I am new to the forum but thought I would relate my experience since I just received my Class A Non-CDL Exempt. Yes there is still confusion at the different DPS offices but I got through it with a little problem that was resolved quickly.
My rig 2018 Ram 3500 GVWR 14,000#, RV 2019 5th wheel GVWR 16,800#
March 2019 - I had all the forms filled out a head of time. Paid $11 and took the written test at the DPS office in Bastrop. The Special Requirements and the Combinations test were both required and passed. They gave me a form and instructions how to schedule the Skills Test online before 90 days.
I scheduled the Skills Test at the Pflugerville (Austin) DPS Mega Center for a couple weeks later. Drove my rig to the testing center. Upon checking in for the Skills Test the confusion started. They thought I had a Motor Home towing a Pickup Truck and was taking the test for a class B license. Once I explained to them I had a pickup truck towing a 5th wheel trailer and that I applied for a class A, they looked at the rig and said ok.
The checked the truck license plate and windshield sticker for being current which includes the safety inspection. You can not renew the truck plate without the passing the safety inspection. Then they checked truck insurance card.
Next was the RV, they went looking for the trailer safety inspection sticker they used to put on the tongue of trailers, but they don't issue those stickers anymore. They are like regular vehicles now, you can not renew your trailer license plate without first passing a vehicle safety inspection. I had the safety inspection report given to me by the RV dealer and it stated the trailer passed inspection, they accepted it and then looked at the insurance card for the trailer.
The Test- checked lights and horn. Had me back up in a straight line for 50 feet. Then on the road we went making turns, changing lanes, stopping at lights, lasted all of 30 minutes and they got me in before my appointment time. Piece of cake! Really nice people at the DPS Pflugerville office!
I found out you can take the written tests and pass them, then pay for a learners permit that will allow you to drive your rig on a class C license BUT you must have a Class A or B licensed driver with you. The permit is good for 14 days and is renewable but you must pass the Skills test before 90 days. When I took the Skills test they asked if I had a learners permit, I said no I didn't think I needed one since my last truck/ trailer combo was under the 26,001 and now my new truck/trailer combo was over the limit. Nothing more was said.