Do You Need A Special License To Drive An RV?

If you are planning an amazing trip across the country in an RV, looking to buy an RV of your own, or just looking to rent one for a quick weekend campout close to home, you are probably curious if you will need a special RV license. 

Although RV license requirements do vary across states, RV types, and more, you most likely will not need a special license.

In this guide, we will discuss the requirements for certain RV classes and let you know about other things that may be required from you.

Keep reading for all you need to know before you plan your next RV adventure!

Do I Need More Than a Drivers License?

If you have a current driver’s license in any US state, then you likely have all you need to drive an RV.

However, that changes if you want to drive a vehicle of extra large size, capacity, and weight. 

Some states have particular licensing requirements for large vehicles that exceed 26,000 pounds.

Others require one for vehicles built to hold more than 16 people. 

Luckily, if your RV or motorhome weighs less than 26,000, or your towed vehicles weigh under 10,000 pounds, you do not need a special license in any of the US states.

Most vehicles fit this category. 

Which RV Class Needs a Special License?

There are three different types of RV classes: A, B, and C.

Below, we will look at each motorhome class and whether you will need a special license for each of them. 

RV License Requirements for Class A Vehicles

Class A motorhomes are likely the only class of vehicle for which you may need a special license.

They are the largest class of RVs, and their weights range from 13,000 pounds to 30,000 pounds.

The majority of them are still under the 26,000-pound limit we discussed earlier, but if yours happens to surpass this when it is fully loaded, you will need a special license.

RV License Requirements for Class B Vehicles

Class B motorhomes do not require you to have a special license in any of the 50 states.

They are small and easy to navigate down most roads.

They often weigh somewhere in the 6,000 pounds to the 8,000-pound range when fully loaded. 

RV License Requirements for Class C Vehicles

Class C motorhomes also require no special licensing.

They are often the most affordable RV option and weight.  

What States Do Require Special RV Licenses?

Below we discuss in which states you might need extra licensing.

If you plan to travel through these states, you will want to research them thoroughly to ensure you have all of the legal requirements. 

Before purchasing any large rig or driving one through multiple states, check directly with the state to see what their current laws are.

They may change over time so stay updated.

If you are buying an RV, call your DMV before you begin your purchase process to determine what special licensing you may need. 

What States Require a CDL?

A CDL is a commercial driver’s license, which is what people such as commercial truckers and bus drivers have.

Some states require a CDL for heavy vehicles like buses or tractor-trailers.

Other states require a non-commercial special license to drive an RV that is over the 26,000-pound threshold. 

Below are the states that require a commercial drivers license:

  • Arkansas requires a CDL for all vehicles over 26,000 pounds
  • Connecticut requires a CDL (Class B) for all vehicles over 26,000 pounds. They also require a CDL (Class A) for pulling vehicles that equal a combined loaded weight of over 26,000 pounds.
  • Hawaii requires a CDL (Class B) for all vehicles over 26,000 pounds. They also require a CDL (Class A) for pulling vehicles that equal a combined loaded weight of over 26,000 pounds.
  • Kansas requires a CDL (Class B) for all vehicles over 26,000 pounds. They also require a CDL (Class A) for pulling vehicles that equal a combined loaded weight of over 26,000 pounds.
  • New Mexico requires a CDL (Class B) for all vehicles over 26,000 pounds. They also require a CDL (Class A) for pulling vehicles that equal a combined loaded weight of over 26,000 pounds.
  • Washington, D.C. requires a CDL (Class B) for all vehicles over 26,000 pounds. They also require a CDL (Class A) for pulling vehicles that equal a combined loaded weight of over 26,000 pounds.
  • Wisconsin requires a CDL for all vehicles longer than 45 feet. 

What States Require a Non-Commercial Special License?

  • California requires a Class B license for vehicles longer than 40 feet or weighing over 26,000 pounds. They also require a Class A license for towing more than 10,000 pounds. 
  • Maryland requires a Class B license for vehicles over 26,000 pounds
  • Michigan requires a Double R Endorsement to tow a trailer and a fifth wheel together.
  • North Carolina requires a Class B license for vehicles over 26,000 pounds and a Class A license for multiple vehicles over 26,000 pounds.
  • Nevada requires a Class B license for vehicles over 26,000 pounds and a Class A for multiple vehicles over 26,000 pounds. They also require a J Endorsement to tow a vehicle over 10,000 pounds.
  • New York recurs an R endorsement for vehicles over 26,000 pounds
  • Pennsylvania requires a class B license for vehicles over 26,000 pounds, single or combined.
  • South Carolina requires a class E license for vehicles over 26,000 pounds and a Class F for multiple vehicles exceeding 26,000 pounds.
  • Texas requires a Class B license for vehicles over 26,000 pounds, single or combined.
  • Wyoming requires a Class B license for vehicles over 26,000 pounds and towing under 10,000 pounds, and a Class A license for vehicles over 26,000 pounds and towing over 10,000 pounds.

Final Thoughts 

If you are looking to purchase or rent an RV, you likely will not need any special licensing.

Even so, you should check your local regulations and the weight and size of your vehicle before proceeding, just to be sure!

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