This is a summary of all the threads on this topic + options on how to get a class B in Texas. PM me for edits/updates.
Do I need a Class B license?
You only need a class B license if the GVW of your motor home is greater than 26,001 lbs.
TxDPS - Classes of Driver Licenses
What happens if I drive without a Class B license?
- Nothing. Many people have been driving for years with no consequence. Many officers don't know or enforce the law. Worst case
- Since you are not legally licensed to be driving a vehicle over 26,001 lbs your insurance carrier MAY not pay in the event of an accident. If you crash your big diesel pusher into a bunch of cars and injure and kill others, you are legally responsible for all of the property damage and bodily harm. $$$$$
What is the process to get a class B?
1) Optional - Get DOT medical certification (Explanation of when you need this later)
2) Take computer tests - You can take 2 tests and get learners permit and then come back and take 2 more tests OR
you can take all 4 tests and NOT
get learners permit.
3) Schedule driving test (Doesn't need to be at the same DPS office where you took your computer test)
4) Arrive with a 26,001+lb vehicle and take driving test. It doesn't necessarily have to be an RV, you can do it in a big truck. This is explained below.
If I can't legally drive my motorhome, how do I get it to DPS for my drivers license test
Forum members have used one of the following methods:
Drive it to the DPS and hope you don't crash, get pulled over and the examiner doesn't ask you how you got there. This is a popular option that has worked out for many.
- It is simple
- It is illegal. Your not insured. They may fail you on the spot. If you have never driven a big DP before, your first time could be with the examiner.
Have a friend drive your RV
- It is the simplest option
Hire a driver who drives your RV
- You legally get your RV there and are insured.
- $. If you fail, your driver has to take the DP back home and you have to start all over. If you have never driven a big DP before, your first time will be with the examiner. Unless - (A) You get a class B learners permit (B) pay a driver to go around with you while you figure out how to drive a big bus before your exam
Pay a CDL company to rent you a truck and a driver specifically for the exam. They help you pass the test and get a class B CDL.
- You are legal and don't take on the liabilities of driving an uninsured DP. You can take the exam in a short 24ft flatbed truck that you can see out the back window instead of a 45ft diesel pusher. This makes it much easier to pass the exam.
- It costs about $350. They only give you about 1 hour to get used to the truck and give you tips and pointers to pass the exam. No real great companies in Dallas.
CDL or Non-CDL?
- This company does what they say they are going to do. Their tucks are POS and drive really rough. Loose drivers seat that slides around, bumpy as hell, air brakes are all on/off throwing you through window. Despite POS trucks, they are still easier than driving a 45 foot bus. CDL Connection Dallas.
- This guy has built himself a reputation as a scam artist and has a pretty bad reputation you can easily google CDL Test Truck .
- I have no data on this company other than a few references I received neither good/bad. PM if you know anything about them CDL Rental TX - CDL Truck Rental & CDL Training | Weatherford, TX 76086
The law only requires you to have a non-CDL to drive your motorhome. There is exemption paperwork you can file for this. The big difference people care about is that if you have a full CDL you can't take defensive driving to get a ticket waved. There are some other fee differences but they are minimal.
If you go with options 1,2,3 it is best to opt for the non-CDL.
If you go with option 4, then your best bet is go with the full CDL. The problem you run into with #4 is they want you to take the test in whatever vehicle you are likely to be driving. If you file for a RV exemption and then show up in a flatbed truck you may run into issues. Your class B CDL will let you drive your RV. So, just go the normal truck route process and take the exam in a flatbed class B truck. It is much easier to pass the test in a 24 foot flatbed truck that you can look at the back window than a 45 foot dp. If you really want the non-CDL, I suppose you can go back at a later date any apply for the exemption.
Do I need a DOT medical?
Technically No if you only want to drive your RV for personal use. If you are going with options 1,2,3 you should be able to pass through the process without a medical. If you are going through #4 you can also pass without a DOT medical, but must explicitly fill out a form saying the CDL is for personal use only.
They will ask for your DOT medical when you go take your exam. Your driving examiner may also ask you for your DOT medical.
Caveat - The people at the DPS don't seem to know what the official answer is. So, it is quite possible that you could wait in line for 2 hours to get to the front only to argue and have them to tell you to come back with a DOT medical. The same when you go for the driving exam. Yes, you don't need it, and yes they are wrong, however they make the rules. If you want to get a DOT medical, it takes about 15 minutes, cost $80 and they are available at walk-in clinics like Carenow. There is a walk-in clinic about 5 minutes from the McKinney DPS office.
Hope that Helps!