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Post Info TOPIC: Texas Non-CDL Class A License Test


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Texas Non-CDL Class A License Test
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Greetings All,

I thought we had chosen Texas to be our new domicile, but now maybe not.  I knew we would each need to obtain a Non-Commercial Class A Texas DL and we were under the impression it was only a written test.  I just read that a driving test including parallel parking your MH with a TOAD attached is required.  Can anyone verify if this is true?  

If you need a CDL to drive a MH how do you get your MH to the test site before you've obtained the endorsement?  Is this a Texas catch-22?

I have a CDL-A issued by New York and I had to parallel park a semi with a 53' trailer to get my license.  However I've never backed up a 40' MH with an attached TOAD, I was under the impression it was seldom done.  I would imagine control is difficult with such a short distance from the hitch to the towed vehicles wheels.  Does anyone ever do this?

My wife is pretty sure she can parallel park the MH but not with the TOAD attached.  She thinks we should opt for SD instead of Texas so she doesn't have to endure the test (which she assumes she'll fail).  She also thinks it would be grand if I'd do all the backing of the MH - forever.  She just wants to go forward. 

Regards, Brad



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BJBoyer22 wrote:

...  I just read that a driving test including parallel parking your MH with a TOAD attached is required.... 


 Can you tell us where you read that?  Sounds crazy.  I can see the TV and trailer backing requirement but not a MH and toad.



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I have heard of some examiners have required you to parallel park the MH but never with a toad attached. This can cause serious damage to the tow bar and possibly the toad and MH too. The DMV at Livingston Texas has the reputation of being the most RV knowledgeable folks since this is the "home" county of the Escapees RV club and many of us have our domicile there. Our MH was under the max weight to require a class A license but I researched the testing process prior to establishing our address there. The overwhelming majority of the people I talked to said they were not required to parallel park and only a few said they were required to back up in a straight line only, none took the test with a toad attached and they drove their Motorhomes to the test site themselves. The cutoff is 26,000 Lbs and my M/H weighed just under that amount by a couple of thousand so I was good with a "normal" license.

Phil



-- Edited by Workinrvers on Tuesday 20th of May 2014 07:48:52 PM

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On the Escapes Forum.

Texas non-cdl class A drivers license study material 

This is from a thread started on May 27, 2012

See the highlighted comments

 

Study Chapter 15 of the Texas Drivers License Handbook and any references in Chapter 15 to other chapters (I think Chapter 8 was referenced in Ch. 15 regarding speed limits of certain vehicles on certain roads), which is a question on one of the test variations.


20 Question test - you must get 14 correct to pass.
Then as Greg said you must do a road test in your vehicle with the trailer.
Depending on where in the state you take the test, you may have to do more or less (like parallel park).
If you take it in Livingston it is very unlikely you would have to parallel park but you will probably have to back in a straight line.
As Greg said, if you do not have your domicile/mailing address in Livingston and you take the test at a busy time of the year then expect to be put at the very end of the list, which means you may have to wait a few weeks to take the road test.
This year, my wife had to wait almost 3 weeks to take the road test (after taking the written test).
Last year, I was able to do it the very next day after taking the written test, but I did it a little later in the year after the rush. 
 
And another:
 

Posted 16 July 2012 - 06:53 AM

Update-I drove myself to the DPS in Fredericksburg. The examiner never asked how the coach got there. I had to park on the street, as the testing area had low limbs on the trees. The examiner was fine with that and the test was a breeze. The examiners are the same people from Kerrville and soon to be Boerne. She drove me on about a 5 mile course and even warned me to change lanes due to some low tree limbs on the route. I stopped at the RR crossing and put on my flashers. I also did a air brake test. Not sure if those were required, but I wanted to play it safe. On a wide street outside of town, she did have me parallel park. I did ok, not to touch the curb with any of the tires of the trailer or coach. Not my best job parallel parking, but I did not get any points deducted for the embarrassing job I did. There were no cones. She was very nice and un-intimidating, which made me a ease. Thanks again for all of your help. I am now in Tennessee for a week. 
 
 Maybe this is an old policy or I'm misinterpreting the comments from the thread.


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You do not need to take the test with MH and the toad. Nothing in the TX Driver Licensing manual, that you linked to, states such a requirement.

 

 



-- Edited by biggaRView on Wednesday 21st of May 2014 09:00:37 AM

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First, it is the Class B license that you will be getting, not the Class A, unless your toad weights more than 10,000#.
Some places do now require parallel parking of the motorhome - which an arbitrary requirement by the local offices. Easiest way to do it is to do the test in Livingston.

Flashers and stopping at railroad crossings are not required (you're not a propane carrier nor a school bus), just being careful, looking at the mirrors with OBVIOUS head movement, checking twice each way at a 4-way stop before moving.

Barb


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Thanks for clarifying.  DW will be most relieved.  I wonder why these people were referencing having to parallel park the MH w/ TOAD.



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BJBoyer22 wrote:

Thanks for clarifying.  DW will be most relieved.  I wonder why these people were referencing having to parallel park the MH w/ TOAD.


 Likely a misunderstanding......You plain and simple cannot back up a toad without doing some damage. I can back up my tow dolly c/w car only for a very short distance (about 6-8 feet max.) before it will start to want to do "Funky" things.



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Hi Trailerking - I didn't think it was possible to backup a TOAD more than a few feet without a jack knife or worse. Another problem solved thanks to RV Dreams. Thanks all.

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BJBoyer22 wrote:

Hi Trailerking - I didn't think it was possible to backup a TOAD more than a few feet without a jack knife or worse. Another problem solved thanks to RV Dreams. Thanks all.


 What happens when try to back up a TOAD......You go against the caster and the wheels will want to turn. That will exert some extreme forces on the tow-bar.



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I was told the about the driving test for our pickup/5ver combo…but AFAIK parallel parking a MH with a toad attached is impossible. You might get away with backing it in a straight line a few feet if necessary for something but any serious turn with it attached will almost surely break/bend the tow bars. It isn't like backing a trailer at all.

 



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I am quite sure the test does not require parallel parking with a toad attached.  But there is not need to take the toad with you for the test regardless. Don't.  As was correctly mentioned, for a Motor Home you will be getting a Class "B" non-CDL license.  You don't need to tow anything for a Class "B".  Just drive the Motor Home.  This is really not as hard as some make it out to be.  If you can drive and park the Motor Home with any reasonable degree of safety and assuredness all will be fine.  Seldom are the examiners out to fail you for the non-commercial exam.  They just want to know you can be safe and have a reasonable understanding of the vehicle, its proper operation and brake system if it has air brakes.



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I was surprised when I read the thread on the Escapees forum talking about having to parallel park the MH w/ a trailer. Seemed odd but another comment on the same thread said the same thing so I it seemed legitimate.

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BJBoyer22 wrote:

I was surprised when I read the thread on the Escapees forum talking about having to parallel park the MH w/ a trailer. Seemed odd but another comment on the same thread said the same thing so I it seemed legitimate.


 If you read it on the "NET"............................Then it must be gospel. Hahaha



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Some places also require parallel parking of the truck and 5er for a class a test. But not Livingston.

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I went today and took the written test (passed, yeah!), but what I wanted to comment about is that the administrative person seemed to be unaware that a non CDL class A license existed. Several times she asked if I meant a class B. After she researched it we finally got the application headed in the right direction. I then took the written test and after passing, got in the final que where a DMV officer completed the process, but not before he told me that I needed a class B not a class A. I explained difference to him (combination of vehicles whose CVWR is 26,001 or more with more than 10,000 lbs in tow vs. a single vehicle that is rated at 26,001 GVWR alone with less than 10,000 lbs in tow). He pulled out his "book" and after reading for about 5 mins. he said, "well sir, you've taught me something today". He asked me how I learned about it and I told him "online".

This "rule" might be one of the best kept secrets in America. No wonder so many are driving without proper licenseing. Very low information threshold combined with zero enforcement (that I have seen). People who sell them don't know, people who buy them don't know, and law enforcement demonstrates no interest.

I'm shocked that any governmental entity would pass up any chance to add a revenue stream.



-- Edited by RonC on Wednesday 31st of August 2016 06:15:47 PM

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I already have a CDL-B. Will I have to re-test when I eventually FT in a motorhome domiciled in Texas?

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Barb is correct Non commercial Class A for 5th wheels and Class B for Motor homes. I have gotten both, only had to take the written once. I didn't have to parallel park the MH but I did have to for the 5th Wheel. We found a calm street with a wide shoulder and she said back it in over here and I think she said I could only pull up 15'. Then I had to back up straight. It was easy. Don't forget your turn signal when you P park. With the motor home she said if I run over a curb I would fail.

They didn't say anything about driving the rig to the test because you are trying to do the right thing.

FYI DOT in Weatherford Texas will pull you over to check your license and registration...I have a friend that was driving a diesel pusher that got a ticket for not having the Class B.

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Hey el Rojo ... What do you mean by "don't forget to use your turn signal when you P park"?

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You need to use your turn signal to indicate you're about to parallel park. I didn't and it cost me a point. I did get a 99 though.

Red

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Red, where did you take the test?  I'm in San Antonio, TX.

 



-- Edited by RonC on Friday 2nd of September 2016 06:46:08 AM

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I took my test in Junction TX, they came out of Kerrville also... wide streets little traffic. I did cross the center line because of a low tree and pointed it out. She didn't have any problem with that. The hardest part I had to do is drive across a narrow (approx 1 mile) expansion bridge that crosses the Llano river. She did look in the mirror to check my clearance on the bridge...about 6 inches. That bridge is tight without the trailer.

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When we took our road tests in Livingston we did not have to parallel park the 5th wheel. We drove from the DPS office on Washington St. to Church (190) made a right turn and followed down to 59 service road looped around back to Washington and made 3 lefts to get back to DPS.

Easy peasy! 

All took 20 minutes. 

Class rule is that regardless of the type, MH or 5er CGVW of 26,000 or more and towing over 10,000 you need a class A. So if your MH is towing a stacker or a HD pick-up registered over 10,000 you will need the A.

Some truck/ 5er combo's will fall under the class B  but  not many.....



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I'm scheduled to take the test on the 28th in SA. A 26 day wait. The number of places where you can now take the skills portion of the test has been reduced. I think there are only 15 statewide now ... something to do with Homeland Security and who gets to drive big heavy trucks and trailers in Texas.

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Has anybody been asked THE QUESTION? (How did your rig get here?). This seems, to me, to be a trap.



-- Edited by RonC on Friday 2nd of September 2016 04:03:28 PM

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No trap.....if you have a license from another state like we did in SD it is still good until you pass the road test and they take it from you. That's what the folks at Livingston told us. They will check to make sure the rig is registered and insured though.

Good luck on the test!



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No trap. I had a TX license and got the B then the A. When I first got the B for the diesel pusher she asked why I was here, had I gotten a ticket... I hadn't. I told her I heard that I needed this endorsement to be legal around the campfire so here I am. She thanked me for doing the right thing.

When I got the Class A for 5th wheel, my wife was getting her license renewed and I ask the young lady about borrowing a cattle trailer for the test. She said no, bring what you are going to drive, we want to see how you handle that.
Well OK then, BTW you're not taking me under any low trees are you? She laughed and said "in Junction TX?".

Make sure all the lights work and you have the proof of insurance and registration.

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Red ... Sounds like common sense is alive and well in Junction. I hope to find the same in SA, but we are closer to Austin, so you never know😜.

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BTW ... Has anyone had an examiner look for the 8" of distance between dually mud flaps and the ground? My factory mud flaps are too high (10"), but if they don't check, I won't worry about it.

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All they asked me for was registration and insurance and checked the lights. I don't think I'd worry about it.

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Thanks Red.

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Well today is the 28th and I took my class A non CDL driving test and PASSED!! Really, I worried much more about it than I should have. My examiner was calm and even tempered. When low hanging trees presented themselves, she understood why I changed lanes (with a signal) ... overall, pretty stress free. Never asked how I got there, so that concern was unfounded. Didn't have to parallel park. Just did the normal things we all do everyday, so it was pretty straight forward. She liked my truck and 5th wheel.

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Whew! LOL. Congrats Ron!

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No kidding ... I was stressed about this and to have it done and behind me is great!! BTW ... thanks for the info and encouragement.

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OEM


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Hello, I found this because my wife and I are in the long process of getting a truck and then a 5th wheel RV and we want to be legal, and that includes the license. Is anyone able to tell me exactly what portions of the manual need to be studied for a non-cdl class A?


Thanks!

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OEM wrote:

Hello, I found this because my wife and I are in the long process of getting a truck and then a 5th wheel RV and we want to be legal, and that includes the license. Is anyone able to tell me exactly what portions of the manual need to be studied for a non-cdl class A?


Thanks!


Here's a link to a good thread on the Escapees forums. Be sure and read all the way to the end to pick up on all the updates and changes. If you're not already a member, join Escapees and take advantage of their extensive information bank.

http://www.rvnetwork.com/topic/125345-texas-class-a-or-b-license-upgrade-faqs/

Rob



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A cautionary note:

This thread was started in 2014, and since we have no idea as to what changes may have been made to Texas law regarding the licenses, I highly recommend researching thoroughly, perhaps with the above link to Escapees' site, to insure one gets up to date information.

Terry



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