written portion of the test, CALL THE DPS TESTING OFFICE IN LIVINGSTON TX. Not trying to shout or be rude, but these people administer this test more than any other office in Tx. They know the rules, because this is where the motherlode of snowbirds who are establishing domicile in Tx. are, and they all have to get the Class A or B non CDL license for their RVs. Unfortunately, they are typically booked months in advance for these drivers tests but they can at least tell you what to study.

It used to be Chapter 14 or 15 from the Texas Commercial Drivers handbook but the book has changed. I believe it is available online, ask the folks in Livingston for a link. Good luck, and fortunately you only have to do it once. I took it and guided my wife and sister through it also with exactly this info.
Thanks again for info. I spoke with my dad yesterday. On his way back to southeast Texas from NM, he is going to stop in Ft Stockton and take care of both test.
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Old 11-04-2013, 07:59 PM   #17
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Guess I have been extremely lucky because I have drove a peterbilt with a 40 ft horse trailer all over the country with a class C driver license. RV Not for Hire.


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Old 11-12-2013, 01:49 PM   #18
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Geez....can you imagine all the Winter Texans pouring into our state about now and what are the odds that many of them have this sort of license. The state could probably give out a plethora(sp?)(hell of a lot) of tickets if they were so inclined; or if stated previously if the DPS officers even knew of such a law.
Very Interesting!!!
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Old 11-15-2013, 07:12 PM   #19
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Best I can tell, it's not just Texas requiring this. I think it's the Federales requiring states to conform to Federal DOT rules.
Apparently Texas DPS method of communicating this is to issue a few tickets and we inform ourselves on forums.
I did read of someone getting a ticket between Houston and Corpus Christi.
Also rumor is if you are hauling for money you need a CDL. Like hauling race cars, race horses, etc. that race for money.
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Old 11-15-2013, 07:38 PM   #20
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Cut and pasted from a RV forum:

Well, just got a ticket this past weekend on way back to Houston from Corpus Christi Texas. I have an f250 gvw 8800lbs. 293sab with gvw of 11900. The Trooper said I need a class a non com license due to the weight of the trailer is over 10000lb. I will let you know what the judge says on Sept 19th.

Then...

I went to court with my little paper that said I passed the written test, explained that my driving test is in October and the judge lowered my fine to $50.00 + court cost (normally $250.00). So total of $75.00. His words were "usally, I drop the charge in half to be nice, but since you took the test, I'll be extra nice and drop to $50." He also told me to pass the word. Any trailer over 10,000lbs, regardless if it is an RV, needs a class A non-CDL or CDL. This is for Texas only, I don't know about other states.
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