Drivers License Requirements for RV driving by State

Drivers License Requirements for RV driving by State

Class A RV in Booklet, Georgia. Photo by Damon on Road.

 
Any standard US state drivers license is valid to drive or tow recreational vehicles up to 40 feet in length and weighing less than 26,000 pounds. Certain states require a CDL (Commercial Drivers License) for driving recreational vehicles weighing over 26,000 pounds. Class C and B RVs typically weigh less than 26,000 pounds. Class A RV’s may weigh more than 26,000 pounds. It is important to check with each state for special license requirements when renting a Class A RV, or when towing a larger trailer. In this article, we will present a guide for drivers license requirements by state.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) sets guidelines for CDL use.

There are guidelines on when you would need a commercial drivers license (CDL). The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/registration/commercial-drivers-license ) sets these guidelines. A CDL has to be obtained from the state one lives in, that is, your home state. Most states do not require a special license for RVs weighing under 26,000 pounds or towed vehicles under 10,000 pounds. Most Class B and C  RVs weigh well under 26,000 pounds. An important distinction is when a recreational vehicle is being driven for business purposes, for instance, a bus or transportation company. In this instance, most states do require that the driver possess a CDL.
The CDL requirements exist for the safety of society. It is important that individuals driving bus size RV’s, for instance Class A RV, be able to drive them safely and maneuver tight turns and steep roads. In the process of obtaining a CDL, individuals must prove that they possess 
the higher level of knowledge, experience, skills, and physical abilities to drive vehicles in that category. 


 
Average Weights of recreational vehicles:
Class B: 6000 - 8000 pounds
Class C: 10,000 - 12,000 pounds
Class A:  13,000 - 30,000 pounds
Camper Trailer: 5,200 pounds
Fifth Wheel: Wide range from 8,000 - 20,000 pounds


State Licensing Requirements For RVs

Here is a detailed chart explaining what the requirements are for each state.


Alabama:  No special license required.
Alaska:  No special license required.
Arizona:  No special license required.
Arkansas:  Drivers need a CDL for vehicles that weigh more than 26,000 pounds.
California:  Drivers need a Class B license for vehicles that weigh more than
26,000 pounds or have a length of over 40 feet. Drivers need a Class A license to tow anything more than 10,000 pounds.
Colorado: No special license required.
Connecticut: Drivers need a Class B CDL to drive single vehicles that weigh more than 26,000 pounds. Drivers also need a Class A CDL for vehicles with a combined weight of over 26,000 pounds.
Delaware: No special license required.
Florida: No special license required.
Georgia: No special license required.
Hawaii: Drivers need a Class B CDL to drive single vehicles that weigh more than 26,000 pounds. Drivers also need a Class A CDL for vehicles with a combined weight of over 26,000 pounds.
Idaho: No special license required.
Illinois: No special license required.
Indiana: No special license required.
Iowa: No special license required.
Kansas: Drivers need a Class B CDL to drive single vehicles that weigh more than 26,000 pounds. Drivers also need a Class A CDL for vehicles with a combined weight of over 26,000 pounds.
Kentucky: No special license required.
Louisiana: No special license required.
Maine: No special license required.
Maryland: Drivers need a Class B license for vehicles that weigh more than
26,000 pounds.
Massachusetts: No special license required.
Michigan: Drivers towing a fifth wheel plus a trailer at the same time need to get a special recreational double R endorsement.
Minnesota: No special license required.
Mississippi: No special license required.
Missouri: No special license required.
Montana: No special license required.
Nebraska: No special license required.
Nevada: Drivers need a Class B license for single vehicles that weigh more than 26,000 pounds. Drivers need a Class A license for vehicles with a combined weight of over 26,000 pounds. Drivers towing a vehicle that is more than 10,000 pounds need to get a special J endorsement.
New Hampshire: No special license required.
New Jersey: No special license required.
New Mexico: Drivers need a Class B CDL to drive single vehicles that weigh more
than 26,000 pounds. Drivers also need a Class A CDL for vehicles with a combined weight of over 26,000 pounds.
New York: Drivers need an R endorsement for vehicles over 26,000 pounds.
North Carolina Drivers need a Class B license for single vehicles that weigh more than 26,000 pounds. Drivers need a Class A license for vehicles with a combined weight of over 26,000 pounds.
North Dakota: No special license required.
Ohio: No special license required.
Oklahoma: No special license required.
Oregon: No special license required.
Pennsylvania: Drivers need a Class B license for single vehicles that weigh more
than 26,000 pounds. Drivers need a Class A license for vehicles with a combined weight of over 26,000 pounds.
Rhode Island: No special license required.
South Carolina: Drivers need a Class E license for single vehicles over 26,000
pounds. Drivers need a Class F license for vehicles with a combined weight of over 26,000 pounds.
South Dakota: No special license required.
Tennessee: No special license required.
Texas: Drivers need a Class B license to drive a single vehicle over 26,000 pounds. Drivers need a Class A license to drive vehicles with a combined weight of over 26,000 pounds.
Utah: No special license required.
Vermont: No special license required.
Virginia: No special license required.
Washington: No special license required.
West Virginia: No special license required.
Wisconsin: Drivers need a CDL for vehicles longer than 45 feet.
Wyoming: Drivers need a Class B license to drive a single vehicle over 26,000
pounds or to tow anything less than 10,000 pounds. Drivers need a Class A license to drive vehicles with a combined weight of over 26,000 pounds or to tow anything over 10,000 pounds.


These are intended as guidelines, and not to be taken as legal advice. Check with The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and your state of residence for specific guidance.