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Old 04-05-2015, 05:36 PM   #15
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The CA DMV treats the Class A different than the Class B. Class A is for 5th wheels. Non-Commercial Class A does not require a signed physicians report. The DMV testers have a pre-printed checkoff list labled NonCommerical Class A that would be common to all locations. When I questioned some of the required items the DMV examiner explained that this IS a Class A license but Non-Commerical. Basically saying that this is not supposed to a 'walk in the park'. So, I'll do exactly what they want. Hopefully I'll remember everything at test time.
I just went through this at the West Sacramento Commercial DMV Test site back in February. I found the pre-trip to be the hardest part of the whole test, remembering and explaining all the things to check. But only 4 errors (allowed 10) on the pre-trip so I passed that part. The skills part of the test in the DMV yard was fairly easy. Pulling straight through the lane of cones, then backing through the same lane until the truck was past the last cones. Then pull straight through again, then doing an off set backing to the lane on my left all the way through without touching any cones. Then came the "Alley Dock", or another thing to call it is backing into a simulated camp spot from 90* out. If you can get your trailer inside the cones, you can reposition if needed to correct your line. I had to reposition once(allowed 3). Once inside the cones you must stop within 3' of the end cone without touching it.

The actual driving portion was making many turns and stops, entering and exiting the freeway, changing lanes, observing signs (they will ask what the sign said that you just passed), parking along a curb, etc. Check your mirrors a lot (they look for this). I missed two signs, and also got dinged for not leaving my turn signal on long enough after changing lanes. DMV Tech said I should leave the turn signal on for 2 seconds after completing the lane change.

Overall it wasn't bad to do. Make sure you have a licensed Class A Driver ride with you to take the test. I had a friend go with me that has a Class A, and they checked his license before we did anything.

One thing about the pre-trip. It isn't easy, especially for the Truck School guys going for their license. There was a Truck School Tractor-Trailer sitting there. One of the guys sitting there waiting said that the Truck hadn't moved all day. No one had passed the pre-trip yet.

Rich
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Old 04-05-2015, 08:49 PM   #16
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Many thanks for your first hand experience. You're the first that I know to have taken the test. My problem is that I don't know a driver with a Class A! We'll have to see what happens.
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Old 04-07-2015, 09:18 PM   #17
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I ran across this thread and am curious. I'm new to TX and plan to buy a Class A diesel motor home this year. Am I reading correctly that I would need to get a different type of license to register and drive my RV here?
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Old 04-07-2015, 09:46 PM   #18
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I ran across this thread and am curious. I'm new to TX and plan to buy a Class A diesel motor home this year. Am I reading correctly that I would need to get a different type of license to register and drive my RV here?
ONLY if your motor home is over 26,000 pounds then you will need a Class B non-commercial license.

If you are pulling a trailer or toad that is over 10,000 lbs then your license will need to be a Class A non-commercial.

Many Class A's, normally gas engines, are under 26,000 lbs and need no special license

This is true for most states.
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Old 04-08-2015, 02:32 PM   #19
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Texas Class A Exempt (Non Commercial) License Requirements

Class A diesel. Im from CO and no special license needed. Whats the taxes down here on RVs?
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Old 04-08-2015, 02:41 PM   #20
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Class A diesel. Im from CO and no special license needed. Whats the taxes down here on RVs?
Sales tax only when you purchase a vehicle. Only property tax we have is on real property, i.e. land, houses, buildings. Yearly tag registration is based on weight. My 03 Monaco is about $350 per year.

DL test is easy, 20 question multiple choice, simple driving test.
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Old 04-08-2015, 03:04 PM   #21
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Good info to know. Great writeup on your experience. Thanks to all of you who shared yours as well. Guess better get to looking into this for our new home state soon.
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Old 04-08-2015, 05:11 PM   #22
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Glad I read these, thanks for the tips. Passed the TX non-CDL written text a month ago, all from chapter 14 of the CDL book(never would have passed without studying) and passed the driving test today in the Entegra. I feel much better now.
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Old 04-08-2015, 06:20 PM   #23
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Glad I read these, thanks for the tips. Passed the TX non-CDL written text a month ago, all from chapter 14 of the CDL book(never would have passed without studying) and passed the driving test today in the Entegra. I feel much better now.
Congratulations, it is a good feeling to have it completed and be legal. I had no idea it was even required until I read about it on another forum a few months ago. We are headed up to Tennessee in June and the last thing I wanted was to get stopped en route and told I couldn't continue with my trailer.
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Old 04-13-2015, 06:12 PM   #24
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I think Ill be illegal till I move the heck outta here 😜
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Old 04-23-2015, 03:39 PM   #25
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Just passed the CA Class A Non-Commercial test a couple days ago. It is NOT a piece of cake. First is the Pre-Test inspection. You must approach the inspection as if you are going to take a trip in a vehicle that you have never seen before. Check EVERYTHING and vocalize it to the Examiner. i.e. Show the 3 emergency triangles, check all hitch connections, verify the mud flaps, verify the lug nuts. Pop the hub caps an all wheels. Show the seat belts, verify the windshield. Pop the hood and check the engine oil, belts, hoses, radiator fluid, power steering fluid, brake fluid. Open the passenger door, verify the seat belt, window, and one I don't understand, the glove box? Then on to the trailer. Check all storage doors, fire extingesher lug nuts, condition of rims, tires, lights, signals, brake pads (where visible), and it goes on. If you pass the above - -


Then the driving test. It's broken into two sections. The Skill test then the driving test.
Skill test. No more than 10 errors total!
Straight Line backing. Up to 5 pullups, up to 5 encroachments (hitting cones), and must stop within 2' of a backup line.
Right turn. Must make a 90 degree right turn within 2' of the cone without touching.
Alley Dock. Back into a 90 degree parking space. Allowed 5 each of pullups and encroachments. Must stop within 2' of dock line and honk your horn when you think you are finished. The biggest problem was not being allowed to physically check the parking space first to get a handle of the size, width, cone placement, etc. You cannot get out of your truck!
Note: The max of 10 dings still apply for all of the above.


Then you have the driving test. This is the easiest one. You are allowed 45 dings. I only had 6. They check for Intersections, checking traffic, yields, gear use, speed. How you stop and start.
They check turns, traffic check, signal, braking, lane position.
the driving test was very common sense. The major sections tested are:
Intersections, Through, Stop, Start.
Turns, Approach, Stops, Turning, and completed turn
Freeways, Enter/Merge, Lane Changes, Exit.
Start/Stopon Grade, going up and going down
And a few more sections.


The DMV test site had 3 driving school trucks for students trying to get their CDL. NOBODY PASSED!! The only guy that passed was a Fire Truck driver getting his license for the Fire Truck. He was inside when I went in to Check in. As he was issued his license my comment was 'I wish I had that!!'


So that's it. The Alley Dock was my biggest problem. I missed 4 pullups there, allowed 5.
The Behind the wheel testing took about an hour.
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Old 04-23-2015, 07:42 PM   #26
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Wow, guess I won't complain any more about getting mine here in Texas! Congratulations!
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Old 04-24-2015, 06:47 AM   #27
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Testing in Texas must be a piece of cake compared to what the Cally-I-Fornians put you through...

Pre-Trip and Air Brake test in the driveway 15-20 mins, then about 20-30 mins skills and driving test and you're all done.
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Old 04-24-2015, 07:15 AM   #28
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And Californians drive so much better than the rest of us, YEAH RIGHT.
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