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Old 02-04-2015, 07:57 PM   #15
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Personally, as someone in California, I'd like to see the housecar exemption modified to 45' -- I strongly suspect the 40' limitation is an ancient limitation dated back to the mindset of "no one will ever have a motorhome longer than 40 feet."

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Old 02-14-2015, 07:43 PM   #16
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I am always amazed that in CA, no one walks out with their hard license. Every state I've lived you walk out with it the same day.
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Old 02-14-2015, 10:05 PM   #17
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In California you're lucky if you walk out with the right answer much less a hard copy of your license.
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Old 02-14-2015, 10:13 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xanso View Post
I am always amazed that in CA, no one walks out with their hard license. Every state I've lived you walk out with it the same day.
Haven't lived in WA either, have you.
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Old 02-14-2015, 10:51 PM   #19
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We live in TX and our hard license is mailed to us. Been that way for the 22 years we have been here.
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Old 02-15-2015, 09:31 PM   #20
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Just wanted to add to this as I'm a retired California LEO. CHP Commercial Enforcement will view your rig in three ways to see if the driver qualifies for a non-commercial class B. They are:

1) Vehicle over 40 feet.
2) Vehicle more than two axles and over 6000 lbs.
3) Vehicle over 26,000 pounds

There are a couple of exceptions to the non-commercial B license. The obvious ones, Commercial A or B, or the following which is obscured unless you dig a bit. Read the Cal DMV paste below for non-commercial A, which everyone assumes just covers trailers.


A Noncommercial Class A license is required if you tow:

a travel trailer weighing over 10,000 lbs. Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) which is not used for hire.
a fifth-wheel travel trailer weighting over 15,000 lbs. GVWR which is not used for hire.
a livestock trailer that is not for hire, weight over 10,000 lbs. GVWR but not over 15,000 lbs. GVWR, and is operated within 150 miles of the farm by a farmer to transport livestock.

A Noncommercial Class B license and endorsement is required if you operate:

A housecar over 40 feet but not over 45 feet.

Exemptions: Holders of a commercial Class A or B license, a noncommercial Class A license, and all fire fighter license classes.


I currently own a 43 foot tag and posses a non-commercial A license. At one point I had a non-commercial B, but started towing a 43 fifth wheel. When applying for my non-commercial A license, the DMV clerk asked me if I wanted to keep my non-commercial B, to which I told her I would. She informed me that I would not need both as the Non-commercial A would cover it. She handed me this print out and I keep it in my Coach to this day. Having had both the test is essentially the same and the medical is as well. I really think their more worried about the medical side of the house vs. The driving.

Regardless, not all of us running around with lights and sirens are even into the vehicle code far enough to understand this stuff. That's why the most knowledgable are always going to be to the CHP commercial folks. They have been doing license inspections on the big fifth wheel Toy Haulers for a few years now. They will stage outside of the big areas such as Glamis or Pismo. I have not heard or seen anything so far targeting the big Coaches, but I'm sure it's coming.
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Old 02-15-2015, 09:47 PM   #21
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Glad we live in WA as so far I can drive my privately owned RV with only the standard license and no air brake endorsement needed.
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Old 02-15-2015, 10:43 PM   #22
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Confusion abounds on this topic.

I can share my experience with the Fullerton DMV.
First, everyone said you must bring a Class B licensed driver with you for your test.
Not true for me. The counter guy asked me why I was there, and I said "Non-Commercial Class B license". ...He then started to ask me where the licensed driver was that accompanied me, but caught himself and confirmed that it was "Non-Commercial"...so he sent me outside for the test.

Then there is the question of "Do I need a license for my rig".
The DMV rules are an "OR" of items that you can drive with a Class C. The one line that says "Housecar up to 40ft" means your Class C will be fine. This line negates the 20K lbs. line item. Then there is the real question of length.
The spec sheet for my Phaeton says 40ft 6 in. The model number indicates 40ft.
The DMV states that length does not include safety devices like bumpers or push bars. I called my insurance company who carries my policy. They said if the policy was written, then I am covered. The rep said the insurance company knows how long my coach is, AND what kind of license I have. So if they write the policy, you are covered.

Lastly, you will hear all kinds of stories of what the driving test covered.
The examiner actually did the check for the lights and air brakes. He explained what he was checking, AND that it was for "HIS" safety (using a safe vehicle). I had to pull forward, back straight, and then back into a side spot (back up and jog into a space). We drove around town, got onto the freeway, and immediately got off at the next off-ramp. The on-ramp turned into the off-ramp, so there was no merging.

I now have the Non-Commercial Class-B with house-car endorsement, but I really don't need it.

Good luck on your decision....but my suggestion is not to worry about it.

Regards,
Dan
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Old 02-15-2015, 10:48 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AF4J View Post
I went to DMV website license class requirements.
Basic class C, you may drive.

A 2 axle vehicle with a GVWR or 26000 lbs or less.
A 3 axle vehicle weighing 6000 lbs. gross or less.
A motorized scooter.
Any housecar 40' or less.

Do you interpet the "ANY" part of any house car to trump the weight ratings above?
YES...These items are separate. If you have a scooter, you can drive it. Likewise if your rig is 40ft or under, you can drive it...regardless of weight.
Think about it....no reason to put in the housecar line if the rule was "anything 26000 lbs. or less"

Dan
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Old 02-16-2015, 07:49 AM   #24
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Hi Scott, thanks for your service to our fine state. Glad you are chiming in. The biggest problem I encountered was getting someone to tell me how they were going to measure my RV if needed. No bumpers on most Rv's of this size. Mine measure end to end 41.5 feet so I was concerned. It was advertised as a 40SKQ so one would assume and of course we know that story. I was given many unsure answers and even the local CHP "expert" began to get glassy eyed when pressed and he eventually gave me an e-mail of the "expert" in Sacramento. At that stage I just let it pass. It took them two days to figure out how to give me a written test which ended up being parts of two different tests. After passing that they said it would be 6 weeks before I could get an appointment to take a driving test.


Living in Florida now so it is a mute issue, and the registration fees are a fraction here.


Here is what the motorhome factory told me.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf length.pdf (12.4 KB, 44 views)
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Old 02-16-2015, 11:27 PM   #25
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Hi Scott, thanks for your service to our fine state. Glad you are chiming in. The biggest problem I encountered was getting someone to tell me how they were going to measure my RV if needed. No bumpers on most Rv's of this size. Mine measure end to end 41.5 feet so I was concerned. It was advertised as a 40SKQ so one would assume and of course we know that story. I was given many unsure answers and even the local CHP "expert" began to get glassy eyed when pressed and he eventually gave me an e-mail of the "expert" in Sacramento. At that stage I just let it pass. It took them two days to figure out how to give me a written test which ended up being parts of two different tests. After passing that they said it would be 6 weeks before I could get an appointment to take a driving test.


Living in Florida now so it is a mute issue, and the registration fees are a fraction here.


Here is what the motorhome factory told me.

That continues to be the problem for all of us who try to do the right thing. I'm convinced you could go to 10 different DMV's or talk to 10 different LEO's and get a variety of answers.

I'll add to the war story a bit. Just after 9-11 my police agency purchased a big mobile command vehicle that was essentially a 40 ft Motorhome that weighed in at 24,000 lbs. The city, which was self insured, wanted to put the assigned drivers of the vehicle through some in-house drivers training. They also wanted to affirm the type of license required for such a vehicle. After much research and phone calls with our local CHP, it was determined that the rig only required a Class C license. (40 Ft or less and under 26,000 lbs). That being said, the city decided to make the drivers test and obtain the Non-Commercial Class B, because they didn't buy the information provided by CHP and DMV. That's how I obtained my license the first go around.

So there you have it, one police agency to another, and toss in DMV to boot, and no one walked away with a clear understanding of the requirement.
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Old 02-17-2015, 09:06 AM   #26
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Thanks Scott for confirming my findings.


LazyDaze has a driver training course online for anyone wanting to learn some valuable tricks. Especially backing into a tight spot.
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Old 02-17-2015, 11:54 AM   #27
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ALWAYS ASK THE RULING AUTHORITY on all things.

Once received a ticjet for driving with fog lights instead of headlights.

it was "2-line fog" where you see the line next to window and next to bumper...had good fog lamps and was doing well...cop was jerk and that was long funny tail but judge asked guilty or not and I asked for him to define headlamp...

He stated "only dmv can do that" and tossed it.

Visit a dmv office and ask for hard copy and do as it requires and KEEP COPY IN COACH.

If leo is being pain or confused show them and all is well.
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Old 02-17-2015, 12:56 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott98 View Post
Just wanted to add to this as I'm a retired California LEO. CHP Commercial Enforcement will view your rig in three ways to see if the driver qualifies for a non-commercial class B. They are:

1) Vehicle over 40 feet.
2) Vehicle more than two axles and over 6000 lbs.
3) Vehicle over 26,000 pounds
Ive wondered if a Tag axle considered a three axle or are only drive axles counted?
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