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Old 02-18-2013, 09:58 PM   #1
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New Member Looking for Info about Class B Non-Commercial License in MD

This is a wonderful site however my wife and looking for some information. we are selling our home and looking to go full time with a 42' Tiffin Phaeton, however our question is this, neither one of us has the required endorsement on our license. We live in Maryland and I am still Active duty Army she is Retired Airforce because of the size of the MH we are going to need a Class B non-commerical license but can't find a place to get the training or how we take the skills/driving test? Everything I have researched is for a Class A/B CDL and that is not something that we need also the cost is out of our range. does anyone know where we can get the training and how do we get a vehicle to take the tests?
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Old 02-18-2013, 11:29 PM   #2
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Howdy and welcome to iRV2. Have you contacted the MD DPS to find out what the requirements are? There are several discussions about license requirements on the forum, so you might try a search.

I have moved your post to the Class A Motorhomes discussion section for more visibility. Hopefully someone from MD will see it and have some info for you.
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Old 02-19-2013, 12:32 AM   #3
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I realize this isn't answering you question but just thought I'd throw it out there for you to ponder.

You say you're going full-time, correct? If you are selling your stick house and will be living in your new rig, you might want to consider using South Dakota as your residency state as many full-timers are doing.

South Dakota has no special drivers' license requirements for driving a diesel pusher Class A motorhome (class A motorhomes that are 26,001 lbs. or over in their GVWR which include just about every DP).

They also have no personal income tax and have relatively low license fees.

You'd use a mail forwarding service to handle your mail and to advise and help you in the process of getting licensed and registered to vote, etc.

This is not a solution to your getting lessons on how to drive a diesel pusher but many in states that don't have drivers' licensing requirements for driving motorhomes, people just jump into their rigs and teach themselves. We are originally from Washington state which has no requirements for special licensing and many of our friends in WA who have purchased diesel pushers didn't have any experience driving large vehicles and virtually taught themselves.

Not that we encourage folks in avoiding getting properly trained. We are advocates of making licensing requirements for RVs standard from state to stage and having testing done before getting a license. Therefore, it would force everybody to get properly trained in driving a larger vehicle with air brakes. I'm thinking that someday that will happen.

As I've said before pertaining to this issue, DW and I hold Class B licenses in Nevada. Our Nevada friends who have diesel pushers had to get tested to get their class B licenses just as you would in Maryland. However, our friends in Washington can come down to Nevada and drive on the same roads with the same coach without having taken any tests or certifications pertaining to driving a heavy vehicle that has air brakes. It doesn't make sense not to have it standardized from state to state.

At any rate, obtaining South Dakota residency is something you may want to consider and research if you are going full-time.


ETA: oops, after re-reading your post, I see you may be living in your coach but still must reside in Maryland. Disregard what I've written. I guess you'll have to approach it from trying to find a motorhome training class somewhere.

ETAA: DW had this bookmarked for some reason. It's called "RV Boot Camp" where somebody comes to you and gives you lessons in your own RV. Maybe some members here can chime in as to it's legitimacy. It sounds interesting.

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Old 02-19-2013, 12:43 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by amanda_h View Post
It doesn't make sense not to have it standardized from state to state.
True, they should remove the special requirements from all states and then it'd be uniform.
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Old 02-19-2013, 03:27 AM   #5
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Yes in MD you need to get a non commercial class B. it is basically the same test that you would take for a CDL license. Your options are limited. A CDL course would give you the necessary training. You could move to another state, most likely a expensive option. Could you get someone to train you on a military vehicle? Do you know anyone with a non commercial- class A or B -CDL class A or B ? DMV in MD will be little help with this. I had a similar problem but luckily I had a friend that was able to ride around with me so I could practice. I used my RV for practice.
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Old 02-19-2013, 04:25 AM   #6
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Welcome to the site and hopefully someone will be able to help you out.
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Old 02-19-2013, 11:39 AM   #7
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I got my MD Class B non-commercial license a few years ago, then moved to Delaware, where they don't require one. To try to answer your questions:

You don't need any special training (not that it wouldn't be a good idea) -- you can get the written materials from the MVA (in person or print out from the web site); they actually have a booklet for RV drivers to prep for the test. You may have trouble getting a straight answer from MVA personnel, because many are unfamiliar with the requirements. If you're concerned about the training, contact a truck driving school, or talk to fire or school bus operators, and see what they suggest.

You will need a Class B-appropriate vehicle to test in, so I'd suggest waiting until you get the coach. Depending where you take the test, you may need a Class B licensed driver to accompany you and check in with you at MVA. (Some locations let you come solo for your first try only.)

You will first get a Class B "learner's permit," which is when you'll take the written test. Then you make an appointment for the driving test.

Good luck, and feel free to PM me if you have more questions. (Or just put them on here.)
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Old 02-19-2013, 11:41 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Mr_D View Post
True, they should remove the special requirements from all states and then it'd be uniform.
Wow, Mr_D, I thought you'd want just the opposite.

No, we disagree, we think that ALL states should require a Class B drivers' license to operate a diesel pusher. A vehicle that heavy and that has air brakes should require some training to drive and some testing to be licensed to drive it.

Most commercial bus drivers go through training. Municipal bus drivers go through well thought-out training courses just on physically driving the vehicle. Diesel pusher owners drive a similar vehicle so having no training required or special licensing needed doesn't make sense to us. If you were driving a similar vehicle commercially, you'd have to be tested, why not for an RV?

Now remember, a Class A gas-engined motorhome usually doesn't require a Class B drivers' license because most are under 26,000 lbs GVWR and don't have air brakes. I'm not certain that they should also not have to pass tests but most states that do have requirements designate their cut-off for a single vehicle at 26,000 lbs. GVWR. Most DPs are over that, most gas motorhomes are under.

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Old 02-19-2013, 01:02 PM   #9
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I know a former coworker that owns a cdl training business that gives instruction on most if not all classes of vehicles and has a vehicle to test with.He is in Prince Georges County. Pm me for his contact info. If interested.
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Old 02-19-2013, 01:45 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Crabby Mike View Post
I got my MD Class B non-commercial license a few years ago, then moved to Delaware, where they don't require one. To try to answer your questions:

You don't need any special training (not that it wouldn't be a good idea)...
IL is very similar in all aspects. You take a written test to get you "learner's permit" then set up for a driving test. The deal is that they basically run you through a car's route. Not a big deal except there is one maneuver where you turn left into an alley then back out keeping your wheels in the near lane. Easy with a car, not bad with a shorter MH. Depending on the length.wheel base of the MH and how narrow the alley is determines how hard it gets.
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Old 02-19-2013, 07:05 PM   #11
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Here's a link to my write-up about training and taking the test in California; I think your experience will be very similar if not identical.

As to training, I think you'll have the best luck with a company that trains bus drivers (as those who train truck drivers are more like 5th wheel drivers ~ different skills at times).

The training will be more in-depth than you really need for the test...but it all is really vital IMO.

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