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Vegas Teacher

California CDL

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Hello At the outpost cafe and truck stop in Hesperia California, in my tundra not Volvo. I am here eating with my wife sitting next to a table of California highway patrol officers, I tell them about my Volvo the weight and registration under 26k I also tell the the commercial hitch is gone and all commercial lines are capped off. I then ask them if I get pulled over if if have to have a CDL and after 5 minutes of the four policeman discussing it and differing of their own opinions they said it was a 5000.00 ticket and removal from the truck without a CDL in hand.

 

Later,

Vegas teacher 

Cory Ossana 

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Isn't your truck registered as a motorhome? Are you LEGALLY licensed in Nevada? If the answer is yes to either then you are not required to hold a CDL. California along with 48 other states have reciprocity as far as vehicle AND drivers' license.  You are in no way commercial, are you?

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And that is why, in the book with all your other papers, you carry a copy of the applicable Federal Regs that say that RV's, used solely for personal and recreational use, are except from the Federal Regs. If, as Tom asked, you are registered as a motorhome (or other personal type vehicle) then you are exempt from California state laws requiring a CDL also, since the reciprocity covers registration and drivers licensing. 

Your mistake was asking California cops about your Nevada truck. They do not know what Nevada allows. They are versed in California law. They will give you an answer based on their training. You also have to remember: If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck...its a duck. They are not seeing what you have and what it is. They are imagining what you are talking about....and in their mind you are talking about a duck.

Corey, my questions to you are:
1) are you legal in your state with your registration?
2) do you have the type of DL required by your state? 
3) then why did you bother asking? Just to see what happens? Kinda like the kid that touches the stove even after moms says "don't touch that. It's hot". 

Edited by Big5er

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Phil is there something in addition to CFR 390.3(f)(3) [attached] that would be good to add to the personal HDT handbook?

I did not find anything in my search for interpretations to 390.3 (or missed it in reading), but you have an intimate knowledge of where to find the resource locations that would be beneficial. If you give me links I can make pdfs for others.

FMSCA_CFR390.3.pdf

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Trey,
I have a copy of 390.3 which refers to General Applicability [as you stated specifically 390.3(f)(3)] and its' associated guidance. Question #21 relates to people similar to DollyTrolley or the guy who sells birdhouses at the flea market for a hobby. Not that most of us engage in anything like that but if they can do it certainly those of us without a hobby can, right? I also have a copy of 383.3 which refers to CDL and its' associated guidance [specifically question #3].

Remember these are the FEDERAL REGS. State laws will still apply to us...we are NOT commercial and need to remember that. These regs say that we, as "recreational USERS", are exempt. They do not say that our vehicles are automatically exempt (which is what people tend to believe). As a matter of fact, they specifically say that our vehicles ARE commercial motor vehicles. Yes that is what I said. Everyone of our HDT's is defined, by law, as a "Commercial Motor Vehicle". It is the USAGE that determines our exemption. 

Now having said that, the state law of our home state will govern registration and drivers license type. That is why I also carry a copy of MY states regulations covering that. That California cop has no idea what type of license Texas says I need, or that Texas will allow me to register my HDT (ie: my privately owned commercial motor vehicle) as a motorhome. Texas has a Class A, Class B, Class C and a Class M drivers license. Florida has a Class F. What the heck is a Class F? Got me beat. That is why I have to look it up..every time. And that is why those poor California cops gave Cory the wrong answer. Because they know California law, not the state laws of Nevada, Texas, Arizona, Pennsylvania, etc etc etc. 

And again, simply because it is a motorhome, private truck or whatever you registered it as doesn't mean a dang thing. An HDT, registered as a motorhome, being used to pull the Boston Symphony Orchestra's instrument trailer is not being used for personal and recreational use. I have racers and horsers (sorry DT) all the time screaming "It's a motorhome", at me. "Yeah, so what?" is the usual response. If DRV pays me to haul fifth wheels from their factory to the dealership with my "motorhome", guess what??

Ok there ends the lesson...one more time. Sorry I got so long winded. 

Edited by Big5er
dumass can't type

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Hey 5ver!

With all the false info floating around I commend you on your patience in this matter.

Have a glass of "The Pepper"  and a good day.

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Thanks Carl.

Cactus, there's many here that say I have no patience but thank you too. :)Think I'll go get a glass right now.

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1 hour ago, SuiteSuccess said:

Phil,

Rehashing confusing questions and an opinion from an expert is always a good thing, IMHO.

Carl,

We have an expert on here? Who is it?

David

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4 minutes ago, GeorgiaHybrid said:

Carl,

We have an expert on here? Who is it?

David

David,

Me of course 🤓. I’m an expert at pointing out an expert. 

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The specific Federal Regulation which Big5er is referring to, is located here:

Title 49, Part 390.3

That specific regulation determines the applicability of all Federal Regulations regarding commercial vehicle operations and that specific regulation shows a clear exception for persons transporting their own goods.

In the case of VT, or anyone else that is allowed by their resident state, to operate a Volvo or other similar truck that is licensed as a Private Truck or Motorhome, the laws of any other state are NOT applicable when it relates to driver license requirements.

VT’s state, Nevada, does have laws similar to TX, CA and many other states requiring a higher class of license, depending on combined and trailer weight, though NOT for a CDL.

For the record, I deal with Federal Regulations on a daily basis in my job and am quite versed with Title 49 and all of the Federal Regulations pertinent to Commercial Vehicle Operations.

One of these days VT will stop asking everyone he meets, the requirements pertaining to a CDL...lol

 

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As an FYI- it is my understanding that CA has a Class A license with a non-commercial application.  Have not done alot of investigating on it yet but but NO commercial driving allowed but is designed to provide proper licensing of the weights encountered.

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47 minutes ago, rpsinc said:

As an FYI- it is my understanding that CA has a Class A license with a non-commercial application.  Have not done alot of investigating on it yet but but NO commercial driving allowed but is designed to provide proper licensing of the weights encountered.

They also have a Class B.

The requirement for A, B or C is not limited to driving a semi truck.  There are LOTS of folks hauling big 3 axle Toy Haulers, towed by a one ton pickup,  getting tickets for driving out of the proper class of license.

Edited by VegasFlyer

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About 15 years ago when I first decided I wanted a HDT I called the Colorado State Patrol to ask if I needed a CDL.  We are Colorado residents.  The first officer I talked with added another more experienced officer.  I pointed out the truck was to be registered as a recreational vehicle and not used commercially. These guys discussed it and added a 3rd to the conversation.  They finally agreed a CDL was definitely required and they would issue a ticket if I didn't have one.  I then asked which class CDL is required.  They said to ask the drivers license bureau.   The drivers license people thought I needed a class B CDL.  I learned quickly that the average officer is not the best place to seek advice.  Colorado does not require a license upgrade to drive a recreational vehicle.

Edited by Randyretired

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17 minutes ago, Randyretired said:

About 15 years ago when I first decided I wanted a HDT I called the Colorado State Patrol to ask if I needed a CDL.  We are Colorado residents.  The first officer I talked with added another more experienced officer.  I pointed out the truck was to be registered as a recreational vehicle and not used commercially. These guys discussed it and added a 3rd to the conversation.  They finally agreed a CDL was definitely required and they would issue a ticket if I didn't have one.  I then asked which class CDL is required.  They said to ask the drivers license bureau.   The drivers license people thought I needed a class B CDL.  I learned quickly that the average officer is not the best place to seek advice.  Colorado does not require a license upgrade to drive a recreational vehicle.

That is valid point.  The other part which people should consider doing, if they choose to “expert shop”, is to ask for pertinent references which that expert is using to base their answer upon.

It may seem complicated, though it is far from Rocket Science and ALWAYS comes down to what the Regulations specify.

Remember, we live in a permissive country, if there is no specific regulation prohibiting an action, it is legal.

The point is, you don’t want to wind up in court and offer to a judge that a cop, deputy, trooper or DMV person told you that you could or could do something.

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Big5er already answered this question in detail.  Vegas Teacher, you should not ask CA cops what type of Nevada license you need to drive your Nevada registered HDT.  They will have no idee.  (I say this as a CA cop who is pretty well versed in HDT rules and regs for CA.  I have no idea what Nevada’s rules for licensing and registration are because they don’t apply to me.)  Find out what Nevada’s rules are and follow them.  Keep some documentation with you when you travel to other states to show what Nevada’s rules are in case you get stopped.

 

As to rpsync’s statement -  Yes, CA does have a non commercial class A license.  In fact CA offers commercial and non commercial versions of all their licenses (Class A, B and C) except the Class M which is for motorcycles (there’s no such thing in CA as a commercial motorcycle license).  It all depends on what you are driving or towing and what you are doing with the rig to determine which class license you need and whether it needs to be commercial or not.

 

But again, these rules only apply to CA residents.  They do not apply to residents of other states, whether or not they are driving in CA.  Reciprocity between states means that if you are legally licensed and registered in your home state, you are legally licensed and registered in all states.

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8 hours ago, Big5er said:

3) then why did you bother asking? Just to see what happens? Kinda like the kid that touches the stove even after moms says "don't touch that. It's hot". 

A stone age ago I saw a fellow try to sneak by a prop that was spinning......he never sneaked again.

About a  year ago I had a chat with a couple of folks that were involved with vehicle insurance underwriting matters and I ask them about one company that was exiting the HDT RV market and they said that some of the research geeks monitor various RV forums to gather information regarding operations, practices and uncertain situations that prevail that could degrade the quality the viability of the tiny-sector HDT-RV insurance market.............

Based on MANY factors as well as much of the things observed on many RV forums they decided to exit the HDT RV market and seek more favorable sector markets.

I wonder how many .........."Hot stoves"........need to be touched before someone else says let's move to places that make better sense....... 

7 hours ago, Big5er said:

Question #21 relates to people similar to DollyTrolley or the guy who sells birdhouses at the flea market for a hobby.

Last week we had the first rain in 107 days here at Last Chance Peak and the desert muck has been so bad until today that I could not get the Dolly-exhaust-wheeeel-borrow out in the "race-track" to gather the used-hay..........so Phil here I am in my stall-slave-boy uniform marching around tossing targets into the recycle bin to the composte-vehicle and the sun was out and the roadrunners were streaking by and I smiled and said......."boy oh boy this sure is a lot-better that being president and I gotta be the luckest shmuck in the world" and now Phil you tell everyone that there are ........."people similar to Dollytrolley"..............shucks Phil take this to the bank.....aint NO ONE SIMILAR to DT.............shucks consider this.......The President just mutters a few poo-words and all Heck-Breaks-Loose and he is in deep-U-Know-What...........Not me, shucks I got a pile you could you could hide your Smart behind and know one could find it (or get close enough to look).

So phil you are fine to use my name in vain but know for sure .......aint NO ONE SIMILAR to DT.......(we hope)

 

Drive on...........(Gardeners keep stealing Dolly's used.........Hay)

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Thanks Phil, I've attached the second Federal reference you provided (Question and Interpretations of CFR 383.3) with a link to the referring code - CFR 383.3 (Commercial Drivers Licensing Req & Penalties). And as Carl said, Thank you for the reminders - we all need to be reminded from time to time of these things. This thread is a great example of why it is a good idea for each of us to carry a collection of our specific/state (and federal) documents.  The information helps us to know and understand our rig and helps us to be prepared when faced with those who unaware and see what appears to be a duck but in fact is a dragon.

Texas Documents (manual sample) were provided in a different thread. Also, some Ohio Documents were provided later in the same thread .

FMSCA_CFR383.3_QuestionsInterpretations.pdf

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Ladies and Gentlemen I asked this question for one reason only and the posted it to share with anybody who might be driving through California what 4 different Highway Patrol Officers ("CHiPS" we were only missing Eric Estrada, some of you out there are old enough to remember this series) said to me or might do to you if you drove through their state. I like to visit California but even they told me this is California. Anyway why did I ask?

1. I was at breakfast and sitting in the table next to them and it was a friendly environment. I had already engaged them in conversation and they were extremely nice to me. I had already thanked them for the job they did to serve and protect. I talked about Schutzhund training and why I was in Southern California. When I told them our training director was former K9 unit and a retired policeman they had all kinds of questions for me and about my Czech line German Shepherd. So once again the environment was friendly and I like to talk to people.

2. Since I was not pulled over on the side of the road and yesterday I was in my Tundra not my Volvo I was not violating any laws or in danger of violating any laws. So when I asked the question, they couldn't ticket me or anything else. I was safe no matter what happened.

3. To me since all was going well and they were friendly plus I couldn't get a ticket and I was not pulled over on the side of the road by an officer who was just having a bad day ( and I can tell you as a teacher bad days come and go, moods change and it might not be the words kids use but how they use them that gets one student sent to the office and another getting a detention while yet the third gets a parent call and the last one just gets a lecture in the hallway) Plus if the officer is having a bad and you pull out paper work to prove him wrong could the situation escalate? I don't know but, what I do know is I don't want to find out the hard way.

4. What I did find out is 4 officers that looked to range in age from 30 - 50 all had different opinions on what they would do, if I was pulled over for something minor or just for a spot check of some kind. Yes I know the law and have seen what is posted. That is not the point, the point is what would an officer do, and that is why I posted the information I gathered. 

5. Since the environment was friendly I did not throw federal rules and regulations back at them, why at that point go from a positive interaction to a negative interaction, who knows I might have met one of those officers on I 15 north on my way back to Vegas yesterday and been pulled over for speeding (I wasn't but you never know.) 

6. So I posted the information just to share with all on the forum what they said. I asked the question because that is the kind of person I am. I do a lot of research. College taught me to ask questions. It did not make me smart, shoot I think or hope I am somewhere near average, but it taught me to ask a lot of people questions to find answers from different points of view.

7. After talking to the officers and getting their responses to what I did it just shows me that if I get a CDL it makes my life easier. I know some of you on the forum have a CDL and I am sure you feel a little more comfortable with it than without it.

8. Last but not least the Outpost Cafe in Hysperia California next to the Pilot Truck stop is awesome. I love stopping there, eating there, working my dogs in the truck parking area and just staying there. Address is enclosed below with a link. The service is great and the food is really good. It feels like a mom and pop business. It has become my favorite place to stop on my way through Southern California.

Thanks everybody for your input, I just wanted you to know that 4 different officers had a hard time agreeing on what they would do, not because I did not know the answer to the question, but it gives you something to prepare for or educates you in how it might be dealt with if you are pulled over in California.

Long-standing truck-stop cafe offering standard American comfort fare in an old-school interior.
 
Address: 8685 US-395, Oak Hills, CA 92344
Hours: 
Open today · 5AM–10PM

 

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Vegas Teacher's interaction with some typical CHP's was illustrative of another point taken earlier in these posts, that is the officer in question is not the final word in this or many other topics. However, along side of the highway, he is the final word because in the 40+ years of professional driving I have learned not the question the judgement of a person with a badge and a gun. I will have my day in court at a later time. 

And it was sort of a very non scientific poll, but results were unanimous and not in our favor. The take away is:

Don't be surprised if it happens(getting pulled over)

Be as pleasant and prepared as possible

Accept the consequences. Hopefully it won't be as dramatic as stopping your trip and requiring someone else to takeover driving the unit with a CDL , but arguing with the officer won't change that outcome.

And don't get stopped by an officer who clearly was incompetent as in this well known video:

 

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1 hour ago, beyerjf said:
1 hour ago, beyerjf said:

Vegas Teacher's interaction with some typical CHP's was illustrative of another point taken earlier in these posts, that is the officer in question is not the final word in this or many other topics. However, along side of the highway, he is the final word because in the 40+ years of professional driving I have learned not the question the judgement of a person with a badge and a gun. I will have my day in court at a later time. 

Thanks beyerjf - you seem to get the point I was trying to make all along, not what is the rule or law, and not do I know the law but this is what can happen to you if the officer who pulled you over does not know the law and the video is priceless. So I am going to go get my CDL- it is like an insurance policy. It is expensive to have and may never need it, but if I need it I will sure be happy I had it! The posting was also just to show that 4 officers had difficulty on something pretty easy to understand. Be careful in California I think is the message I was trying to get across.

Later,

Cory O

 

 

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Cory,

Just a question.  If you get your CDL are you going to maintain a medical, keep detailed trip and load logs, and document mandatory rest periods also?  If not you may be taken “out of service “ on the roadside and be left standing anyway.

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21 minutes ago, SuiteSuccess said:

Cory,

Just a question.  If you get your CDL are you going to maintain a medical, keep detailed trip and load logs, and document mandatory rest periods also?  If not you may be taken “out of service “ on the roadside and be left standing anyway.

 

Edited by Vegas Teacher

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