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Old 06-10-2012, 09:32 AM   #1
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Non Commercial CDL requirement

Hi guys,

I just bought a 38 foot Monaco Diplomat and I keep hearing mixed statements of people about the DL requirements.
I live in Texas and I'm pretty sure that a non CDL is required here among other states. When I askd a friend of mine who is a Sherrif's deputy about it, he told me I don't need a non commercial CDL. Does the Police even know about the requirements?
Has anyone being stopped by police in Texas or any other state where this is required? If so was the Police aware of these requirements.

I heard the Texas written exam consists of 20 questions. Does anyone know what these questions are, or where I can find the study material. I'm not worried about the practical exam.

What about the Air brakes? Is that another exam?

I travel a lot so I do not have much time to study.

Danny
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Old 06-10-2012, 09:43 AM   #2
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Hi and welcome to the forum.

Yes, Texas does require a non commercial DL for rigs over a certain weight. However, as you've already found out, many or most of the LEOs aren't even aware this is the case and I don't think I've read of a single situation where someone was cited for not having one.

Having said that, I got mine so I would be legal and in the event of an accident, I wouldn't be faced with some attorney making the case that I was at fault because I wasn't qualified to drive my rig.

Yes, I believe the test is 20 questions but I think the specific questions may vary from test to test. You can search the forum or even the TEXAS DPS web site to find the study material. I think it was chapter 15 if I recall. It will be important to do at least an hour or so of study because many of the questions center around things like how far apart to place warning reflectors in the event of a brake down. Mostly common sense but it can throw you if you haven't read just how far apart they need to be.

Air brake questions are included in the test and are not a separate test.

Also be aware that a behind the wheel driving test is required. The examiner rides along with you and gives you instructions. BE SURE TO USE YOUR MIRRORS and TURN SIGNALS during the test.

Best of luck

Rick
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Old 06-10-2012, 10:02 AM   #3
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Class B required if 26,001# or over for whole rig. If trailer is over 10,000# and gross for whole rig is over 26,001 you will need a Class A. I had to test in a vehicle with air brakes to get the air brake endorsement, but I took the Commercial Class B test over 20 yrs ago. May be different now.

Also be ready for the test person to ask you what the clearance hieght was on the overpass you just went under.
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Old 06-10-2012, 10:25 AM   #4
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For the most correct answer read the Texas Driver License manual, and for the class of license you need read section 521.

Study the CDL information as many of the questions are based upon those license requirements. The test is a random question test. That is that if you have to take it twice, some of the questions may be what you had before, but many will have changed. You are required to achieve a passing grade of 70 percentile. While taking the test, once you reach the 70 percentile plateau the testing will stop and indicated you reached a passing grade. They no longer care how really smart we are.

Yep! Even the DPS personnel do not know all the requirements on classes of licenses.
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Old 06-10-2012, 10:59 AM   #5
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Took my test this Jan.. Go to your DMV and tell them you want the handbook for a CDL. You don't need a CDL but if you unit is over 26,000# you need either a Class "B" or "A". Look at your current license, it is a Class "C". You will also be required to take a driving test which may include (I was) parrallel parking. Many of the questions on my test had nothing to do with driving a MH home but you still have to answer correctly to pass. I did not have to take a seperate test for air brakes. At the DMV I went to, it took several people to finally understand what I wanted (needed) to drive my MH.. They finally decided I need what firefighters need to drive a fire engine.
As stated earlier, it's the insurance companies and lawyers you need to worry about not the LEO's..
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Old 06-10-2012, 11:15 AM   #6
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I found this website that list the requirements by state: RV Driver's License Requirements

Every state has different requirements. I'm in Oklahoma and it says I can drive ANY size RV with my standard Class D drivers license. I would think that the other states that do requires CDL and/or special licenses would honor the issuing states rules and regulations and I wouldn't need anything more while traveling through these states. However I'm not sure about that.
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Old 06-10-2012, 11:24 AM   #7
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If your legal in your state of residence, you are legal in all states. This is assuming that it is for personal use and not commercial.
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Old 06-10-2012, 01:19 PM   #8
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I can't say anything about the states but in Western Canada you will reqire an airbrake endorsement on your licence. I would recommend to anyone not used to driving anything larger to get some lessons and for sure an air brake course. Air systems are much more complex than regular brakes and having a good understanding of them is vital to using them safely and to maintain them properly. Getting the proper training is money well spent and will give you confidence in knowing that you are legal and competent. Good luck.
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Old 06-10-2012, 02:52 PM   #9
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I'm searching through the Texas database for a booklet or forms for a CDL B and I haven't found anything at all about motorhomes. Will I have to go to a license branch to ask for the book or what?

I found references to a certain area on the TDL site but it no longer has any forms or anything. It does say over 26001 need a cdl B. But that's it no direction to a booklet or anything.
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Old 06-10-2012, 03:07 PM   #10
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The material is in the regular study manual.
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Old 06-10-2012, 03:26 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PatStab View Post
I'm searching through the Texas database for a booklet or forms for a CDL B and I haven't found anything at all about motorhomes. Will I have to go to a license branch to ask for the book or what?

I found references to a certain area on the TDL site but it no longer has any forms or anything. It does say over 26001 need a cdl B. But that's it no direction to a booklet or anything.
No, you DON'T need a CDL B if you're not using the RV for commercial activity. You need a NON-CDL B for private use of your RV if the GVWR is 26,001 lbs or more.

Rusty
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Old 06-10-2012, 03:41 PM   #12
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Sounds like I need a non CDL B then, it is over 26k and has air brakes, a 92 American Eagle 38 ft.

I will get a book and check it out, will try to order it online, hate going in that place, in Conroe its packed.

When I have to take the test I think I will go to Huntsville.
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Old 06-10-2012, 06:48 PM   #13
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http://changingears.com/rv-sec-state-rv-license.shtml

This seems to be the most concise summary of laws for all states.
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Old 06-10-2012, 06:51 PM   #14
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Thank you, MIRJIMBO. I had never considered the question before, but I looked at your post and checked. My Florida license is good as is, so I'm fine. It's good information that anyone can check.

Good post!
Tom
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