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Old 10-26-2015, 12:49 PM   #1
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RV Purchase special license Chicken or Egg

We are looking to buy an 45 foot Entegra Cornerstone. Ca requires a Class B license and we would like to take a driving class also. The RV is in Texas and we need to drive it back. Herein lies the problem. You cannot take a driving class without the RV (I understand it is better to have the class to learn the requirements they have at DMV) and you cannot get the license without an over 40 ft RV to drive and have to bring a licensed driver with you. I have been internet searching for driving classes in Southern CA and nothing so far. How in heavens name do you do these things before you make the purchase. Gotta love CA - not.
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Old 10-26-2015, 01:25 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by debcanon View Post
...Herein lies the problem. You cannot take a driving class without the RV (I understand it is better to have the class to learn the requirements they have at DMV) and you cannot get the license without an over 40 ft RV to drive and have to bring a licensed driver with you. I have been internet searching for driving classes in Southern CA and nothing so far. How in heavens name do you do these things before you make the purchase. Gotta love CA - not.
It isn't a strictly CA thing. Every state with similar license requirements puts you in the same dilemma. FWIW, our IL DMV didn't care how we got to the driving test. Go figure. BTW...most states requiring NON-CDL class C & B DLs do it based on weight but maybe CA tosses length in instead/in addition to that.

If CA is similar to IL, the process is that you go to the DMV and take your written test first. That gives you your "learners permit" to drive with someone that has a Class B DL. You then take your driving test and should probably have that same person show up to prove you didn't break the law.

Keep in mind that TX has similar requirements. You need to get out of the state and back home without attracting the attention of the law. It might be a good idea to at least have the learner's permit with you but that probably doesn't mean much.

YMMV
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Old 10-26-2015, 01:57 PM   #3
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Unfortunately I think the only legal way you can get the coach from TX to CA is to find a driver that has the proper driver's license, but he or she doesn't necessarily have to be from CA or TX.

Unless they have a commercial driver's license I would keep any financial transaction between the two of you very under the table...no written contract and cash payment only.
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Old 10-26-2015, 07:59 PM   #4
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I have been reading this and several other rv forums for 14 years.

I have yet to hear of anyone being cited for not having the right class of license for their RV.

I know of several people who bought 40+ foot RV's in Ca and subsequently obtained their Non Commercial Class B. It is a risk but what are the consequences and odds?
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Old 10-26-2015, 10:25 PM   #5
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Most insurance companies cover your new ride for the trip home.

Get the VIN and ask your agent to provide document covering you to drive it home.

Do not volunteer the length just provide the VIN.

They already have your license data so if they issue a document providing coverage for that VIN with you as driver then insurance is good which is the hard part.

Do get the learners permit as you need to have that.
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Old 10-26-2015, 10:35 PM   #6
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Wrong License?

Quote:
Originally Posted by deandec View Post
I have been reading this and several other rv forums for 14 years.

I have yet to hear of anyone being cited for not having the right class of license for their RV.

I know of several people who bought 40+ foot RV's in Ca and subsequently obtained their Non Commercial Class B. It is a risk but what are the consequences and odds?
A buddy who was triple-towing just got pulled over and cited for combo-length violation.

The cop noted that he also had the wrong license, waived the penalty. Normally, it is something like $170.

Reality check: the vast majority of owners are driving around on regular licenses. I openly drove my rig to the DMV, took the test, and drove back home. Getting the proper license simply distinguished me from the 85% of owners who haven't bothered to convert their licenses; our local DMV seems to realize that. Some cops don't know the weight threshold above which licenses are required. Others don't car.
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Old 10-27-2015, 12:22 AM   #7
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I'd be more concerned that your Insurance company would walk away in the event of a serious accident, claiming you were breaking the law thus voiding insurance agreement.
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Old 10-27-2015, 05:59 AM   #8
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From what I've read, this is consistent with most states. Every person that I know, including myself, drives their first Rv for a while before taking the test so that they are comfortable with it. Legal? Technically not, but I have never heard of anyone getting a ticket either. Obviously you don't drive an Rv like your home commuter...slow and steady.

My bigger concerns would be about insurance, and the possibility of becoming personally liable if in a major accident. But really, what can you do? You could borrow a friend's Rv to drive around until you can pass the test, then pass the test. But then...you are at the same risk except now so is your friend!

Ultimately... most people buy, drive, drive, drive...forget about the license.

Far fewer buy, drive, get license.
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Old 10-27-2015, 07:37 AM   #9
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Bought our Discovery in Mesa AZ. Drove it home to North of Dallas. 1100+ miles. Took the written, (not one question on RV's). Had to wait 2 weeks for driving test. Taught wife to even parallel park (41' long RV) so she could drive in emergencies. Just how could we get to DMV without driving it there ourselves?
Just be extra careful.
Since then she hasn't driven 1 mile!
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Old 11-04-2015, 09:35 PM   #10
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Update on CA tax laws

After many, many hours on the phone between CA DMV and BOE I have decided that these agencies do not talk to each other. This is the latest - We are flying out tomorrow to pick up our new RV in Texas. We will drive the RV to Las Vegas and put it in storage. Rule says the RV cannot be brought over the CA state line for 12 months (unless you get special permission for repairs). I have to get two forms completed from the dealership along with a form from BOE and take those to DMV. The RV can then be registered and no sales tax will be due. Our RV will stay in Las Vegas until we are ready to go full time in a few months. Theory is the RV is not being sold in CA (no CA sales tax) and the RV will not be used in CA (no CA use tax). In a few weeks I will let you know if it all works correctly.
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Old 11-04-2015, 10:36 PM   #11
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Since you are going full time look into getting it registered in Montana and getting your license from Montana.

Montana LLC Tax Free Vehicle Registration

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Old 11-04-2015, 10:56 PM   #12
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Regarding just giving the VIN to the insurer. Wouldn't the insurance company be able to tell almost instantly what kind of vehicle the VIN belongs to once they enter it into their computer system (assuming that it is tied in some way to the DMV) and the data on it pops up?

Just curious.
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Old 11-04-2015, 11:09 PM   #13
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Luckily WA doesn't have any special license requirement.
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Old 11-04-2015, 11:16 PM   #14
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Make sure you save all your parking receipts in Las Vegas as the BOE will want all of them for 1 full year. Make it 13 months. They chased me for 18 months for a purchase I made in CA had delivered to Las Vegas and I didn't even live in CA. They wanted all 12 months of receipts before they dropped the chase.
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