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Old 12-12-2005, 10:39 AM   #15
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Originally posted by Tom N:
What I don't understand is how FL can enforce a law that is not a FL law violation. The officer would have to be versed in every state license law.
FL wouldn't give you a ticket for violating a PA state law if you are not breaking a FL law. If you were breaking a FL Law by driving on a Class A License but you are legal per PA state laws, yes they could give you a ticket because they don't know the other states laws but you can show up in court to contest (never argue with a cop on the side of the road). I would reccomend that you carry a copy of the PA state law regarding your exemption from needing a CDL (if this is so). Good way to find out is to E-Mail your state's DOT (or whomever is in charge of issuing Driver's licenses) at the STATE LEVEL (not the local level) and ask your question (This is what I asked for TN... "I have a 1972 Eagle 05 motorcoach (formerly a greyhound motorcoach) that is now tagged & titled as a privately owned motorhome (per TN requirements). It's Max GVWR is 40,000. Do I need a special license or will my standard TN driver's license suffice?" The answer was that I did not need a CDL or any other special Dr License becasue RV's were exempt from the CDL requirements... The answer is somewhere on my computer's hard drive - in storage - otherwise I could give the the exact reply). I carry a copy (actually several in case I need to give them out to cops) of the law that exempts my pop-up & cargo trailer from needing to be tagged in TN and allows me to tow it every where without a tag with my TN tagged/titled vehicle.

You need to be legal in the state that your vehicles are tagged/titled!!! E-mail your government officials at the higher state levels to find out the correct answers!!!

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Old 12-12-2005, 06:52 PM   #16
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I know in California, a person holding a CDL is held to a higher standard when involved with the law. I guess they figure since you had to take all those extra endorsment tests, it makes you a better driver.

Bottom line is, make sure to check your individual state and get the appropriate license for your individual needs.

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Old 12-12-2005, 11:24 PM   #17
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In Florida they are pretty easy going but they do require and Air or Exhaust Brake endorsement, if you are driving a coach so equipped, but do not require a CDL unless you are driving the coach for hire. Getting stuck halfway down a long grade with the brakes locked up is a pretty good clue that someone wasn't air brake certified and may prompt some officers to check for your endorsment.

Even if it is not required in your state it really is not a bad idea to take the course and get a better knowledge of how to drive and brake using these systems.


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Old 12-13-2005, 05:18 AM   #18
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What I don't understand is how FL can enforce a law that is not a FL law violation. The officer would have to be versed in every state license law.
Florida would give you a ticket for violating a FLORIDA law, specifically that you must have a valid driver's license to operate a vehicle in FLoirda. Since Florida practicces license reciprocity with all 49 other states, a "valid license" for a visitor is whatever is valid in his home state. The question is, how would the officer know you are legal in your home state or not. Well, if suspicious he can call in and ask his dispatcher to check. Or if, thorough previous experience, he believes you are probably illegal at home, he can simply issue a ticket and let the court sort it out. It's unlikley an officer would pull you over on a whim and do a license check, but if something else raised his suspicions then a more thorough check might be done. The officer doesn't have to be right every time - he just has to have probably cause.
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Old 12-15-2005, 05:09 AM   #19
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Gary summed up the license reciprocity laws the exact way I was told by my local PA drivers license office. Florida, could ticket you for not having a "valid license" for the vehicle you are driving. The license legality is based upon the requirements of the state that issues the license.

In other words, if your license is specifically for driving a vehicle under 26,000 lbs and you are pulled over in Pennsylvania, or any other state driving a vehicle over 26,000 lbs, you could be cited.

To answer the questions of how the officer would know, all he would have to do would be to look at the back of the license. Our PA drivers licenses clearly state the class on the front, and the definition of the class on the back.

A PA class C will state on the back of it, "Single < 26,000lbs" therefore an officer could check the license against the GVWR. Honestly, I think it's a long shot, but for the one time fee of 5 bucks it cost in PA, I upgraded to the class B to be legal.
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Old 12-15-2005, 10:26 AM   #20
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No matter what the weight of the motorhome, be it Class C or Class A, if you paint a business name on the side "Jim's Photography" or "Call Jane for Elderly Nursing Assistance" then you WILL NEED a CDL license. This is probably true in ALL states.
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Old 12-16-2005, 06:25 PM   #21
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Originally posted by Canuck:
I upgraded my license to a CDL with air brake endorsement when we purchased our moho. I found the learning that took place made me a MUCH better driver. I'd recommend that drivers of any large vehicle or truck/5th wheel upgrade to a CDL.
Sam, did you have to upgrade to a CDL. I thought you only required an airbrake endorsement in Manitoba?
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Old 12-19-2005, 05:00 PM   #22
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Hi Don,
Congrats on the new moho!
The upgrade was as a result of the previous rig that I owned, at 38 ft. 5th wheel which had a GVWR of 14,500 lbs. In Manitoba, pulling a unit like that requires a CDL. I didn't get the air brake endorsement until I got the EEE.
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Old 12-19-2005, 06:38 PM   #23
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Sam, I think pulling over 10,000 lbs requires a Class A (Ontario lingo) in all provinces.

Ontario seems to be the only one with a Class D being required for a MH over 24,200 lbs (including toad). Almost everyone is in violation. Wayfarer has published the fact that its insurance policies are still good even if you don't have the correct license for the weight of the RV.
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Old 12-21-2005, 12:11 PM   #24
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Manitoba clamped down on drivers not having the correct class of license by refusing to renew the vehicle registation. In MB driver licensing and vehicle registration are run by the same organization. In my opinion this is a good thing.
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Old 12-26-2005, 03:27 AM   #25
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I have a "DZ" in Ontario. D, any weight straight frame. Z air endorsement. The "D" is said to be exempt for private motorhomes, though I would question how not having one in a 44,000 lbs. rig and being involved in a serious accident may result. The Z is manitory for air and carries a $1000 fine if caught without one while operating a such equipped vehicle.
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Old 12-26-2005, 07:30 AM   #26
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Checking in from New York; the following is a direct quote from the NYS Drivers Handbook: Recreational Vehicle or "R" endorsement - Recreational vehicles, with or without air brakes, are not defined as commercial vehicles. You may apply for an "R" endorsement for your Class D or Class E driver license to allow you to operate a recreational vehicle (RV) with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of over 26,001 lbs. (11,794 kg) or more.

To obtain an "R" endorsement, you must: submit a completed Application for Driver License or ID Card (MV-44), indicating a license amendment, to any state or county motor vehicle office; pay a permit fee, which is valid for up to two road tests; and pass a road test in the size and type of vehicle you will be driving. No written test is required. To take the road test, you must be accompanied by a licensed driver at least 21 years old who has a license valid for the type of vehicle you will be driving during the test (e.g., a driver license with an "R" endorsement or the appropriate Commercial Driver License). The road test will be about 15 minutes in length and will include turns, intersections and backing the vehicle to the curb. Upon passing the road test, you must go to a motor vehicle office and pay the required fee to complete the license amendment process.

I guess it's time for me to get a permit...sigh....
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Old 05-10-2007, 04:08 PM   #27
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FYI, I was wondering if anyone else has heard this? I just got an email from a policeman friend yesterday that the state of California is paying for 6 cops from every department in the state and all CHP to go to a class pertaining to illegal RV owners driving out of the class of their licence. The law states that if you are driving a 2 axle vehicle with a GVWR over 26,000 lbs, any 3 axle trailer or moterhome over over 40 ft. long you need minimum of class A non-commercial licence. They say that when driving out of class they cannot alow you to keep driving, so if you can't find a class A driver to drive it home for you will result in immediate impound and out of class ticket which are thousands of $$$.

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Old 05-10-2007, 04:44 PM   #28
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Even with my Class A license, those idiots that run the State of California continue to furnish me with yet one more reason to not visit that State.

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