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JohnandKris

License For Motorhome Over 26,000 pounds

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Guest Wayne77590

I don't want to beat a dead horse, but this is a continuing education for Texas drivers, so here goes.

There are two section to the Texas Driver's Handbook:

This section, CLASSIFIED DRIVER LICENSE (Texas Transportation Code, Section 521) describes the classes of licenses.

This section, COMMERCIAL DRIVER LICENSE (CDL) - (Transportation Code, Chapter

522) also describes classes of driver's licenses but as you can plainly see it is for a CDL license.

There is definitely an ability to confuse the two sections. If one does a search on CDL they will be taken to the 522 section and I was totally convinced at one time that a special license was not required. (I'm not confused anymore. - well that's debatable.)

However, if you read the section 521 of the code, it plainly identifies the "standard" types of licenses and it does state that for 26,001 pounds or more a Class A or B is required (depends on weight of a trailer, but if the combined is 26,001, one of these classes of license is required.)

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

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I'd bet money that there has never been a single person cited for driving their coach without the Class A or B endorsement. At least, nobody on any of the forums I participated in even KNEW anyone who had gotten called on it.

Rick

Actually, the time a proper license would be of use to you is in the event of an accident. You and your legal position will be materially weakened if it comes to light that you don't even have a license for the heavy vehicle you are operating.

VERY different than wondering if you will be randomly stopped and checked for the proper license.

Brett

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As a retired teacher, I can attest to the fact that the rules and regulations of the State of Texas are in need of some serious proof reading! The heading of the document cited above is a prime example. I'm going to get my class B license in the next week or two as we complete our move to Texas!

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Guest Wayne77590

Just read the first paragraph gives me heart burn.

QUOTE: I will operate a commercial motor vehicle that exceeds 26,000 lbs GVWR and requires a Class A or B license that is exempted by the Texas Commercial Driver License Act. The Commercial Motor Vehicle that I will operate is defined in the following information. Check the appropriate box(es): UNQUOTE

Wait, is it a commercial vehicle, or a non-commercial vehicle? Difficult to define by their rules.

Trust me, I have had many a conversation with the DPS Testing facility and even they get confused. One time the inspector said that I did not need a special license. I showed that person section 521, and they said wait a minute and went and got someone else. That person said that a Class B, as a minimum, was needed for a motorhome that was 26,001 pounds or more. The original inspector that was asked looked on in awe (dumbfounded is more like it.)

There is one thing for sure. If you have a Class A or B, there will be no problems when you drive, or, heaven forbid, you should get into an accident. Well, it's still an accident but your liability for driving with an improper license will not be challenged as you will have a proper license. If on the other hand, you have a class C with that convoluted exemption form, you could be spending a lot of money on lawyers to convince them that you "have" the proper license.

The actual code book for Texas driving rules is 2 inches or more thick. The DPS officers have to know it. An example that you don't see in the driver's license handbook is about turn signals. Say you are on the freeway and the car in an adjacent lane puts on his turn signal. Did you know that he has the right of way. And, if you are exiting a freeway onto a feeder road, don't jump over to the right lane to quickly. It's against the law to change lanes multiple times in less than 100 feet.

Happy travels. I'm good to go, I think. I have a converted Class A CDL to a regular Class A, since I'm not driving commercially anymore. And, if you have a CDL endorsement and get stopped it automatically a $164 fine. (Well, that was the last time I got stopped with a CDL) There are no defensive driving classes to get out of a ticket if you have a CDL - pay up.

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Canada is the same. If you hold an out-of-country drivers license and are legal where the license is issued, you are allowed to operate the same vehicle on our roads, Here in Ontario I must have a Class D(a heavy truck license) plus a Z endorsement(air brake qualified) to operate mine-29,000 lbs with air brakes. However my son with regular Alberta license is legal to drive it. Point of interest-that son of mine has been transferred to Fresno. Imagine that!!i

Don,

Sorry to say you are wrong . If your son wants to drive your rig with air brakes in Alberta he will need a Q endorsement which He will to pass a air brake written and truck field test.

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Don,

Sorry to say you are wrong . If your son wants to drive your rig with air brakes in Alberta he will need a Q endorsement which He will to pass a air brake written and truck field test.

If I drive my coach with air brakes into Alberta from Texas are you saying that I would need to get a Q endorsement as well or is it because the son would be driving a coach you assume is registered in Alberta?

Rick

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Guest Wayne77590

There is reciprocity between states for driver's licenses. I am going to "assume" that it carries to adjacent countries but I'm not positive. However, check with the embassy or counselor general and see if an International License is part of the equation. As said, there is US State reciprocity. If you are legal in your home state, you re legal in the other 49.

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Ontario RV facts:

G licence : Can only drive a combined GWVR of less than 11,000 Kg.

(Towing vehicle + towed trailer) and tow less than 4,600 KG.

D licence : Needed over 11,000 Kg. Combined. Still can tow only less

than 4,600 Kg.

A licence : Needed to tow anything ( 5th wheel ) over 4,600 Kg.

Z air brake endorsement (Not a licence) : Needed for any vehicle with

Air brakes.

Reciprocity : You can drive anywhere in America as long as you are

legal in your jurisdiction. So Quebecers etc... are legal to drive in

Ontario without a D licence but you are not legal anywhere

without it.

What this means : The majority of RVs and 5th wheels are being driven illegally by Ontarians whether driven in Ontario or anywhere else in America. You can be given traffic citations by police anywhere as you are driving without a valid licence. If you have a significant accident with millions at stake your company might disown you or cover you and then sue you to recover payment as you were driving without proper qualifications the same as they would do if you were driving a motorcycle without an M licence..

It is not the business of the insurance company or the Ministry to check if you are driving with the proper class of licence although they may do so. The dealers should let you know but they prefer a fast sale and will even tell you that you do not need a special licence like what happened to me . A broker cannot bind an insurance company by giving you false information. If you ask your insurance company in writing whether you are covered in the conditions described above they will answer you that you are not although you might hear a different story from your broker. Some brokers are known to tell you verbally that they will not deny you insurance in case of an accident with only a G licence, which is technically correct as they will have by law to pay your damage but will then sue you to recover costs if you were driving unqualified. I, for one, does not want to see my life savings evaporate and will not drive in those circumstances.

The good news is that a D licence is very easy to obtain. The written is ridiculously easy to write and if you are already driving your RV (illegally ), you will not have any problem with the road test. The only potential problem is with the medical if you should have problems deemed dangerous by the ministry. Some key words ring alarms at the driver testing office and they have to send the medical to the ministry and this can take months as is happening with me. I will eventually be O.K ed but in the meantime, my $200,000.00 investment is parked and my winter plans are ruined. As a doctor, I now know the medical facts on the do`s and don`t of the medical but it is too late for me now.

We have to obey the law and get an appropriate licence, risk our savings in catastrophies with an improper G licence or get together and have the laws changed to accommodate us with a private endorsement or an exception as is done in Quebec etc... You be the judge as to what you want to do in your situation but you have been warned. Ignorance is not a defense in law.

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Guest Wayne77590

Hey! I'm glad this page is re-visited.

Texas information is still viable.

Here is the driver license manual for all driving vehicles that are not commercial:

Driver License

Please note in Section 521 paragraphs 1, 2, 3, & 4 down to the next section that there is NO mention of any exemption form. You either have a Class A, B, C, or M based on the vehicle.

Then move on down to Section 522 and you will notice that there is a CDL exemption, but that exemption is for "commercial vehicle." See the special note in the section.

Please note that there is a new book in town: Texas CDL Handbook

I'm sure you will find the paragraph in there on the mention of the exemption form CDL-2. Yep, if you are driving a motorhome for non-commercial purposes you do not need a CDL, but if you stick a business sticker on the side you better have one. Otherwise you are still liable under the Transportation code in Section 521.

You have to love this subject!!!!

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WGPuckett, RV dealers are notorious for NOT telling you the correct information, wherever you happen to live. They live to sell, period. I had the same problem here in Ontario and had to wait 3 months before I could get the proper licence to drive my DP. It ruined my winter plans. Buyer beware has never been so true.

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I know this is an old thread, but I am think it is likely that all new class A motorhome owners will search this topic looking for answers and I have finally found one.

First - look to your own State's Department of Motor vehicles or other agency that issues driver licenses for your State of residence. Follow the rules for your State. In the State of Georgia, the rules for the Class C license reads as follows:

"Any single vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating not in excess of 26,000 pounds, any such vehicle towing a vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating not in excess of 10,000 pounds, any such vehicle towing a vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating in excess of 10,000 pounds, provided that the combination of vehicles has a gross combined vehicle weight rating not in excess of 26,000 pounds, and any self-propelled or towed vehicle that is equipped to serve as temporary living quarters for recreational, camping, or travel purposes and is used solely as a family or personal conveyance."

Note the exemption in the last phrase specifically states that any weight motorhome for personal use is covered under a standard class C license.

Your State's requirements may differ.

Once you are legal to operate in your own State, your are good for any State in the United States. This information can be verified at the Nolo.com legal site here:

http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/drivers-license-faq-29063.html

Which reads in part:

"If you have a valid license from one state, you may use it in other states that you visit. But, if you make a permanent move to another state, you'll have to take a trip to the local department of motor vehicles to apply for a new license."

Finding this cleared up some of the confusion I had when reading about this topic. Hopefully it will help others.

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Update on Georgia. They have changed their non commercial class A and B to an E and F so you will have to consider that if you have a GA license or traveling to other states that require a >26,000 and/or >40' license and are stopped and the law enforcement is not aware what an E and F are. 

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WayBro,

Welcome to the FMCA Forum.

Slight correction.  Yes, you need to comply with the licensing requirements of your home state.

BUT, there is reciprocity of licensing between states. Said another way, if you are legal in your home state, you are good in other states.

What is different state to state are things like speed limits, weight limits on some highways and bridges, etc.

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On May 1, 2016 at 9:21 AM, wolfe10 said:

WayBro,

Welcome to the FMCA Forum.

Slight correction.  Yes, you need to comply with the licensing requirements of your home state.

BUT, there is reciprocity of licensing between states. Said another way, if you are legal in your home state, you are good in other states.

What is different state to state are things like speed limits, weight limits on some highways and bridges, etc.

Just to clarify, a LEO will use your drivers license to determine what you may or may not operate, not the vehicle tag ( for some people out there that registered their vehicle in a different State than the State of their driver's license. 

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