Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: California Non-commercial class A license ***New question***
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 > California Non-commercial class A license ***New question***

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AirSupport

Boondocking somewhere in N. America

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Posted: 12/07/19 11:09am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Pretty old topic in general and yes I did use the SEARCH feature here for an answer, but didn’t find one. Any experience/help on this matter is greatly appreciated.

The 5ver I want is a Riverstone Legacy around 18,000+ GVWR. So I know I MUST get a “non commercial class-A license” Here in Cali (no, I can’t move). However, according to DMV literature on their website, it states that I must bring in the truck and trailer I want to be licensed for p, in order to take the driving portion of the class-A test. They say to have a Class-A driver drive my rig for me because I’m not yet licensed.

The question is, how on earth is one supposed to buy a heavy trailer from a dealership and drive it off to one’s storage facility if one can’t find a Class A driver??? The issue is DMV will NOT ALLOW one to take the test without the indeed heavy truck and trailer set-up already in possession.

Bottom line, I can’t get the proper class license without having the trailer first, but I can’t get the trailer without having the proper license. What a PITA!

Anybody else go through this experience? It sure would be nice if DMV gave us a temporary permit to at least pick up the new trailer, drive directly to storage and then don’t drive it again on public roads until the day of the DMV test.

Unless I’m missing a loop hole here on this, how did you all do this process here in CALIFORNIA when you started out with a heavier than 15K lbs 5ver? I suspect many just rolled the dice and drove off the lot with their new rig and did what they had to do.

I’m really confused on what to do. Do I just go get the trailer anyway and bring it to storage and then the day of the DMV test, pay someone with a Class A license to drive it to the DMV for me? I don’t mind finding a driver for one day at the DMV, but going long distance to a dealer when buying it, maybe even out of state and finding a driver would be unrealistic I think. If it’s what I have to do, then so be it I will. But if there’s any other option acceptable with the state that I haven’t discovered, please tell me your secret to this State “mess.”

ol Bombero-JC

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Posted: 12/07/19 11:34am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

No secret. CA bashers will love your post, ROTFL

Successfully complete (pass) the written portion of the exam - at any DMV location, then -

Get a friend -or pay for- a licensed (Class A or non-commercial class A) driver to:

Take your (or his rig for you to drive) to the DMV (special locations) to take the test.

It is what is is -
and no different from a person who wishes to drive commercially (regular Class A). "Bashers" take note - It's simply - Safety on the highways!

BTW - the "pay for" part. (IMO) any dealer should know of folks who deliver / move 5th wheels for a fee - with appropriate DL.

Good luck.

~

Carl n Susan

Carmichael, CA

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Posted: 12/07/19 11:38am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Welcome to CA's Catch 22. As you suspect, most (all) buyers hook up and tow their new toy home. A large percentage never even bother to hassle with DMV and it's Class A non-commercial test.

Good luck with the test. The alley docking portion is tough.

mhardin

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Posted: 12/07/19 11:41am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It doesn't help you any, but I thought I would be facing the same scenario here in Texas. As it turned out, they didn't require me to bring a class A licensed driver, I was allowed to drive myself. It seems their line of thought is it is more likely for someone to come in and get the proper license if they don't have to jump through hoops.


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Lwiddis

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Posted: 12/07/19 11:41am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

This isn’t a new issue at all. When I moved from a C license to a B to drive a large church van in the 1970s I needed an already licensed B buddy to take me to the DMV office. The DMV rule is appropriate even though it is inconvenient.

* This post was edited 12/07/19 02:50pm by an administrator/moderator *

toedtoes

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Posted: 12/07/19 12:00pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Have you talked to your dealership? I suspect they run into this a lot and are able to provide advice on how to handle the non-CDL class A license testing requirements.


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KCFDCapt

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Posted: 12/07/19 12:55pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Five years ago I received a Class A non commercial license in California. I had an RV endorsement on my Class B so was grandfathered in when my license was issued. I hit the magic age when a driver is required to take the written tests for renewal. I took all six of the tests including the combination vehicle test which allows a driver to pull a fifth wheel over 15,000 lbs but less than 18,000 lbs. Long story short, when my new license came it is a Class B commercial with the restriction 41. That means I can tow a fifth wheel that weighs more than 10,000 lbs. but less than 15,000 lbs. DMV tells me since I had not taken a driving test with the 18,000 lb. fifth wheel, I will have to drive to qualify for the license. I had the 18,000 lb. fifth wheel for three years.

Now to answer your question. The DMV rep in Sacramento told me the only way I could be legal is to have someone with a Class A drive the truck with the fifth wheel trailer to the approved test sight. The only other way is to go to a driving school and get a regular Class A. I was told the examiner at DMV will ask for the person who drove the vehicle to the test sight. Stay legal, phone a friend to drive your rig. Pass the test and enjoy your status - Non commercial Class A.

Rich1961

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Posted: 12/07/19 01:44pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I've taken and hold the Ca Non Commercial A written test and driving test. I've also ridden with 3 friends so that they could take their driving test at the West Sacramento Commercial DMV. A friend of mine with a Commercial A license rode with me when I went for my driving test. All you need is a current license holder of a Commercial A or a Non Commercial A license to ride with you while you drive your rig to the test station. They will check your Licensed Co-Driver's license when you check in to do your test. The temporary license you receive after taking the written tests is basically a permit to operate your rig as long as you have a properly licensed driver with you until you get the permanent license, just like when you started driving at 15 1/2 years old with a driving permit.

You must take a Travel Trailer over 10,000lbs GVWR or a 5th Wheel over 15,000lbs GVWR to the test facility or they will not allow you to take the driving test. Also make sure you have the current registration for both truck and trailer, and proof of insurance. They will ask for it.

There is a safety check of your rig before any other tests are started. If you have one thing wrong (light bulb out, cracked windshield, missing lug nut etc), the exam is stopped right there and you'll need to reschedule the test. The hardest part of the test is the pre-trip inspection, and there's very little leeway for error on that part of the test. They want to make sure you know what you're looking for, and explain to the examiner what you're looking for. There's some good YouTube videos you can watch to give you an idea of what to do, even though they are being done on Class 8 trucks. I thought the skills portion of the test in the DMV Truck Testing Yard was a piece of cake, along with the driving test out on the road.


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azdryheat

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Posted: 12/07/19 01:55pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

And don't forget the CHP has been unconstitutionally pulling over triple axle toy haulers near the dunes and river (for many years) to check if the driver has the correct license.


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Lwiddis

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Posted: 12/07/19 02:36pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I don’t agree that the CHP’s license stops are unconstitutional. What authority do you have other than a quote from the federal Constitution?

Vehicle Code Section 2400 (b) The commissioner shall enforce all laws regulating the operation of vehicles and the use of the highways except that, on ways or places to which Section 592 makes reference, the commissioner shall not be required to provide patrol or enforce any provisions of this code other than those provisions applicable to private property.


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