Class A License Types?

Discussion in 'Trucking Industry Regulations' started by Rum, Jun 17, 2024.

  1. Rum

    Rum Bobtail Member

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    Hi everyone, I've recently bought a class 8 truck to tow my race boat and am facing a bit of a licensing dilemma. About a year back, I switched my CDL-A to a Class D when I moved states (voluntary downgrade), not anticipating the challenges it would present for reacquiring the commercial license (assuming I had up to a year to revert back). To uncomplicate things, a couple months later I reverted to the previous state to retain the full CDL-A privileges, all endorsements no restrictions since the new state refused without retaking skills/road tests. I'll be registering the truck in about a two month as a non-commercial personal vehicle (not for hire) and I'm exploring whether I can qualify for a non-commercial class A license, given that the vehicle's operational use remains unchanged.

    From my understanding, toggling back to a CDL-A later, even though I'm driving the same type of vehicle, seems to be a bureaucratic headache. Given the seemingly interminable red tape often associated with government and regulatory agencies, I want to ensure I'm making the most informed decision before heading to the DMV and potentially wasting another month of back and forth. Does anyone have insights on managing licensing for a non-commercial Class 8 truck, or experiences with transitioning licenses under similar circumstances? Any advice to navigate this efficiently would be greatly appreciated!
     
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  3. Ridgeline

    Ridgeline Road Train Member

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    Do you race for compensation?

    If so it is commercial.
     
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  4. FLHT

    FLHT Road Train Member

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    If it's been over a year you start all over from scratch.
    Fees and all the tests.
    Not all states require a CDL to drive anything bigger than a car or pickup.
     
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  5. buzzarddriver

    buzzarddriver Road Train Member

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    Ding, Ding, Ding. We have the answer.
     
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  6. Rum

    Rum Bobtail Member

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    Thanks for the input from everyone; I did overlook the compensation part. This helps steer the direction when I consult with a lawyer. If it means completely separating myself from the racing team and its profits, that is fine. I have no plans for full-time commercial use. By registering thie truck, trailer, and boat in my name, I aim to keep them non-commercial, while my brothers manage the race team and its finances, keeping the equipment distinct from the business side.

    To further secure this distinction, establishing an LLC could add a layer of security. By transferring ownership of the truck, trailer, and boat to the LLC and maintaining separate bank accounts and records, I can ensure clear asset separation. I will visit the DMV to confirm changing my CDL-A to a non-commercial Class A license to avoid the fees and regulations associated with commercial licenses, allowing me to operate my truck and trailer for personal use. Despite having just renewed my commercial license, lowering government scrutiny is the objective.
     
  7. Long FLD

    Long FLD Road Train Member

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    I’m just a simple man but it seems to me if you have the money for a race boat and a truck to haul it that you’d have the money to do everything the correct way and not cut corners. If you’re making money at all it’s a commercial vehicle. Auto racing teams all went through this a few years ago and found out they needed to start running log books and having DOT numbers and everything that comes along with owning a big truck.
     
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  8. Ridgeline

    Ridgeline Road Train Member

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    two things, this is well established in the courts.

    If you race for compensation, meaning winning money, then it is a commercial venture. The vehicle that hauls the race car is hauling for compensation, even it is a zero sum gain. The courts have upheld the state's position that the vehicle falls under a commercial vehicle and that has to be registered as a commercial vehicle. If your lawyer says it isn't, he needs to do some research, a lot of people have been nailed and fined heavely for this by different states. Your state may look the other way but another one may rape you for trying to get away with it.

    If the vehicle is used only within the state, then the state laws govern. If the vehicle crosses the state line, it is a fed issue and the states follow the FMCSA regulations.

    That said, there is no means to protect your assets, LLC is most likely used for tax reasons but not as a shield against liabilities related to the transport of racing equipment. Driving a truck, especially today is a bank on wheels. There are laywers who are just waiting to take a case that will make them millions and while it sounds great to think that your assets are protected, when you are driving that truck, the liablities now include ownership, maintainance and legal driving status.
     
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  9. wis bang

    wis bang Road Train Member

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    OP has to understand that an LLC is not a do, end all proposition and really does not provide much real legal protection.

    If your relatives had someone else transport their equipment; that enterprise is still a commercial transaction.

    The last horse in the race is STILL racing for a potential monitary gain and the FCMSA doesn't care IF the horse/car/motorcycle actually makes any money; all that is required is the potential for gain.

    Auditor: does your brother compensate you for transporting his race vehicle?

    Answer: No, I just get to attend the race for free.

    Auditor: commercial, pay up!
     
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