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Old 01-06-2019, 10:37 AM   #1
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Non Commercial Class A license in Texas

My license is due for renewal in March and I'm going to start the process to get my Non Commercial Class A at that time. Our rig consists of a an F350 dually with a GVWR of 14,000 lbs and a Cedar Creek 36CK2 with a GVWR of 16,900lbs, so a Combined Gross weight of 30,900 lbs, way over the 26,000lb limit for the normal Class C license. I know it's not heavily enforced in Texas but I figure why risk it. Besides, it's only $11 for the application, a 20 question test and hopefully a simple "skills" test. Found a great write up on another site on the steps to follow to get this done that I'm following. If anyone on here from Texas has gone through this process, I'd love your to see your comments.
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Old 01-06-2019, 04:46 PM   #2
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Study the handbook. All test questions are covered therein. Beforehand confirm with the testing office how they schedule the driving road test. In the past you had to pass the written first and then schedule for another day and come back. Make sure they are clear on whether or not you need your entire rig, not just your F350, in order to take your drive test. You will have to parallel park your rig. Do not touch the curb, that is a fail and return another day. You will have to back the entire rig in a straight line for some distance. Keep 2 hands on the wheel at all times. Examiners vary, local procedures vary. The test itself is an aggravation not a problem. Took mine in Texas City.
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Old 01-06-2019, 07:27 PM   #3
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It should be a class B non commercial, it was for me. I took the test, written and driven a few years back and not a problem. Like "Lirrikin" said study the relevant sections of the handbook unless you know the required height of marker lights and other such stuff.
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Old 01-06-2019, 07:55 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark- View Post
It should be a class B non commercial, it was for me. I took the test, written and driven a few years back and not a problem. Like "Lirrikin" said study the relevant sections of the handbook unless you know the required height of marker lights and other such stuff.
His trailer is over 10,000 lbs so a non-commercial class A is required.
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Old 01-06-2019, 08:38 PM   #5
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I did it in 2012 and things were a little different then. For starters, very few people at the DMV knew what was required for RV's or what chapters in the CDL handbook were covered. I was told the wrong thing and given the wrong test the first time around. This was in Austin and you would've thought they would know since it is the TxDPS headquarters.. When I finally got the correct information, the test covered only Ch 14, it was a breeze. Check with TxDMV to be sure this hasn't changed.

The driving test was easy and I was able to do it as a walk-in in Marble Falls. They have since reduced the number of test sites significantly and you may have to get on a waiting list, depending on your test location.

The cool thing about getting your Class A is that you will automatically be legal to drive any RV, including the largest Class A diesel pusher out there, with no additional testing required. Air brakes is not an endorsement. It is a restriction in Texas, and that restriction will not be on your non-CDL license.
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Old 01-06-2019, 08:42 PM   #6
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My write up is on the escapees page as I am sure you have found and are referring to.

http://www.rvnetwork.com/topic/12534...-upgrade-faqs/
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Old 01-06-2019, 09:35 PM   #7
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His trailer is over 10,000 lbs so a non-commercial class A is required.
Thanks for the correction.
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Old 01-07-2019, 08:10 AM   #8
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My write up is on the escapees page as I am sure you have found and are referring to.

Texas Class A or B License Upgrade FAQs - RV Action Items - Escapees Discussion Forum
Yes, your excellent write-up is what I've been using as reference. Thanks for putting that together.
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Old 01-07-2019, 08:12 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Larrikin View Post
Study the handbook. All test questions are covered therein. Beforehand confirm with the testing office how they schedule the driving road test. In the past you had to pass the written first and then schedule for another day and come back. Make sure they are clear on whether or not you need your entire rig, not just your F350, in order to take your drive test. You will have to parallel park your rig. Do not touch the curb, that is a fail and return another day. You will have to back the entire rig in a straight line for some distance. Keep 2 hands on the wheel at all times. Examiners vary, local procedures vary. The test itself is an aggravation not a problem. Took mine in Texas City.
Parallel parking a 40ft 5th wheel? They've got to have a 100ft + of curbing available.
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Old 01-09-2019, 07:33 PM   #10
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I and my DW took upgraded our class C to the class A exempt last May in Alpine TX. We were done parkhosting at Davis Mtns SP (Ft Davis) and this was the perfect drive-by upgrade on our way to Big Bend NP. Literally, no traffic here. The skills test is by appt only, TV and 5er. They did not hassle me pulling the rig to the test site. Study only section 14 (the last chapter) in the CDL Handbook:
http://www.dps.texas.gov/internetforms/forms/dl-7c.pdf

There are 20 computer questions, but miss 6 and test is over. You get three tries inside 90 days. The DW had some different questions than mine. Took her two tries before passing (she didnít study sec14 beforehand). They pull from a random list which is obviously larger.

We did not have to parallel park the rig. Only back it in a straight line 50í using mirrors and both hands on the wheel. Then a short 15í drive through some residential streets. But be careful of low hanging tree limbs or wires! I was asked to go straight and I asked to turn right to avoid low tree limbs ahead approx 12í clearance and Iím 13í 4Ē. She deducted 3 pts for not following orders. I scored 97. I can live with that.

All in all, quite simple. $11. You must study Sec 14. I still missed 3 on my first try.

Congrats to you for upgrading. Everyone with duallies in TX should if they tow heavy. My 2007.5 Dodge dually is 10500 plus 16500 5er = 27000. Itís not what you actually weigh, but TV and towed rated GVWR. If itís over 26001, and you get pulled over and youíre only a Class C, the officer can write you a No DL ticket, which the avg court in TX will charge $150-160, and itíll be on your driving record for 5 years, plus your ins rates will increase.

The Escapee article above is very informative. But...what is not yet been talked about here regarding this class C misdemeanor is the annual surcharge that will get tacked on upon conviction (when you pay the fine in full). Youíll be assessed an immediate $100 surcharge that will then recur again on the 1st and 2nd anniversary of the conviction. $300 total. And FYI-The system wonít even allow you to pay it in full up front, should you insist.

So again, $11 is cheap to be legal and have peace of mind.
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Old 01-09-2019, 07:44 PM   #11
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Step 1

Ok, yesterday I was able to complete step 1 of the process to get my Class A license. Went to the DPS office in Plano TX and after standing in line for 4 hrs and then waiting inside for 2 hrs, I was able to get up to an agent. Now here's where it got interesting. After I explained (multiple times) that I was trying to get a Class A non-CDL license so that I could legally drive a large combination vehicle over 26,000lbs, he was still completely lost as to what to do. So, he tracked down another agent who knew what I was after. I had the paperwork completed, took and passed the written test (18 out of 20 right) and got the ID needed to register for the driving test. It's no wonder this license requirement is very rarely enforced in Texas, as even the licensing bureau doesn't understand it.

Got my driving test scheduled for later in Feb at the Carrollton office, but will continue watching for earlier openings.
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Old 01-09-2019, 07:54 PM   #12
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Non Commercial Class A license in Texas

As a DPS HQ retiree of 29+ years, so sorry to hear you had a bad experience with field personnel knowledge. The employees in Alpine come out from El Paso each week to work two days/wk (Tue/Thu). Surprising nobody in that small college town of 5,905 works behind the desk there.

Let us know if you had to parallel park!
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Old 01-09-2019, 08:39 PM   #13
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its insanely easy...cracked me up is they dont do the air brake check as part of the performance test...IMO thats a darn important test to know how to do.


OH and YOU CANNOT renew said class B non com online...its a face to face deal.
so you have to plan a bit for later


i had to parallel park a 40 foot bus....it was different
could not swing rear overhang over a fake sidewalk while turning in as i backed up
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Old 02-12-2019, 04:06 PM   #14
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Newest Class A license holder

Say hello, to the newest Class A, exempt, ready to hit the road legally, RV driver. Went down to the DPS office today and took the driving portion of the test. Passed with flying colors. No parallel parking required, just a backup and the road test. Only issue was when going down the street and the light turned yellow, and I was kind of in "no-man's land" - do I stop or go through. So, I chose to try and stop. Brought the rig to a stop but went over the white line at the intersection. I looked at the inspector and said - "well, I guess that's going to cost me a couple points". She was very nice and said, nope, great stop and I made the right decision to not go through the light.

Overall, the hardest part of all this process was the standing and waiting in lines at the DPS offices.

For a couple hours of time and $11 in fees, I'm glad I did this.
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