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Old 08-01-2020, 12:19 PM   #1
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California non-commercial Class B

Let me start by saying I'm a retired deputy Sheriff so I understand the vehicle code. I just bought a diesel pusher and am learning what a PITA getting a non-commercial Class B license is. I have a few questions that only apply to California pusher drivers.

For those of you that have pushers and should have a non-commercial Class B, did you actually get one?

If you chose not to get one, or didn't know you needed one, and have had contact with law enforcement while in your coach, did the officer know you needed a Class B?

If they did, how did the rest of the contact go? Ticket for being out of class, had to park the RV, warning, or just wished you a good trip?

Thanks,
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Old 08-01-2020, 01:38 PM   #2
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Had my residence in CA off and on 2-3 times over the years and owned two different DPs during that time. Had the RV VIN inspected by LEOs, got license plates, etc., etc.. Stopped just once over the years and just got a warning for cutting a squad car off at a turn. Never had a LEO ask about endorsements or Class B anything. Maybe it was a 'grandfathered' sort of thing as I originally bought the RV in Oregon where 16 years ago, no endorsement was called for as I recall. But then 4 years ago I bought a newer Class A DP and again registered it in CA. However, those times I registered, insured, got plates and tags for the RV in CA, having a special license endorsement was never mentioned. Face to face DMV stuff too.

Now that I think about it, I'm pretty sure that CA has a notation that the Class B endorsement doesn't apply to RV's. That's what I'm remembering from 4 years ago...you should check that.

I don't think may LEOs care about that when they're talking to an older citizen driving what is likely the last big purchase of their lives. And just their age and a background check usually attests to their having paid their dues.

Still don't think anyone needs one in Oregon, so why not move up here? Heh. We got microbrews, no sales tax, dry desert to rain forests, giant rivers with giant fish, low income taxes when you retire, every woman here is beautiful, etc..
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Old 08-01-2020, 04:50 PM   #3
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A little off subject, but it seems odd that they would not require one for a 40-45' DP.

Heck, I had to get an endorsement for my fifth wheel trailer to tow between 10K and 15K. Pull trailers do not have that requirement. Written test was required to get it. You can miss 5 out of 35 questions.

Point being that CA DMV is a messed up department. When I went to apply, they gave me the wrong test and scheduled me for a driving test with the trailer! Took hours to straighten that out with the supervisor of the branch calling Sacramento for guidance.

I complied with the endorsement to prevent that being an issue if I were ever involved in a accident. They could hold the fact I was not properly licensed against me in that case.

Good Luck and enjoy traveling.
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Old 08-01-2020, 09:48 PM   #4
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CA Class C driver's license

With a Basic Class C license: You can drive

Any housecar 40íor less, and generally, you can tow up to a 10,000 lb vehicle

https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/handbo...-requirements/
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Old 08-01-2020, 09:55 PM   #5
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Is your DP over 40'? If no, class C is ok.
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Old 08-01-2020, 11:47 PM   #6
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Iíve had a commercial A for about 15 years when I started hauling a gooseneck with my pickup. I tested back when no one at the DMV cared how your rig showed up in the parking lot. I understand it is far different now.

Between my gooseneck, a toyhauler, my current flatbed and now the DP, Iíve needed some form of an A (or B). Iíve never been stopped driving any of the things I need an A for. In my department, outside of the motors that owned fivers, not very many people know the requirements for larger trailers and DPs.

I canít speak for CHP, but the ones Iíve talked to know what vehicle needs which license. They also focus enforcement on the drivers/ behaviors causing the most accidents/injuries. RVs just donít wet their whistle. I can tell you, driving a 45í DP with a 2Xí trailer, Iím constantly noticing DPs with muchhhhh longer trailers than mine. Not once have I seen one stopped.

My advice, if you are going to test, get a trailer over 10K and a pickup and just do the commercial A. Youíll get an air brake (You only need air brake endorsement when driving commercial) and manual transmission restriction, but then you can tow a 15-20K trailer behind your coach. Sure the medical is a pain in the butt, but itís only every 2 years and you can bang it out at a doc-in-the-box for a little over $100.
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Old 08-02-2020, 03:34 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vamos A View Post
Let me start by saying I'm a retired deputy Sheriff so I understand the vehicle code. I just bought a diesel pusher and am learning what a PITA getting a non-commercial Class B license is. I have a few questions that only apply to California pusher drivers.

For those of you that have pushers and should have a non-commercial Class B, did you actually get one?

If you chose not to get one, or didn't know you needed one, and have had contact with law enforcement while in your coach, did the officer know you needed a Class B?

If they did, how did the rest of the contact go? Ticket for being out of class, had to park the RV, warning, or just wished you a good trip?

Thanks,
Just another CA money grab.
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Old 08-02-2020, 04:56 AM   #8
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Greetings and welcome to our site.

This is a great place to hang out and learn.
Lots of great folks here willing to assist one offer good advice.

As a retired trucker I note your PITA and totally agree. Back in the 70s the surge in regs etc brought on the attitude that no matter how hard we tried we would get a ticket for something.. So pay the fine and move on. Many guys took a bulb out of a clearance light to get a minimum fine.

Ever notice that there is only one law? That is the motor vehicle act. It's true! Get a parking ticket and you are automatically guilty. Game over. Get charged with murder and with a good lawyer you have at least a 50% chance of walking.

No I'm not trying to be a smart a...just stating facts. I have a lot of respect for LEOs who are doing a thankless job for the benefit of the people.

Finally I would like to thank you for your time.
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Old 08-03-2020, 02:47 PM   #9
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3 years ago when I moved to CA I was told the housecar license was for rv over 26000 GVW. No mention of length, but probably because I didn't ask about that.

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Old 08-03-2020, 03:52 PM   #10
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If a CA resident you need a Non-Commercial Class A drivers license to tow a 5th wheel weighing over 15K
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Old 08-03-2020, 04:08 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old-Biscuit View Post
If a CA resident you need a Non-Commercial Class A drivers license to tow a 5th wheel weighing over 15K
Exactly the reason I bought the trailer I did

Visiting CA DMV is never fun.
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Old 08-03-2020, 07:43 PM   #12
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I went thru the CA class B process so hereís my advice. First, find a DMV office that handles commercial licensing. Even then donít be surprised that they donít know squat about the Class B endorsement. If your current CDL expires soon you must take all related tests. CL C, CL B, and a MC if you have one. You can then get the permit and return later for the driving test.
Donít worry about the bring a driver with you routine, they never asked. Being an ex LEO they may not send you your license in a timely manner due to the confidentiality thatís probably on your license. Donít forget the medical form. PM me if youíd would like more info,
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Old 08-03-2020, 09:24 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn and Kathy View Post
-- snip -- I was told the housecar license was for rv over 26000 GVW. -- snip --
In CA there are restrictions on where an RV (motorhome - housecar) can travel if it's over 40 ft long. So, it makes sense that the license would be similarly linked to that length. State did try to make it easy up to a point. That point is 40 ft.

See prior post for the link to other details. Like Glynn, I thought the cut off was 26000#s, but that limit is associated with a two axle truck. (Edit - I checked the link and it is not a direct connect - click on content line at top of first page and then click on the class line when the handbook comes up)

Welcome back old Biscuit.

Here is one map - there are others for the rest of the state.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf CA Bus Map 6.pdf (754.5 KB, 3 views)
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Old 08-04-2020, 07:25 AM   #14
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https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/handbo...-requirements/
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