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Old 06-06-2018, 03:57 AM   #1
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CA DMV - Noncommercial Class B , Noncommercial Class A

With Noncommercial Class A, can you drive 43' motor home (House Car, 43')?

Please refer to this latest link here and it say I can drive house car with Noncommercial Class A https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/de..._htm/lic_chart

But when I go for actual Driving test centers they slap me with old manual and say I need to retake the test for Noncommercial Class B. I cancelled driving test twice and wasted two days at Rancho San Diego and Fontana CA CDL centers.

Please see page #2 of this DMV bible. and compare to earlier link above.
https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/wcm/co...df?MOD=AJPERES

I guess Year 2011 manuals are old and trust the new link. but how to convince test centers.
Thanks
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Old 06-06-2018, 12:04 PM   #2
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I don't see any difference from those two links you provided.

I always understood (and I'm not or ever have been a California resident), that you only will need a non-commercial Class B license if your motorhome is over 40-feet but less than 45-feet. Therefore, if you have a 43' motorhome, you'd need a non-commercial Class B. No motorhome will require a non-commercial Class A even if you're towing a toad.

If you're not towing anything heavy, you can disregard all together a non-commercial Class A pertaining to your 43' motorhome. A non-commercial Class A for an RVer is essentially if you're towing a heavy 5th-wheel with a pickup or a HDT/MDT. A non-commercial Class A usually requires the same testing as a CDL Class A ...or that's the way it is in a lot of states that require non-commercial endorsements for RVers.

So my interpretation is to just ignore anything having to do with a Class A license. You don't need it if you are only going to be driving your 43' motorhome and toad. You only need a non-commercial Class B.





On another note, that California wording is rather contradictory as it almost is implying that any two-axle vehicle with a 26,000 GVWR should require a non-commercial Class B but then later says that "any housecar 40' or less" can be driven with a basic Class C. Therefore, it's implied that a diesel pusher which most have a GVWR of 26,000 GVWR can't be driven with a basic Class C but then later contradicts that by saying it's okay to drive a housecar of 40' or less. Obviously, the housecar rule supersedes the former as all California residents know that they do not need a non-commercial Class B to drive a diesel pusher. California should word that clearer and in my opinion, should actually require a non-commercial Class B for diesel pushers (26,000 GVWR) like a lot of other states ...actually, I personally would like to see it standardized nationwide where anybody who drives a diesel pusher of 26,000 GVWR that has air brakes should be required to pass tests for a non-commercial Class B license --ALL STATES should require this IMO.
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Old 06-07-2018, 01:28 AM   #3
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If it were me I would just hop into a CHP office and ask them what they would want to see.

From my research a non-commercial class A would cover you beyond 40ft and 26K GVWR. I think the class B is the minimum required and an A is considered overkill for just driving an RV and has more to do with what you can tow.

This is where I get my info:
https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/de..._htm/lic_chart
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Old 06-07-2018, 08:57 AM   #4
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Hi ! Welcome to IRV2! We're sure glad you joined the gang!

Don't know anything about CA laws.

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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Old 06-07-2018, 09:07 AM   #5
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Got stopped in CA for speeding, got my first ticket since high school and I was 68 at the time.
Officer didn't care what class my license was just wanted ins paperwork which I had trouble locating since we had just bought the rig a couple weeks before and we hadn't settled in.
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Old 06-07-2018, 12:09 PM   #6
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Iím a retired California LEO. I did drivers training at our agency for other Officers who would be driving our Mobile Command (RV) Vehicle. While it was only 40í in length, it weighed in over 26,000 lbs. Our City was certified by DMV to give our employees the actual drivers training. Even we were confused when we first acquired our vehicle. We decided to err on the side of caution, and require that our drivers obtain a Non-Commercial B License.
Fast forward....When I retired, my wife and I purchased a 43foot Fifth Wheel Toy Hauler. I went to DMV to obtain my Non-Commercial A license for the 5ver. My intent was to retain both the Non-Commercial B, and the new Non-Commercial A, since I still was thinking a Class A was in my future. The DMV Clerk, and then her manager explained to me that the Non-Commercial A, would cover both vehicles. They provided me with their print out, similar to what the OP linked in the original post. I went with the Non-Commercial A and havenít looked back. We purchased a 43í Diesel Pusher two years after this DMV visit.
The two test for Non Commercial A&B are identical. Written, Medical, Pre Trip Inspection, and driving test. And to be clear, the medical is only a form that you complete, stating you donít have certain physical restrictions.
My advise would be that if you currently donít have the A or B, get the one thatís applicable to your vehicle, but understand that A will cover both.
On a side note, I have spoken to my former traffic officers, and many CHP Officers, and they interpret the law as Iíve stated here. Good luck, and donít sweat the test, itís not that big of a deal.
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Old 06-07-2018, 02:10 PM   #7
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Sorry to threadjack a bit here: We are in the process of moving from Wisconsin to CA. We have a Newmar 3401 (34' 11" length). We frequently tow a Jeep Wrangler. Do I need to get anything other than a standard license after I move?
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Old 06-07-2018, 02:17 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeD1 View Post
Sorry to threadjack a bit here: We are in the process of moving from Wisconsin to CA. We have a Newmar 3401 (34' 11" length). We frequently tow a Jeep Wrangler. Do I need to get anything other than a standard license after I move?
You're moving from WI to CA? Wow, poor guy. And at the time when there's more people leaving CA then are moving in, oh well. Now, as for your request on your info, nope, you don't need any special license endorsements of any type for your present setup.
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Old 06-07-2018, 11:22 PM   #9
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DMV replied my email on Noncommercial Class A

Thank you all for taking time to reply my email and encouragement. Based on several advise, I did my further research.

Yes, with Noncommercial Class A, It is legal to drive Motor home up to 45'.

You can take exam at any DMV office but when you go for drive test at Commercial Driver test centers, they want to see you with 5th Wheel. They will not let you drive Motorhome for Class A test at any circumstances.

Currently CA DMV is in process of updating year 2011 recreational manual and then it will be all smooth, using Motorhome to obtain Class A. (Source CA DMV Email)

I also asked Senior CHP / RVer and he says that usually TAG axle draws their attention (It means, a rich bastard is driving more than 40' Motorhome) to pull over, if they really need to ruin someone's vacation. And yes, If I produce Noncommercial Class A They are absolutely fine with it.

https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/de..._htm/lic_chart

My lessons: If anyone of you are looking for license, stick with Noncommercial Class B and do not let DMV think that you are open to any advise, opinion or alternatives. Just stick with B. (This is what CHP Police / RVer said)
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Old 06-08-2018, 07:05 AM   #10
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It was explained to me once at DMV that its like a pyramid, with A at the top covering all the other classes except MC.
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Old 06-08-2018, 08:24 AM   #11
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https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/de..._htm/lic_chart

With a noncommercial Class A License:

Any vehicles under Class C.

Any housecar over 40 feet but not over 45 feet


With a noncommercial Class B License:

any vehicles under Class C.

any housecar over 40 feet but not over 45 feet, with endorsement.

Hope this makes it more clear.
I donít know what the endorsement would be for the non commercial class B. Guessing air brake.
As for the outdated manuals. Did you try to download manuals from the dmv website? They may be newer. I donít know.
Good luck
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Old 07-03-2018, 04:35 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seichi View Post
With Noncommercial Class A, can you drive 43' motor home (House Car, 43')?

Please refer to this latest link here and it say I can drive house car with Noncommercial Class A https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/de..._htm/lic_chart

But when I go for actual Driving test centers they slap me with old manual and say I need to retake the test for Noncommercial Class B. I cancelled driving test twice and wasted two days at Rancho San Diego and Fontana CA CDL centers.

Please see page #2 of this DMV bible. and compare to earlier link above.
https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/wcm/co...df?MOD=AJPERES

I guess Year 2011 manuals are old and trust the new link. but how to convince test centers.
Thanks
- Got Non Commercial Class B last week
- NO Written test on "Air Brakes"
- Air Brake test are done during actual drive test. Takes an hour with DMV folks.
- Know Air brake cut off and parking break pop out pressure numbers.
- Fontana CA, DMV (CDL) are the best people to work with they know all about RV licensing in detail
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