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Old 07-14-2004, 11:40 AM   #1
lightningjack11
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New Law for Florida Resident Drivers

In 2003 a change occurred for Florida drivers. If you drive a truck that has a GVWR of over 8000 then you must have a Class D License. Before a class E was all you needed. Get the drivers handbook and it explains what is on the written test.

FHP is ticketing drivers as I write this. I don't think they will ask as long as you haven't done something else wrong.

I found this out while watching Ch13 news from Tampa. www.wtvt.com

They were also ticketing large SUV owners but a local outrage has stopped it for now. SUVs are classified as trucks.

So I will take my test next week.

The law (handbook) also states that if your over 80 inches wide you need the Class D. Channel 13 said that the FHP said mirror to mirror. If that is true 1/2 ton trucks may also need a class D.

Who knows but Florida Drivers beware.

Have a nice day.




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Old 07-14-2004, 12:45 PM   #2
Northstar
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Thanks for the heads up. I plan on doing a lot of driving in Florida in the future.
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Old 07-14-2004, 01:19 PM   #3
lightningjack11
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Northstar,

This is just for Florida Residents.
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Old 07-15-2004, 03:01 AM   #4
Glenn and Lorraine
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I just got my license and vehicles (truck and 5er) registered in Florida this past November and nothing at all was said about needing a class D. This past March I got my 1st Florida ticket and still nothing was said about a class D. Guess I'll take a wait and see attitude on this one.

BTW-The ticket was for a RED left turn arrow which went from green to yellow to red in a heartbeat and besides it seemed to me that it was common practice to run the red arrows.
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Old 07-15-2004, 04:41 AM   #5
lightningjack11
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Like I said the Highway patrol is ticketing drivers. Heres a big problem. If they catch you driving a 3/4 with a class E license, they will not let you drive the truck which means you will have to ask a friend or tow your truck in. There is no apparent grace period.

Chapter 6 of the new Drivers Handbook states "Who needs a Class D License?"

"Anyone who operates a truck or truck tractor having, a gross vehicle weight rating, a declared weight, or an actual weight, whichever is greatest of 8000 pounds or more but less thatn 26,001 pounds or is more than 80 inches wide."

As far as getting your Class D, it is up to you but if you get a ticket someone will have to drive your truck for you.

The upgrade cost is 20 dollars and you have to take a 20 question sign test and a 20 question Cpt 6 test.

I don't think local police departments are ticketing people. But FHP will.

Good Luck
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Old 07-16-2004, 05:07 AM   #6
tweir
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Why don't the legislators "GET A LIFE"----Gosh, I know states are having a hard time with budget items and a lack of incmoe, but this borders on the absurd.
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Old 07-16-2004, 06:46 AM   #7
lightningjack11
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I have researched the statutes and found this is covered at 322.54(2)d

After reading the law it does apply to a lot of vehicles other than a normal pickup truck. Ford classifies the F250 as a Light Truck while Florida puts it into the heavy truck category along with a lot of SUV's. Remember the large SUV's are capable of pulling a large payload.

DOT told the highway patrol just to ticket the pickup trucks. So they are going to ignore most of the statutes. What a law.

But I will go ahead and take my test next week to prevent being stranded on the road if they stop me.

Lawmakers did not think this one through so now they have a law that they will openly ignore as written and just apply it to pickups or heavier type trucks.
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Old 07-24-2004, 03:07 AM   #8
jsmitfl
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The state has put this law on hold for the time being. Just heard it on the news this week. Now I'm not sure about if your towing or not but if your driving p/u they stopped issuing tickets.
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Old 07-24-2004, 03:26 AM   #9
Just148
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May we all should perform a dimastration protest. protesting unfairness to RV owners.
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Old 07-24-2004, 05:05 AM   #10
lightningjack11
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Unfortunately news reports may not be right. Ch13 local said that the Highway patrol will quit ticketing everybody but since the law is on the books other law enforcement agencies can ticket. Especially if your illegal and in an accident. It is your choice and a chance you take. Be advised the law is not on hold. Be advised that driving without the proper license is a crime. They may not enforce it until after the legislature meets again. Then again they may start enforcement again.

I just took my Class D test a couple of days ago. The state position is that currently a Class D is required for a Truck with a GVWR over 8000 regardless of enforcement practices. There is no plan to stop giving the test. The only people that can change that is the State Legislature when it goes back into session. DOT or FHP cannot put laws on hold.

The test consist of 20 sign questions and 20 questions from both class E and Class D sections of the Drivers Handbook. Takes about 15 minutes to take both test.

My new license is good for 6 years but I am betting that I will have to take even another test before this mess is straightened out.

My gut feeling is that FHP quit ticketing people because they were forced not to ticket people with SUVs over 8000GVWR. This meant that they were left with a discrimatory practice of partial enforcement of the law. The law (statutes) is very clear. Therefore since they can't enforce the law as written then they are choosing not to enforce it until the legislature refines the law to exclude SUV's.

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Old 07-28-2004, 07:07 PM   #11
Trailer Trash 2
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It's rev-a-new, how else is flordia going to pay for that election recount, that Gore requested. I figure that all the states are going to start looking at big rigs and the owners licience soon, In California if your trailer is over 10001 lbs. and not above 15000 lbs you must get an endorcement on your class C licence to be " Leagal" I have mine but it was a nightmare getting it, DMV didnt even know what it was untill I showed them their web site info. they were 1 year behind in their codes and stuff. and they still messed up giving me a class "A" licience with an endorcement. figure that one out.

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Old 07-29-2004, 04:08 AM   #12
lightningjack11
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I have called a lot of different government agencies, e-mailed the news channels, searched the statutes. Gov agencies get upset when you call them and refer you to someone else.

The only thing that made any sense was the local Sheriff's office. They said yes the law is on the books but there were no plans to make a big thing about it by ticketing which you could get jail time for. They said they suggest to the driver to get the license as soon as possible and explain what could happen if they do not.

Baynews9 states there are "exemptions" for SUVs in the statutes but have not been able to determine where they are. They are listening to unknowns and not checking for themselves.

Who knows what they will do next.
---------
As far as voting, it will be worse this year in Florida. When they bought the new touch screens it did not take a brain surgeon to figure out there was no paper trail. Votes can't be verified.
Although Gov Bush claim the machines are ready and secure, the GOP is sending letters to registered republicans urging them to vote by absentee ballot to circumvent the computer.

My county,Hernando, has the best voting method I have ever seen and they have had it for a long time. During recounts their answers are always the same and it is quick. The method is you fill out your ballot and when you leave you put it into a computer which counts and verifies on the spot if there is anything wrong with your ballot. Extremely accurate. Certainly a model for voting. State didn't even consider this method.

Time to grow old with my Monty. I wonder what comes next.
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Old 07-29-2004, 04:42 AM   #13
DBLSlide
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I have been reading this topic since it started. Great information, even if I do not live in Florida. I would like to say Thank You Tom for all your research.
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Old 07-29-2004, 07:52 AM   #14
lightningjack11
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Thanks, I just want people to know and they can make their own decision. My decision was to get the Class D.
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Old 08-10-2004, 04:07 AM   #15
Flastro
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Very Good information Tom, there are a lot of laws we may not be familiar with , its an ever changing system. I know towing a trailer (doubles) behind a fifth wheel confuses even some of the FHP , I know my neighbor was pulled for towing a boat behind his 5th wheel, after thumbing thu the DOT book, the FHP let him go, he was unable to confirm or validate whether it was legal, Neighbor knew it was as lengths and weights had all been determined and verified and cleared through a DOT officer.
I should be ok on mine for now holding a Class A with Air brakes and Doubles endorsement. for now anyway
Thanks Again!
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Old 08-10-2004, 07:31 AM   #16
lightningjack11
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You should have not problems with a Class A since it is commercial license. I believe the statutes say that A,B, and C can drive anything a Class D can.

Who knows what law they are going to pass next or what enforcement they will use. The change in this law was not publicized. When I last registered my truck nothing was said about the new law. My registration does not have a statement that Class D is required.
One thing for sure is that Law Enforcement agencies are really confused. Oh, DOT cannot tell the FHP what to do.
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Old 08-12-2004, 12:45 AM   #17
Montana_70
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Tom,

I have been sitting on the fence with this for a few weeks now, but after reading your posts I decided to pick up the book yesterday. I have hesitated because I'm not quite settled yet and don't know what my permanent address will be, but I guess making that change on my license is easy enough. Just pay the money! Better now than later.

Thanks for the wake up call!
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Old 08-12-2004, 01:00 AM   #18
H. John Kohl
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As you my know Ann and I are in Australia. We changed residence to FLA before going over seas. After this post came out I pulled my license to check and for the luck of an "OLD" retired Marine I have a class D license and Ann has a Class E. I know she can not drive "MY" truck. I may have commented that I had the one ton Dodge when the clerk was trying to figure Marylands rating. Anyway I got lucky.
Good luck to all.
Caravans are a lot smaller over here. Lower also. Lots of Jayco's.
John
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Old 08-12-2004, 02:07 AM   #19
lightningjack11
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Fla Native.

There is a 20 question sign test that is straight forward. Should have no problem with it. Then there is a 20 question test on both E and D sections of the handbook.

D section is not written very good so you kind of have to map it out.
Your should throughly study this section. Know about fusee's and flag placement.

For the Class E section make sure you put some time on DUI and what to expect. For example, if you refuse to take an alchol test your drivers license is automatically suspended but you may not be put under arrest. So some of the questions are tricky.

The test is in small print so if you use bifocals, take them. Good Luck.
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Old 08-12-2004, 02:14 AM   #20
lightningjack11
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John,

I guess sometimes things work out. It is really strange that it takes the state a year to get the word out. FHP is really confused on this issue and does not like to talk about it. Old Marines usually have a name for something like this.
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