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Old 11-05-2014, 11:08 AM   #1
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Has anyone taken the California Non-commercial Class B driving test?

I have completed the written test, and am scheduled for the driving test next week (Skills test).
It looks like they want to see you perform a vehicle safety check, and a driving skills test.
I can't find out any details on what is involved.
Has anyone taken this test in Calif. and can tell me what they had you do? Should I practice parallel parking
Too bad we are not like other states where a Class "C" lets you drive a Housecar over 45ft and 26K pounds.

Thanks,
Dan
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Old 11-05-2014, 11:16 AM   #2
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A few things, visit your local truck stop and they will have a pre-trip inspection book for a few dollars. They have checklists in them and will make sure you do not miss anything. If I remember I will grab one and scan it. It is not required, but I use them since I do not drive full time and usually hit the scales coming or going, and I hate to get sidelined for something I missed and the commercial guys found.
The second things is, you will need to tale someone who hold a Commercial/Non-Commercial Class A or B. If you drive to your test without one, chances are they will not let you take the test.
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Old 11-05-2014, 11:26 AM   #3
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Hi, I just took it 2 weeks ago. Make sure you bring a licensed driver non commercial class B or better ( commercial class B or class A) with you or they will turn you away. I know this as I had an appointment 4 weeks ago and they asked to see the passenger I brought with me and there license. The test was over 1 hour long. The safety test was just checking engine oil , coolant level, blinkers , headlights , brake lights , horn, and making sure your air brakes and all there systems are working correctly. If you are low on engine oil and you don't have any to add they will turn you away also. The skills test is the most tedious ( I passed with 100%) as you have to back into stalls and stop within lines and you get 1 shot or they deduct points. The skills test took 20+ minutes and the road test was 30+ minutes. If you have any other questions let me know if I can help in anyway. Good luck .
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Old 11-05-2014, 11:51 AM   #4
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Well, my experience was different from the above reply. I drove my coach to the DMV without another licensed driver and no questions were asked. In fact, after the test was over and the agent told me I had passed, he said: "Now you can drive your coach legally".

As far as the safety check, my agent just asked me to go around the coach and "tell" him what I was checking, but not to physically "do" the check. One of the things that I forgot to mention to him was to check each axle hub for leakage. Got knocked off a point for that. I did my check like I would when getting ready to hit the road. All lights, tires, brakes, leaks, leveling jacks, antenna, slides, etc.

The skills test did require that I back into (from a 90 degree angle) a marked off (with orange cones) parking spot. At the end of this parking spot, they had a line that I had to get the end of the motor home as close to, but not go over. He did allow me to get out one time to check where I was situated.

I also had to drive through a cone marked "lane" for about 150 feet, and then stop and back up the entire distance without hitting a cone. The "lane" was about 15' wide.

Then I had to drive city streets, lights, stop signs, make right and left turns. Cross busy streets without a light and also get on and off the freeway.

I took my test in Bakersfield.

Hope this helps

Ron
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Old 11-05-2014, 12:04 PM   #5
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2NewRVers, Thanks for the info. What DMV office did you go to.
I am going to have a problem with having a Class B driver coming with me.
I have also heard other comments that there was no issue if you drove the rig yourself (alone). I wonder if it depends on the location.
My rig is under 45' (but over 26K lbs).
I would think that the majority of RV'ers would be in the same boat....where do you find another Class B driver that can take off of work to go with you.

I will call their office and the "Might" tell me if they check....I know what they have to say legally.

A possible alternative is to borrow my son's 36ft Fleetwood. I wonder if I could take the test in that even thought it does not require a class-B licnese.

Dan
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Old 11-05-2014, 01:42 PM   #6
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Just to be clear, the motor home length limit in California is anything "over" 40' requires the Class B non-commercial license. Many motor homes that are classified as 40 footers are in reality are physically over 40' and are therefore subject to this law.

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Old 11-05-2014, 02:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpinvidic View Post
2NewRVers, Thanks for the info. What DMV office did you go to.
I am going to have a problem with having a Class B driver coming with me.
I have also heard other comments that there was no issue if you drove the rig yourself (alone). I wonder if it depends on the location.
My rig is under 45' (but over 26K lbs).
I would think that the majority of RV'ers would be in the same boat....where do you find another Class B driver that can take off of work to go with you.

I will call their office and the "Might" tell me if they check....I know what they have to say legally.

A possible alternative is to borrow my son's 36ft Fleetwood. I wonder if I could take the test in that even thought it does not require a class-B licnese.

Dan
I hold a commercial license, have had it for years. Once you pass it, they won't test you again. When you go, you get 3 chances to pass the pre-trip inspection. From reading what folks wrote about their experience, I think they give RV folks a pass on what is required. You should be looking/checking the air brakes, air brake low pressure alarm, tires, and a bunch of other stuff. To be honest, you will never in the real world check all that stuff again, it would take you at least 30-45 minutes each time. Here is the CA DMV webpage on what to check, you can walk around with a checklist, nothing says you have to memorize it. http://apps.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/cdl_htm/sec10_a.htm. You are not required to climb under the vehicle, or all over the engine compartment. You just have to tell them you would normally check it.
If you were closer, I would go with you, I have ridden along with a few other RV'ers when they went for their test.
As for using the 36' RV, if the Examiner is following the test rules, they will turn you away. The test should be administered in the vehicle the license is being obtained for. Basically you need a 40' or longer RV, that is if the examiner is following the rules.
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Old 11-05-2014, 04:56 PM   #8
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Usualsuspect, That is exactly what the DMV told me. I guess I will take a chance and drive there to see if they let me take it. Nothing to lose but my time. Too bad because I bet there are a ton of people driving 40+ foot coaches with a class C license. Thank for the DMV page...time to review it.

. Dan
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Old 11-05-2014, 05:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpinvidic View Post
2NewRVers, Thanks for the info. What DMV office did you go to.
I am going to have a problem with having a Class B driver coming with me.
I have also heard other comments that there was no issue if you drove the rig yourself (alone). I wonder if it depends on the location.
My rig is under 45' (but over 26K lbs).
I would think that the majority of RV'ers would be in the same boat....where do you find another Class B driver that can take off of work to go with you.

I will call their office and the "Might" tell me if they check....I know what they have to say legally.

A possible alternative is to borrow my son's 36ft Fleetwood. I wonder if I could take the test in that even thought it does not require a class-B licnese.

Dan

I took my test in Sacramento Ca. My wife came with me the first time and they asked to see her license, when they saw she was licensed in the same class I was testing for they turned me away. I've heard other places are not as strict . I went back to where we bought the RV and talked to someone in the transportation dept and they set me up with someone that had the day off the day I was taking my test. They couldn't let anybody due it during company time. I paid the guy $140.00 , he wanted nothing for helping me out but he spent over 3 hours out of his day. Our motorhome is 43'7" and fit 8" on each side after doing the skills test. I drove big trucks for a living 25+ years ago so I was extremely comfortable except for the part of my instructor barely spoke fricken English. If you can get away with driving without a licensed driver you might be able to take the test in the 36' motorhome(I'm not saying try it).
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Old 11-05-2014, 05:10 PM   #10
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dpinvidic,
OK. I am confused. Why do you feel you need this driver's license? The CA DMV site says that a basic Class C license is good for any housecar 40 foot or less. All the "bullet points" are "or" conditions. The 26,000 lb. restriction typically applies to trucks and buses.

Your sig line says you own a 40 ft Phaeton. Did the DMV tell you that you needed the license because of the weight? I think I would check with someone else on this to be sure they gave you the right information.

Here is the page I am referencing.

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Old 11-05-2014, 06:10 PM   #11
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Quote:
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dpinvidic,
OK. I am confused. Why do you feel you need this driver's license? The CA DMV site says that a basic Class C license is good for any housecar 40 foot or less. All the "bullet points" are "or" conditions. The 26,000 lb. restriction typically applies to trucks and buses.

Your sig line says you own a 40 ft Phaeton. Did the DMV tell you that you needed the license because of the weight? I think I would check with someone else on this to be sure they gave you the right information.

Here is the page I am referencing.

Bob
I agree. Measure you Phaeton bumper to bumper and if it's 40' or less I'd skip the hassle of getting the license. You don't need it.
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Old 11-05-2014, 06:34 PM   #12
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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.
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Old 11-05-2014, 07:27 PM   #13
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OK, I bet no one here can tell me how to legally measure my motorhome. It does not have bumpers. I have answers from the factory and two referrals to higher ups in Sacramento. Is it 40 feet long? Is it 41.5 feet long? Is the front cap not considered as part of the length?

In Yuba City Ca it took them almost three days to figure out what written test to administer. They gave me half of two different tests. Passed them just fine. They were out 6 weeks for a road test.

So I just moved to Florida and received my license and registration for a fraction of the cost and effort. I drove back to Kalifornia with my Florida license and was perfectly legal.

Ah, the Sunshine state is fun.
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Old 11-05-2014, 07:44 PM   #14
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Moved to Florida?

6,000 miles round trip.

At least $3,000 in fuel......

Myron, you saved how much on that license?
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