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Old 11-30-2014, 11:33 AM   #1
davidaf
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California Non Commercial Class A License anyone?

The thought of buying a new truck took me to the DMV website and I started poking around. My old SOB 5er didn't require a Non Commercial Class A License due to it being under 15k GVWR. Looks like the Montana GVWR does require me to apply for the Non-Com Class A. Has anybody done that? How painful was the process? I'd like to keep ignoring it but now that I'm aware, I really can't.
 
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Old 11-30-2014, 12:17 PM   #2
Artemus Gordon
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Yes it's called a Class C-Veh/ 26000,M/C restriction : 41-May tow fifth wheel rec trailer between 10,001/15,000 lbs GVWR

Simple test at DMV. Tell the RV test. It's 30 questions and all in the DMV RV handbook. Had mine for three years. You will get new DL with endorsement on back.
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Old 11-30-2014, 12:29 PM   #3
davidaf
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I was aware of the endorsement but wasn't aware of the
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Old 11-30-2014, 03:58 PM   #4
brenkco
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Davidaf,
You are exactly right. Most Montanas have a a GVWR over 15k and thus require a non commercial class A to be legal in California

Ken
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Old 11-30-2014, 04:08 PM   #5
Artemus Gordon
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Your both correct. The CHP are interested in compliance but often use the dry weight as a guide, unless you are really over burdened. When I got pulled over the endorsement was enough. Not having it, will get you a ticket if your speeding etc. Hopefully new laws will correct the "behind the times CA V Code. Trucks are different than they were in the 80s when most laws were enacted. Class A will be next for me, but with it comes other issues!
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Old 11-30-2014, 05:51 PM   #6
Mark N.
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Wait...This doesn't apply for those of us from outside of CA that are just driving through, right?
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Old 11-30-2014, 06:03 PM   #7
davidaf
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No just us lucky CA residents.

Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Mark N.

Wait...This doesn't apply for those of us from outside of CA that are just driving through, right?
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Old 12-02-2014, 10:16 AM   #8
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I have my Non commercial class A, and have had it for 10 years, the test is simple as Artemus Gordon stated. Only one problem I had was when it was time to renew mine last year, I had to take two test my class C and then the class A non commercial, which I wasn't really looking forward to, one is enough trouble in California's DMV office. along with my new picture and eye examination. never had the need to use it yet more work than necessary, if you drive safe and sane you wont get stopped the only down side is if a accident ever happened and somebody wanted to challenge your credentials ( Insurance company ) But I have never heard of that happening yet.
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Old 12-02-2014, 10:38 AM   #9
davidaf
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Thanks Don, according to dmv site they now require a driving test. That doesn't bother me per se it's the fact that I'd need to take two days off of work to deal with the DMV or I could just wait 15 years to retire lol. I'll probably end up doing it now that I know I'm required. They also require a Class A driver to be in the truck when you arrive at the DMV (like a learners permit). I'll throw a shout out for volunteers to be my co-pilot if I can't get a waiver. Or, maybe i'll just get the endorsement and put my head back in the sand.

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Old 12-03-2014, 10:47 AM   #10
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by davidaf

Thanks Don, according to dmv site they now require a driving test. That doesn't bother me per se it's the fact that I'd need to take two days off of work to deal with the DMV or I could just wait 15 years to retire lol. I'll probably end up doing it now that I know I'm required. They also require a Class A driver to be in the truck when you arrive at the DMV (like a learners permit). I'll throw a shout out for volunteers to be my co-pilot if I can't get a waiver. Or, maybe i'll just get the endorsement and put my head back in the sand.



Just get an endorsement, the non commercial class A according to the DMV web site does not require a driving test. Most of the DMV personal don't even know what that endorsement is all about so they make up stuff to baffle you with BS.

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Old 12-03-2014, 11:46 AM   #11
DuneBuggyBuilder
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Davidaf is correct. The CA Non-Commercial Class A license is required if you are towing a 5th wheel over 15K. That license requires you pass the written RV exam, and a driving test (perform a pre-drive check, back up for 100' in a straight line, back into a simulated RV parking space, and a road test including making a turn where your trailer wheels are no more than 12" from the curb without hitting it) *PLUS* a self completed physical form every two years.

To tow a 5th wheel 15K and under (down to 10K), you only need the "41 Restriction" on your existing Class C license. To qualify for the endorsement you only need to pass the written RV exam.

The Non-Commercial Class A license driving test can only be obtained at DMV commercial offices and those people know what they are doing. They will ask how you got the truck and RV to their office and the answer better not be "I drove it myself".

Under 10K a standard Class C license is sufficient. The ironic part is that anyone with a standard Class C license, all you need to drive a car, is also allowed to drive a motorhome up to 45' feet.
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Old 12-04-2014, 04:29 AM   #12
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New rules and a new year.
I didn't have to take a driving test to get my class "A" noncommercial license the first time I took the exam. and I didn't have to the second time I had to renew it years later. I just took the written test, I guess I was one of the lucky applicants. I also took my test at a small Whittier office with a phone in appointment.
If I had to do it all over again I wouldn't even waist my time, if you drive safe and don't become obvious to law enforcement you will be OK.
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Old 12-04-2014, 01:36 PM   #13
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by davidaf

They also require a Class A driver to be in the truck when you arrive at the DMV (like a learners permit).
Would you still need a Class A driver with you If your trailer was under 15,000 GVW and you had the "restriction 41"? Reason I ask is because my current trailer has a GVW of 14,300 and a new trailer I might look at would be in the 16,500 range. Would prefer to use current trailer for testing and really don't know anybody that has a class A
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Old 12-04-2014, 08:42 PM   #14
davidaf
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I don't know why you'd need a class A driver/passenger if your rig wasn't over 15k GVWR. The only reason for the baby sitter is to get the rig to the DMV legally.
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Old 12-05-2014, 04:20 PM   #15
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If DMV requires you to have a 5th wheel trailer for the test, is there a rule that the 5th wheel RV has to be one over the 15 K, why couldn't a person use a smaller 5th wheel trailer, all DMV wants to see is how you back it up and park it. when I took a Motorcycle test I used a trail 90 and that was accepted as a motorcycle.
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Old 12-16-2014, 09:05 AM   #16
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I just passed my CA class A non-commercial, it really isn't that difficult. The hardest part was the "dock parking", where they start you at a 90 degree angle and you have to back up to a "target" zone and stop within it (about 2 feet). They give you plenty of pull ups (I used 5), and you get two "looks" to assess your position. If you fall short or hit the back cones, it's a fail. The 100' backing is easy, then a road test that, if you've been towing for any length of time, you'll pass with ease. I went to the DVM one morning and watched, then practiced a few times in a big empty lot...piece o cake and you'll feel a lot better that you're legal. DMV told me CHP was going to start "stinging" after Jan 1, 2015 and it carries a $600 fine. Talked to one guy there who was pulled over, had to drop his rig and come back with a licensed driver as they wouldn't allow him to continue. So it wasn't worth the risk for me...I stressed out WAY too much over the test . If interested, I can send you my test so you can see what's on it, or there are plenty of resources online.
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Old 12-16-2014, 09:15 AM   #17
DonandBonnie
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All of this plus having to take out a mortgage to afford a tank of fuel, is good reason that Californy ain't the place we want to be.
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Old 12-16-2014, 09:42 AM   #18
rsa
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DonandBonnie, you are SO right!! If it weren't for grandkids, I could talk the Mrs. into leaving (she loved Virginia) but, alas, I'm stuck...
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Old 12-16-2014, 09:49 AM   #19
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Trailer Trash 2

If DMV requires you to have a 5th wheel trailer for the test, is there a rule that the 5th wheel RV has to be one over the 15 K, why couldn't a person use a smaller 5th wheel trailer, all DMV wants to see is how you back it up and park it. when I took a Motorcycle test I used a trail 90 and that was accepted as a motorcycle.
You're correct on this, you CAN use a smaller RV (I asked, they laughed and said "ya gotta dance with who ya brung"-at least our DMV has a sense of humor. Unfortunately I didn't have access to one. I also drove myself and was not questioned, got there early and had my alibi that my co-pilot had to leave, but my understanding was that they would not have allowed me to depart on my own had I failed.
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