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Pennsylvania DOT Requirements For Non-Commercial Class "B" Driver's License For Motorhomes Over 26,000 pounds

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Thanks for all these posts concerning this...

I have been researching what is required for my own needs, and this info was very helpfull...

Yesterday I went to the PennDOT drivers license location in Rockview (centre county) to get my Class B permit.

The lady there was very helpful, and specifically asked if my motorhome had air brakes. She informed me that if the motorhome I brought to the skills/driver test had air brakes, I would be required to perform the "Air Brake Test" outlined in Section 5 of the commercial drivers manual for PA...

A check for $5 later and I was out the door... Now to do some more shopping before tax season brings my down payment... :)

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Hi everyone, In the province of Manitoba you can drive with a class 5 license which is for autos but you must have a air brake endorsement. The air brake endorsement requires a written and practical test. It's all about safety and understanding your system . I wonder how many drivers out there drain there air pots at least once a month. I wonder how many drivers realize that if your going to drive in below freezing temperatures you should add air brake anti-freeze to your lines. I have my motorhomes air brake system checked every winter before my wife and I head down south. I don't want any surprises when I'm driving through the mountains in Feb. Good luck to everyone, but for your own safety and everyone else on the road,understanding your air brake system is a good thing. Just my two cents Smokeater75.

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Hi Herman, its getting close, we leave in two weeks for Indio Ca. my wife is still working but I think this is her last year I'm really looking forward to not having to winterize the motorhome and not clearing snow. The weather here in Winnipeg has been really nice the last week or so with the temps around freezing and above. The party is over this weekend when the lows will be back to -30 with wind chills in the -40s. Have fun in Texas as I'm sure you always do.

Smokeater75

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To PhaetonDriver, Just wondering if you were ever able to get your Class B NON-CDL license in PA? I too am from PA (Northeastern part of state) and while I don't have the larger RV yet, it's on my sights for the Horizon. I want to be ready when the time comes.

To others who have stated that their state doesn't require a CDL for their respective RV's (particularly if they are over 26,000 pounds), please be aware that even in PA, we don't require a CDL for the RV's, however, it still does require an elevated class of license.

I think that is where much of the confussion comes from. Many see Class B or Class A as a CDL only and don't realize that you can get a NON-CDL version of these. Additionally, at least in PA, you can even get a CDL for Class C (regular car). I presume that it might be needed for things like a Taxi.

So just because you are told that you don't need a CDL, don't just let it drop there. Make sure you don't need an "Elevated" Class of license either (CDL or otherwise).

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To PhaetonDriver, Just wondering if you were ever able to get your Class B NON-CDL license in PA? I too am from PA (Northeastern part of state) and while I don't have the larger RV yet, it's on my sights for the Horizon. I want to be ready when the time comes.

To others who have stated that their state doesn't require a CDL for their respective RV's (particularly if they are over 26,000 pounds), please be aware that even in PA, we don't require a CDL for the RV's, however, it still does require an elevated class of license.

I think that is where much of the confussion comes from. Many see Class B or Class A as a CDL only and don't realize that you can get a NON-CDL version of these. Additionally, at least in PA, you can even get a CDL for Class C (regular car). I presume that it might be needed for things like a Taxi.

So just because you are told that you don't need a CDL, don't just let it drop there. Make sure you don't need an "Elevated" Class of license either (CDL or otherwise).

My wife got her Class B (non CDL) by just requesting a FREE change of class on her PA drivers license. e just completed the form online and printed it then signed it and in three weeks my DW, who has never driven anything larger than a car, got her Class B for 26000 Lbs. and better.

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Class X in Pennsylvania for hazmat. Class C is for automobiles.

Different states, different rules and regulations. My state has Class C CDL. No Class X available. Thank goodness for reciprocal agrrements.

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I have read this post many many times.

I am a PA Resident.

We are just buying our first Class A 40 foot Monaco.

The wife would not let me pursue a purchase until we made sure on licensing requirements.

I just got off the phone with the PA DMV.

Now that I have the official word and how things need to be done; we are purchasing this week.

Here is what I found out:

1) If MH is over 26K GVW you will need a class B Non Commercial added to your license.

2) If you are towing over 10K GVW you will need a Class A Non Commercial added to your license.

3) The form you need is PA Form DL-31.

4) Check the box for Add/Extend (my wife forgot to check this and they resent her's back).

5) Check the box for Class B (towing under 10K) or Class A (towing over 10K)

6) Fill out rest of personal info and take it along with $5 Money order to local DMV licensing center.

7) No air brake test is needed since it is non commercial.

8) No driving test is needed since it is non commercial.

9) I asked the lady to triple check and ask her boss before I ended the phone call.

Heading out right now to make sure this works!

Rick

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Rick, I am also a PA resident. I have a Class A CDL, but I have a friend that just bought an full air brake coach over 26k and I was hoping to share this story with him since he will also need to change his license.

Please report back on what you experienced.

thanks, Joe

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There IS a "gottya" here. Suspect this holds true in many states-- because of the very small number of over 26,000 pound coach drivers who are both aware of the requirement AND talk with a particular DMV employee, there are a LOT of DMV employees who really don't know the licensing requirements.

So, while it is OK to ask a clerk about your state's licensing requirements, you are better off READING THEM FOR YOURSELF. And, in some states, whether a separate driving test is required and what it entails varies by office. As long as you have the correct license, your legal requirements are covered. As an example, the Texas DMV office in Texas City DOES require a full driving test including parallel parking of the motorhome. Many others do not.

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Brett, that is the exact reason I wanted to hear what his experience was when he arrived at the DMV. I have also heard that there is a road test involved and the air brake test is required, if your coach is equipped with a full air brake system, not air over hydraulic. I found it interesting they told him NO. I am also wondering.......if there is a driving test does another properly licensed driver have to accompany him to the DMV in his coach? PA requires it for everything else.

If I get the chance tomorrow I am going to look it up and read it for myself. My friend could go without me and get in trouble, or not study for the air brake test procedure and fail, lol

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Always thought hanging on to my CDL A was a good idea when I retired.

ObedB, I rarely use my Class A CDL now but there is no way I would ever let it go. In your case you could drop the medical card, my employer requires it so I go back every 2 years to renew that.

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Ok, so this came from the PA.GOV Website;

Classes of Driver's Licenses Non-commercial Driver's Licenses

  • CLASS A (minimum age 18): Required to operate any combination of vehicles with a gross weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more, where the vehicle(s) being towed is/are in excess of 10,000 pounds. Example: Recreational Vehicle, when the towing vehicle is rated at 11,000 pounds and the vehicle towed is rated at 15,500 pounds (total combination weight of 26,500 pounds).
  • CLASS B (minimum age 18): Required to operate any single vehicle rated in excess of 26,000 pounds. Example: Motor homes rated at 26,001 pounds or more.

Chapter 1 - Non-Commercial Learner’s Permit Information PA Driver’s Manual

The examiner may ask you to do the following prior to taking the Road Test:

• Vehicle Controls: Operate horn, lights (parking lights, high and low beam headlights, turn signals), windshield

wipers, parking (emergency) brake, 4-way flashers (hazard lights), defroster, etc. Failure to properly operate any

of the vehicle controls will result in a failure of the Road Test.

• Parallel Park: Park your vehicle midway between two (2) uprights in a space that is 24 feet long and eight (8)

feet wide. Your entire vehicle must be completely inside the space, and you cannot make contact with any of the

uprights to the rear or front of your vehicle, cross over the painted line, or go up onto or over the curb. You have

one (1) attempt to successfully park your vehicle using no more than three (3) adjustments.

Note: Vehicles equipped with Advanced Parking Guidance Systems (self parking vehicles) can be used for testing;

however, the self parking feature must be turned off and is not permitted to be activated during the Road Test.

The examiner will be your only passenger during the Road Test. When the Road Test begins, you will be told where

to drive and what maneuvers to make. Close attention will be paid to the way you approach and obey warning

signs, stop signs and traffic lights. The examiner will note how you control your vehicle, use turn signals to

communicate with other drivers or use any other vehicle controls that may become necessary during the test.

IF YOU PASS THE ROAD TEST, you will receive your 15-day temporary driver’s license at that time. You will

receive your permanent driver’s license in the mail within 15 days. Acceptable forms of identification at the Photo

License Centers are:

• Pennsylvania Learner’s Permit • Valid Passport

• Certification of United States Citizenship • Certification of Naturalization

• Pennsylvania Photographic Identification Card • Photographic Employee Identification Card

• Photographic Military Identification Card • Weapons Permit (U.S. Citizen only)

• Pennsylvania Vehicle Registration Card • Photographic School Identification Card

• Photographic Bank Identification Card • Medicaid Card

• Voter Registration Card

Upon successful completion of your Road Test, you will be issued a temporary driver’s license, which is valid for

15 days. The product can be used by any business to validate your name, age, address, etc., just as a permanent

driver’s license. Your permanent driver’s license will be mailed to you within the 15 days. Upon the receipt of your

permanent driver’s license, you will need to destroy your temporary license.

Now I am really curious to see what they made him do, I did not see where they were required to perform the following air brake check (copied from the commercial manual, not mentioned in the NON-Commercial manual);

Air brake Check (Air brake Equipped vehicles only)

Failure to perform all three components of the air brake check correctly will result in an automatic failure of the vehicle

inspection test. Air brake safety devices vary. However, this procedure is designed to see that each safety device operates

correctly as air pressure drops from normal to a low air condition. For safety purposes, in areas where an incline is

present, you will use wheel chocks during the air brake check. The proper procedures for inspecting the air brake system

are as follows:

1. With the air pressure built up to governor cutoff (120 – 140 psi), shut off the engine, without re-starting the

engine, turn electrical power to the "on" or "battery charge" position. chock your wheels if necessary, release

the parking brake (all vehicles), and the tractor protection valve (combination vehicle) and fully apply the foot

brake. Hold the foot brake for one minute. Check the air gauge to see if the air pressure drops more than

three pounds in one minute (single vehicle) or four pounds in one minute (combination vehicle).

2. Begin fanning off the air pressure by rapidly applying and releasing the foot brake. Low air warning devices

(buzzer, light, flag) should activate before air pressure drops below 60 psi or level specified by the

manufacturer.

3. Continue to fan off the air pressure. At approximately 40 psi on a tractor-trailer combination vehicle (or level

specified by the manufacturer), the tractor protection valve and parking brake valve should close (pop out).

on other combination vehicle types and single vehicle types, the parking brake valve should close (pop out)

I run the test above (air brake test) every time before I leave on a trip with the coach. This is a good safety check you can follow to make sure your system is operating properly.

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If you already have a PA drivers license you do not need to get a permit and take the test because you already have a non commercial drivers license. You only have to submit a change of class from "C" to "A or B". Others have done it and my DW has done it and it costs NOTHING but a stamp. As for holding on to a CDL, my insurance gives me a discount because I still have mine.

Fill out form DL901 which is a non commercial driver's license/ID Card/Learner's permit application to renew/replace/change/correct.

Check the Driver's license box at the top. Fill out sections A, B - checking the change/correct box and license/ID card box and in section C in the space marked OTHER CHANGES write "change from non commercial class C to a non commercial class A."

Sign at the bottom.

This is what my DW did and her change came in the mail.

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I'm sure glad that's been clarified, Joe completely confused me! :blink::P In Texas you need a CDL "B", non commercial on anything over 26,001...written and driving test but no parallel parking.

My only problem for both, was finding a City that knew about it and had the facility to administer both test and driving!

Galveston is archaic in most things legal! :unsure:<_<

Carl

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