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Old 03-03-2010, 08:40 AM   #1
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Texas Class B Driving Test a Breeze

Yesterday I took my behind the wheel driving test to get my Texas Class B license... required to drive my coach in Texas. Thanks to all here on the forum for helping me prepare.

I wanted to share my experience here in Livingston because it seems to have changed from some of the input I received. I'm not sure if this was only a Livingston thing or if there have been broader changes state wide.

First of all, they did not have to have a Class B examiner brought in from out of town. One of the ladies which had helped us in the office a couple of days earlier was my examiner.

Secondly, I had purchased the heavy duty reflector triangles and spare fuses for the safety inspection but the extent of her safety inspection was to check that the lights and horn worked. Not a single question... on safety or any other topic.

Thirdly, I got the impression that the examiner was completely "non-technical". Not a single question about air brakes, braking techniques, etc.

Lastly, the driving test was a breeze. She clearly just wanted to see if I could drive around town without jumping any curbs or crashing into anyone.
She made me back up in a straight line for about 20 yards but no parallel parking. It's pretty much common sense. Make complete stops, use signals, don't jump curbs and be careful when making turns which have to encroach on other traffic lanes... and use your mirrors!

Overall a piece of cake and now I'm official! I'm not sure if these are on-going changes or if I just caught her just before her lunch break.
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Old 03-03-2010, 09:00 AM   #2
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You do relize in Texas you are not required to have a Class B to operate a MH..unless you are using for business.

Of course unless they changed some law, Thats always possible.

Exemptions

Active military personnel, firefighters, farmers driving certain types of tractors and individuals driving motor homes or moving trucks for non-business related reasons are all exempt from needing a Class B drivers license.
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Old 03-03-2010, 10:56 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gresults View Post
You do relize in Texas you are not required to have a Class B to operate a MH..unless you are using for business.

Of course unless they changed some law, Thats always possible.

Exemptions

Active military personnel, firefighters, farmers driving certain types of tractors and individuals driving motor homes or moving trucks for non-business related reasons are all exempt from needing a Class B drivers license.
I'm sorry, but you are INCORRECT.

The exemption you quote is for the CDL license.

There are 4 classifications for regular driver's license:

Quote:
Texas Class A & Class B requirements
on their license.
CLASSIFIED DRIVER LICENSE (Texas Transportation Code, Section 521)
The following listed Class A, B, C, and M licenses will be issued to persons
who are exempt from obtaining a Commercial Driver License or persons who
are not required to obtain a Commercial Driver License:
1. Class A driver license permits a person to drive any vehicle or combination
of vehicles with a gross combination weight rating of 26,001 pounds or
more, provided the gross vehicle weight rating of the vehicle(s) being towed
is in excess of 10,000 pounds; including a vehicle included in Class B or
Class C, except a motorcycle or moped.
Minimum Ages: 18, or 17 with completion of an approved driver education
course including classroom and practical training or approval of minor’s
hardship application.
Fee: $24.00 for 6 years. Applicants under the age of 18 are charged $5.00
for a license to expire on the next birthday.
2. Class B driver license permits a person to drive the following vehicles,
except a motorcycle or moped:
a. a single unit vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001
pounds or more, and any such vehicle towing either a vehicle with a
gross vehicle weight rating that does not exceed 10,000 pounds, or a
farm trailer with a gross vehicle weight rating that does not exceed
20,000 pounds;
b. a bus with a seating capacity of 24 passengers or more, including the
driver; and
c. a vehicle included in Class C.
Minimum Ages: 18, or 17 with completion of an approved driver education
course including classroom and practical training or approval of a minor’s
hardship application.
Fee: $24.00 for 6 years. Applicants under the age of 18 are charged $5.00
for a license to expire on the next birthday.
3. Class C driver license permits a person to drive the following vehicles,
except a motorcycle or moped:
1-4
a. a single unit vehicle, or combination of vehicles, that is not a Class A
or B; and
b. a single unit vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating of less than
26,001 pounds, towing a trailer not to exceed 10,000 pounds gross vehicle
weight rating or a farm trailer with a gross vehicle weight rating that
does not exceed 20,000 pounds.
Minimum Ages: 18, or 16 with completion of an approved course of driver
education including classroom and practical training, or 15 with approval of
minor’s hardship application.
Fee: $24.00 for 6 years. Applicants under the age of 18 are charged $5.00
for a license to expire on the next birthday.
4. Class M driver license permits a person to drive a motorcycle or moped.
Minimum Ages:
a. Motorcycle—18, or 16 with completion of an approved course of driver
education (32 hours classroom and the 16-hour Departmentapproved
Basic Motorcycle Operator Training Course)
b. Moped—15 years of age
Motor-driven cycle of 250cc or less
a. 15 with Department approval for minor’s hardship license
b. 15 with completion of an approved course of driver education (32
hours classroom and the 16-hour Department-approved Basic
Motorcycle Operator Training Course)
Fee: $24.00 for 6 years. Applicants under the age of 18 are charged $5.00
for a license to expire on the next birthday. Amotorcycle endorsement added
to a current license requires a $15.00 examination fee. An additional fee of
$8.00 will be required when renewing a Class M license.
One should really learn to read before trying to talk like an authority on something they do not have.

Barb
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Old 03-03-2010, 10:57 AM   #4
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Rick,

Congratulations and welcome to the club!
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Old 03-03-2010, 11:21 AM   #5
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Thanks much and thanks too for correcting the wrong information about the license required. There seems to be a lot of confusion about this point in Texas and I'd be pretty ticked off if I had gone through all this for nothing!
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Old 03-03-2010, 11:31 AM   #6
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O well.....Lucky for me mine is 26000, just made it.. But truthfully I only would see a enforcment of this in the case of a accident or just a real Hard A.....
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Old 03-03-2010, 11:53 AM   #7
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Hi Donald. Please do go ahead with more research. I dug around quite a bit to educate myself on the requirements before joining Escapees and "moving" to Texas. I did come across many comments about "Texas having more unlicensed drivers than any other state" and some of that was attributed to confusion over this very issue. I also came across several commently like yours indicating that even State Patrol doesn't seem to be up to speed on what's required.

I learned enough to determine that I could probably get away with only getting the Class C license but I wanted no part of exposing myself to the liability of "not being properly licensed" to drive my coach in case I were involved in an accident.

Since I was coming from out of state, I had to present the Texas registrations of both of my vehicles. The lady at DPS who was helping me immediately told me that I would need the Non-Commercial Class B license to drive my coach and that it would require both written and behind the wheel testing. So... not so sure if I could have gotten away with it or not in my situation.
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Old 03-03-2010, 12:12 PM   #8
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Rick - You pretty much described my experience when I got my Class B a couple of years ago. I didn't want to stand in line and fight the crowd in McKinney, which is the nearest DPS Office to me, so I took the test in Monahans. I travel there frequently anyway. No lines, no wait. Just walk in take the written test and come back the next day for the driver test. It was a cinch.

Regarding exemption. A lot of people misinterpret that. We are exempt from a CDL, but not a Class B if we are over 26,000 lbs. DPS refers to it as a Class B non CDL.
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Old 03-03-2010, 12:26 PM   #9
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It was amazing to me, Joe, that I could walk into the drivers license office and walk right up to the counter and be helped. Two ladies working in there and they had a TV on playing their soap operas!

A few months ago I had to renew my California license in San Diego. They accept appointments, but the soonest appointment available was a month out. I got there 15 min before opening and the line was already half way around the building!

Got to love California!
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Old 03-03-2010, 01:27 PM   #10
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Hey learn something new everyday..
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Old 03-03-2010, 01:38 PM   #11
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Only on good days.... only on good days....
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Old 03-03-2010, 03:53 PM   #12
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Rick,

This time of year there aren't alot of people in Livingston getting licenses changed, etc. You should be there in the fall and spring - then there are lines as everyone gets things changed over before heading further south for the winter or way north for a cool summer!

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Old 03-07-2010, 07:41 PM   #13
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I recently did my Class B in Browsville while wintering here. The actual driving test was a breeze as well. I did have to demonstrate all the air brake pre trip inspection procedure. The inspector checked all the exterior lights, horn, and wipers. Backed up in a straight line and parallel parked, then a simple drive around the area. The inspector was pleasant and in the end very helpful.

When starting the process, I was told by the Brownsville DPS office, that I needed to take four written test, i.e. general info, pre trip inspection, air brakes, and special conditions. I did complete all these, which is not a slam dunk as there are a bunch of 18 wheeler questions and many terms that I was not familiar with. I found out from the driving test inspector that they had never done this type license before in this office. After I completed the four written test, the office did some research and determined that RV's, over 26000 pounds, for private use, only need to complete two tests, i.e. air brakes and special conditions. When I got this all done, I could have paid $60 and got a CDL but I elected for $10 to get the class B, non CDL.

Everyone needs to be aware, if your Tx registered RV is over 26000 pounds, and you do NOT have a class B, you probably will never have a problem UNLESS you have an accident, then most likely you will have no liability insurance coverage nor any collision insurance coverage.

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Old 03-07-2010, 08:27 PM   #14
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I'm surprised that you were the first to do it in Brownsville. Your experience is one reason why most take their tests in places that are use to doing it - such as Livingston. We took ours in Tyler, they knew exactly what we needed, took the written test on the computer, and then the driving. Since we have hydraulic brakes rather than air, we didn't have to do that section, and only backing up, no parallel parking. I do know that Corpus Christie also does the parallel parking.

Barb
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