Do You Need a Special License to Drive an RV?

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Do You Need a Special License to Drive an RV?

It’s one of the most frequent questions asked about RV’s  –  Most states do not require a special license for RVs weighing under 26,000 pounds or towed vehicles less than 10,000 pounds.

That said, there are some greater particular RV license necessities to keep an eye on, relying on the complete weight of the automobile and the country you’re planning to power it in. But don’t worry! We’ve obtained everything in its entirety below – so you can hit the road not barring any 2nd thoughts.

If you’re a licensed driver in any U.S. state, again that plastic card you already have in your wallet is more than likely already enough license to drive an RV. That is — so long as you’re looking to drive and lease an RV of a regular size plus a major credit card present when signing the rental agreement. For most Kinds of RV’s and campers, you do not need a special license.

Some states do have special licensing requirements for driving a vehicle that weighs more than 26,000 pounds, and in other areas, you may need a special license to drive a vehicle constructed for extra than 16 passengers.

So what does that suggest to an RVer? Do you need a special license to drive a large class A or fifth wheel tour trailer?


RV Drivers License Requirements

The good news is: vehicles under 26,000lbs do not require a special license in any one of the 50 states. And the majority of RVs fit this description.

But if your rig weighs in any more than that, you may be in need of a special license. So, in most instances you won’t need to worry about any fancy RV or motorhome license requirements, there are situations that will call for it though. Along with the elements that decide where and when you’ll want a special license, there are two classes of licenses to be considered, commercial and non-commercial.


Do You Need a CDL to Drive an RV?

So, what’s a CDL, anyway — and do you want a CDL to force an RV?

A commercial license, many times regarded as a CDL, is the identical sort of license business bus drivers and truckers get. A non-commercial special license may be required by the state for those looking to drive large, weighty vehicles for their personal private purposes.

We’ll dive more into that in a moment. But first, let’s take a look at the three most popular kinds of motorhomes to see whether or not you’ll need a special license to hit the road.


Class A RV License Requirements

Class A motorhomes are actually one of the only types of rig that you may a special license to drive. That’s due to the fact they can weigh somewhere between 13,000 and 30,000 pounds — which is, of course, above that 26,000-pound threshold we’ve mentioned.


That said, the majority of Class A RVs aren’t that weighty, and consequently don’t require any special license requirements. Just be sure to double-check the vehicle’s full, loaded weight before you set off to make certain you don’t run into any future problems.


Class B RV License Requirements

With Class B motorhomes, you’re in the clear! These small and agile rigs already have the benefit of being navigable even down narrow or unpaved roads — you know, the exact kind where you generally find the best boondocking sites.


Since Class B motorhomes have a tendency to weigh between 6,000 and 8,000 pounds, there are no states where Class B RVs lift unique license requirements.


Class C RV License Requirements

Class C motorhomes are some of our favorites for many reasons, no longer the least of which is their capability to pack all the Class A luxuries into a smaller (and usually more affordable) package. What’s more, these RVs are not likely to have special license requirements, due to the fact they usually weigh 10,000-12,000 pounds.


What States Require a Special License for RVs?

First matters first: while we’ve accomplished the whole lot in our strength to make sure these legal guidelines are correct and up to date, legal guidelines do change. So if you have any doubts about what license is needed to drive an RV in your state, make sure and check-in with the DMV directly before committing to buy or even renting a rig of your own.

But just in case you do plan on driving an extra-large rig, here are the states where you might need extra licensing to do so legally.


States That Require a Commercial Drivers License

The following states have laws on the books requiring a commercial driver’s license for vehicles that weigh more than 26,000 pounds. The specifics for each state may vary slightly — for instance, the licensing may be required for a single-vehicle over 26,000 pounds or multiple vehicles with a combined weight of over 26,000 pounds, which may matter for those towing large trailers. But generally, these are the only states and districts where you’ll run into issues for going big.






New Mexico

Washington, D.C.

Wisconsin: SPECIAL NOTE — this state requires a CDL for vehicles over 45 feet in length.

States That Require a Non-Commercial Special Drivers License

In these states, you may need special licensing to drive vehicles over the 26,000-pound weight limit, but not a CDL. You’ll want to check with the DMV to confirm specific details, which can change over time, but if you’re planning to drive a rig that weighs more than 26,000 pounds, whether single or combined, you may need a different license class in the following states.





North Carolina


New York


South Carolina



States That Do Not Require a Special Drivers License

Finally, here are the states where you’re free and clear to drive an RV with your regular driver’s license (per our latest update).






















New Hampshire

New Jersey

North Dakota




Rhode Island

South Dakota






West Virginia

What About a Special License to Drive an RV in Canada?

What if you’re planning on heading north, past the U.S. borders? You may be worried about having the appropriate licensing, which is understandable, especially since Canadian regulation varies throughout the provinces simply like in the U.S. There’s no need to fret, though! Unless you live in Canada, all you have to do is make certain that you meet the licensing requirements of your home state! If you’re good to go at home, you’re ready to discover the high-quality wild north!



While it may appear like it when you first begin your research, figuring out the legalities of driving an RV doesn’t have to be challenging, confusing, or frustrating. True, there are many elements to consider, however, once you are aware of what you’re searching for it’s truly pretty easy! Remember the rule of thumb, 26,000 and up would possibly want a special license, under 26,000 is ready to hit the road with a valid driver’s license. If you want to be sure to keep away from any confusion with licensing, select a smaller RV such as a classification B or C. And most importantly when in doubt, contact your neighborhood DMV to find out for certain what your state’s legal guidelines are! If you follow these easy rules, you’ll be enjoying your stress-free street road trip in no time at all! Happy travels!


Do You Need a CDL to Drive an RV?

So, what’s a CDL, anyway — and do you want a CDL to drive an RV?


A commercial license, commonly known as a CDL, is the same kind of license commercial bus drivers and truckers get. A non-commercial special license may also be required by the state for those looking to drive large, weighty vehicles for their own private purposes.

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