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Old 11-06-2014, 09:36 PM   #29
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I wonder if once you get your class B non commercial if you are subject to the same rules as other commercial licenses. In California, commercial license holders are not allowed to attend traffic school for minor infractions and the limit for blood alcohol goes from .08 to .04, not inferring that I have tickets or drive impaired.
Nope - I've had my Non-Commercial Class A for over 20 years now. Since it's non-commercial we don't get limited by the commercial requirements. The physical every 2 years is a simple questionnaire that we fill out without the help of a doctor.
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Old 11-06-2014, 11:25 PM   #30
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It's the same here in Nevada. I have taken and passed my written test. Take my skills on Nov 17.
When they say 26,001#, they mean ANY vehicle wether it be a truck, bus or motorhome.
I don't agree. The list in the vehicle code is a list of vehicles you "can" drive.
If motorhomes was part of the 26000 or less, then there is no need to mention them later in the list. The 3rd item on the list of what you can drive is ANY motorhome 40 ft or less(weight is ignored).

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Old 11-13-2014, 09:35 PM   #31
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Got my non-com Class B, and drove myself there

Almost everyone on this board had me convinced that I would be turned away if I drove alone to the DMV.
Showed up at the Fullerton DMV in my 40ft Phaeton, and took the test without a hitch Here is what happened.

Went to the window and said I was here for a driving test. The guy looked surprised because he thought I meant a Class-C. I said a Class-B non commercial. He started to ask me where my licensed driver was, and then caught himself...and confirmed non-commercial...then said go to window 19.
They took my learners permit and sent me outside to wait for the examiner.
The examiner came up, looked at insurance and registration, and then we started.
I DID NOT have to perform a vehicle safety check. He had me go into the cab and turn on the lights/signals while he confirmed they worked.
He came in and we did a air brake test (real class B style)....he told me exactly what to do and we watched the air gauges.
Basically he was checking that the vehicle was safe, not really testing IF "I" knew how to make the checks.

I did a straight forward & straight backward test, then a back into a side stall (backup and jog left). No parallel parking even thought I practiced all morning.
Then we hit the road. All city driving except for getting on the freeway, then off at the next exit. And there was no traffic merging...the onramp turned into the off ramp.

So it looks like every DMV is different. Nobody questioned the size of the coach. So I now have a license that I really don't need, but it is good to have.
I also called National Insurance yesterday and spoke to a claims guy.
He said he had never head of a claim being denied because of a license problem. He stated that any insurance company knows on the front end what size motor home you are insuring, AND what kind of valid license you have. That is when they make the choice of writing the policy or not.

So If anyone needs to take the driving test, Fullerton is the place to do it.

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Old 12-11-2014, 12:52 PM   #32
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Just passed the driving test for my Calif non commercial Class B. The pre check was very through, had a couple of omissions but nothing major. While I wasn't tested on the air brakes, we did spend some time going thru the process and I was questioned on all the specifics of the system, including allowable pressure losses, etc. Driving to the skill test area, on the first right turn another driver almost hit us! I had to drive/ back between cones, do an offset backing maneuver, then do a 90 degree backing manuver into a stall between cones. We continued with more city streets driving and a short freeway stretch.
As others have experienced there was a good deal of confusion with the paperwork. They don't seem to do enough of these to become proficient at it and the state guidelines are not clear for the employees. While the entire process was tedious, it did require me to read up and learn about systems that I was not that familiar with.
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Old 12-11-2014, 05:26 PM   #33
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What DMV did you use?
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Old 12-11-2014, 05:38 PM   #34
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Santa Teresa, southern San Jose. They also never made any inquiry as to how I got the rig there. I drove there with the wife. Overall, they were pretty helpful.
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Old 12-14-2014, 11:10 AM   #35
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Just passed the driving test for my Calif non commercial Class B. The pre check was very through, had a couple of omissions but nothing major. While I wasn't tested on the air brakes, we did spend some time going thru the process and I was questioned on all the specifics of the system, including allowable pressure losses, etc. Driving to the skill test area, on the first right turn another driver almost hit us! I had to drive/ back between cones, do an offset backing maneuver, then do a 90 degree backing manuver into a stall between cones. We continued with more city streets driving and a short freeway stretch.
As others have experienced there was a good deal of confusion with the paperwork. They don't seem to do enough of these to become proficient at it and the state guidelines are not clear for the employees. While the entire process was tedious, it did require me to read up and learn about systems that I was not that familiar with.
Dan, I will be taking my test within the next couple of months once the 45' coach is delivered. Can you (or anyone) help by identifying the reading documents available that I could use to study the info as you mentioned. Are these available online, at the DMV, etc?

Thanks
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Old 12-14-2014, 03:31 PM   #36
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I would reccommend stopping by the DMV, preferably one that is listed on their website as being equipped to admisister the test, and make inquiries. I think the Fullerton office was one. If you hadn't renewed you regular DL or motorcycle license within the last two years you will have to take the written tests for those also. You will then need to get copies of the basic drivers license handbook, a copy of the commercial drivers handbook, and a copy of the recreational vehicle book. Pickup an application form. There is also a medical form which can be downloaded. There are two different but similiar medical forms. The DL546/DL546A. One is a self eval with no Dr signature, the other a Dr sig is required. I have heard that there is a move to eliminate the self eval form, better check with them
There are only certain chapters of the CDL handbook you will be asked questions from. There is a ton of useful info in the handbook including a pre-trip inspection checklist, read it carefully. You should familiarize yourself with the section on air brakes as well. I wasn't tested on it per se, but during the pre trip check I got lots of detailed questions about it. I think that's good, I don't know why they don't make that mandatory.
There are a lot of online sources for practice tests and I thought they were helpful. The actual written tests at DMV weren't difficult. The driving portion was simple, the skills test a bit challenging especially the 90 degree backing into a stall. I went too far over the back line with the ladder.
Above all, be patient with the paperwork process. Just let them do their thing and they will figure it out.
One other thing, it might be helpful and less stressful if your able to scope out where they do the skills test. If can watch someone from a distance you might be a step ahead.
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Old 12-14-2014, 03:42 PM   #37
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Or you can avoid all the DMV hassle and become a resident of AZ and drive or tow anything with only a Class C.
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Old 12-14-2014, 04:14 PM   #38
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Old 03-18-2017, 10:11 AM   #39
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California Class B - non commercial license test experience

Hey guys - Figured I'd add my experience on the California DMV process:

I just finished the testing process for my Class B (45' housecar - DMV definition) noncommercial license. Here is the link to the DMV requirements: https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/?1...648/dl648pt4_1

I have a 40' model that actually measures 40'9", thus technically I need a class B. More about that later when I take my driving test....

A few weeks ago I went to DMV to take the written exam. As others have stated, if your regular license is close to expiring you will also have to take the written test for any licenses you have (Class C and M in my case) so you better study up a little on those in addition to the RV one. Also confirming what others have said, the DMV personnel in Costa Mesa was very confused on which test they should give me. When I got into the testing booth I got the regular class C license test, the motorcycle license test (M class), and the commercial license air brake test (even though the DMV RV booklet specifically states that "housecar" licenses should not be subject to air brake test... I did not feel like arguing with DMV staff as getting to this point had already taken well over an hour. Luckily I had read up on the commercial air brake section and knew enough to pass the exam.

So now I have my permit, good for a year. I start looking into testing facilities to take my driving test. Come to find out that DMV has consolidated many of their CDL testing sites, and the closest facility is in Fontana, 60 miles away (2 hour drive with LA traffic) as I live in Orange County. OK, not exactly convenient, but I make an appointment for 9am a few weeks later.

My permit explicitly states that I need another driver with me licensed in or above the class to drive my rig.

Luckily I have a good friend that has a class A commercial license, so he accompanies me to the Fontana DMV. Checked in a little before 9am. Told to wait outside for the DMV tester. Waited in the hot sun until 10:45 before my name was called...

I had prepped a lot for the pre-trip inspection process (lights, signals, window, mirrors, all fluids, critical engine components like alternator, air compressor, water pump, power steering pump, belts, tires, brakes, slack adjusters, doors, steps, and some air brake stuff, like the cut out PSI, cut-in PSI, low air warning and how to test it and PSI parameters, and dropping the air pressure so the spring brakes activate. Fair amount of CDL videos on youtube that can help with that.

But guess what, the inspector chose to skip that part of the exam. He instead chose to measure the length of my rig, and confirmed it was over 40' by 9" and confirmed I needed a class B license. He did confirm that CHP has been setting up check point in the CA desert and measuring/weighing rigs. Not OK to be "driving out of class" according to the DMV official, and risking issues with insurance if not properly licensed. Then I couldn't resist and asked him: No pre-trip inspection needed? Nah, let's not do that... Hmmm.... We then proceeded to have him check the lights, signals, etc. with me in the rig. Then he came into the rig to test me on the air brakes (really, again!?). He did walk me through it and used it as an education session. Know your cut out PSI (and demonstrate it), fan the brakes until the compressor cuts in again and confirm pressure is going up, then turn off engine, release parking brake (I offered to chock the wheels, but he said no need) and fan brakes until brake warning light/alarm comes to indicate low pressure. Continue until the parking brake pops on (spring brake) when you drop it to critical low pressure. Start engine again and allow pressure to build again and then perform the static and applied brake pressure/leak tests. OK, passed that! Phew.

Now on to the skills test. Pull through a straight lane lined with cones, back up through the same lane without crossing the lines/hitting cones. The pull forward again and back into a similar lane adjacent to the lane your in (kind of like a parallel parking test. You're allowed 3 tries and can get out once to check (didn't need to tho). Now onto the backing into a parking/camping spot at a 90 degree angle at your left side, while not crossing a red line on your right side. and stopping with 12" of the end of the parking spot. I did need two a second try as I did not pull forward enough before backing into the 90 degree spot. Other than that, pretty easy. You're also allowed 3 tries, and get out once to check your position.

Now onto the road test. He did move the cones a little closer to my rig while I was in the parking spot then told me to pull out to the left. Almost forgot the cones were there so be sure not to cut your left turn exit too close. They do check if you constantly checking your surroundings and may ding you if you take out a cone...

Drove all over Fontana, small streets, left/right turns, cross a busy intersection that didn't have a 4-way stop, rail road crossing, freeway, etc... They look for proper signaling, stopping, keeping your distance, speed limit adherence, merging onto freeway, safe lane changes, had me park at the side of the road, then pull out in traffic again, etc.

Since I did bring my friend with the class A license, I asked if they wanted to see his licence. The response, "nah - we pretty much assume they dropped you off. If we would check for that we'd have to turn a lot of folks away. Don't tell anyone though, let it be our secret" Glad my buddy wasted 7 hours of his day... 2 hours each way and 3 hours at DMV.

Finished up in about an hour, then waited another 20 min for paperwork (gotta love DMV efficiency!). All-in-all about a 3 hour deal. Also note, they take your current license and promise to send you your new one in about 2 weeks. Would have been good to know as I'm having to travel via airport next week. Luckily I have a passport. Not sure what I would have done without a picture ID otherwise!

I any of you Socal 40'+ers want more advice or need someone to accompany feel free to reach out. If I'm around I'm happy to help!
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Old 03-30-2017, 10:46 AM   #40
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JDek, I live in San Diego and just ordered a new Dutch Star 4369 for June delivery. I also just passed the written test for the CA noncommercial Class B license (w/ "housecar" endorsement!). I am looking for someone to help me with practice and testing (1 or 2 days). Can you recommend someone? I also need to rent a 40'+ class A to take the test in since mine won't arrive until June (out of state delivery). Any recommendations?
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Old 03-31-2017, 12:48 AM   #41
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Holy smoke. That is some consolidation. Fullerton used to have a long line of truckers going for their CDL. Only 22 locations in the whole state. That is a serious reduction.
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Old 03-31-2017, 05:35 AM   #42
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Has anyone taken the California Non-commercial Class B driving test?

Taken driving test, 1 day. I find and I only had two choices who offers the test. I did find out the drivers test was offered in Sacramento or Pittsburgh (NorCal). I went to Pittsburgh.
The test was about 20 min.
It started with vehicle inspection.
Air brake test ( which isn't required ) you can google this, but know it.
Left parking lot, drove down city streets to big parking lot that had cones set up for parallel parking.
Stop got out, he is explaining what he wanted, I counted parking spaces, 5 total, they are 8 feet center line to center line, quick math that's 40' I stated? He goes bingo! My coach is 41' 8" to be exact. Not going to fit!
He stated with a big smile, your right let's go.
Turned on highway on our way back to DMV, pulled in, that's it!
Can't say what other DMVs will do, hope some others will respond.
Hardest part was getting the appt. there is s waiting list here.
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