Do you need a special license to drive an RV?
There are three types of motorhomes: Class A, Class B, and Class C. If you own a Class B or C vehicle, you can generally drive with your regular driver's license in all 50 states. However, if your vehicle is heavier than 26,000 pounds or longer than 40 feet, you may need a special license in certain states to drive it from place to place. You should check your state’s DMV for the exact requirements, as each state has its own rules regarding RVs and special licenses.
What kind of license do you need to drive an RV?
It depends on your vehicle size and state. Because the weight range of Class A RVs is so large, you’ll need to check the weight before you can determine what’s legal in your state. If your Class A RV is less than 26,000 pounds and 40 feet in length, you're likely fine to drive with your regular driver's license. However, if your Class A motorhome exceeds that limit, you may need to take an RV safety course or get a CDL to operate it on the road.
Class B and C vehicles generally don't require a special license in any of the 50 states. If you tow a trailer or car behind your RV with a combined weight of more than 26,000 pounds, you might need a special license or endorsement, depending on your state. Again, if you're unsure of exactly which license you'll need, check with your state's Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). If your license matches the requirements in the state where your RV is registered, you don't need to obtain a special license when traveling through a state with different rules or taking a road trip into Canada.
Once you've determined which license you need to drive an RV, learn about RV insurance and RV insurance requirements by state. Some lenders may require collision and comprehensive coverage for RVs, which can provide extra protection for your vehicle.
If your license matches the requirements in the state where your RV is registered, you don't need to obtain a special license when traveling through a state with different rules or taking a road trip into Canada.
Types of special licenses for an RV
Some states require a commercial driver's license for vehicles over 26,000 pounds. Other states will require a non-commercial license for vehicles that exceed a certain weight or size. Still, others may require that you get an endorsement added to your regular driver's license. Your state’s DMV can confirm which special license or endorsement you may need.
Commercial Driver's License
If you're required to obtain a CDL, you'll need to visit the DMV to take a vision test and a written exam. After a certain period, you can book a road skills exam. Once you pass all necessary exams, you'll be granted your CDL. You may be able to skip the written exam if you're a veteran and can prove you have experience driving military trucks.
Non-Commercial Driver's License
The application for a non-commercial license is very similar to that of a standard driver's license. Make an appointment with the DMV to take a vision exam, written test, and driving test. The process is much quicker than applying for a CDL.
Driver's License Endorsement
A license endorsement is quick and easy to apply for in the relevant states. Depending on the state, you need to fill out an application, pay a small fee, and take a written skills or road test.
How do I apply for a special license to drive an RV?
You can apply for various license types and endorsements through your state's DMV. The application process may vary from state to state, so check with your local DMV to ensure you're taking the correct steps.