A common question many people have is “do you need a CDL to drive an RV?” The majority of RV’s can be operated under a regular driver’s license. Some states can require a special license for large RVs. It is very rare that Commerical Driver’s License (CDL) is needed. It is so rare that if you are told you need a CDL, you may want to do more research if it is a non-commericial RV. If you can say yes to any of the following questions, you should contact your state for special requirements:
- Is your RV longer than 45 feet?
- Are you towing two units? (Such as towing a sailboat behind a trailer)
- Are you towing a trailer with a GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating) of 10,001 pounds or more?
- Does your single vehicle or towable combination have a GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating) of 26,001 pounds or more?
Remember that the planned use for your RV will affect whether or not you need a CDL to drive it. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration oversees the minimum requirements for the state, but the state is left to its own devices after the minimum. FMCSA only addresses commercial motor vehicles or CMV.
You can find a chart of the CDL regulations, however take note of the review date and consider looking at the state web site.
… other states to follow soon
|State||CDL Required||Special License||Notes||Last Reviewed|
|Arkansas||No||No||Class D license is valid for all RV’s||July 2005|
|Arizona||No||No||ARS 28-3102 exempts RVs||July 2005|
|California||No||Yes >10k lb or > 40′||Trailers over 10,000 lb GVWR and fifth wheels over 15,000 lb GVWR require non-commercial Class A||July 2005|
|Colorado||No||No||CDL is not required for any RV||July 2005|
|Connecticut||No||No||Class 2 license required for trailers above 10,000 lb GVW||July 2005|
|Washington D.C.||Yes > 26k lb||No||Must pass the CDL knowledge test, but the road test is not required||January 2006|
|Florida||No||No||Class E license is valid for all RV’s||July 2005|
|Hawaii||Yes > 26k lb||Yes > 15k lb||CDL implied above 26,000 lb.||July 2005|
|Illinois||No||Yes > 16k lb||Above 16,000 lb GVWR or GCWR, or towing above 10,000 lb, requires non-commercial Class A, B or C||August 2007|
|Indiana||Yes > 45′||No||None||August 2009|
|Kansas||No||Yes > 26k lb||Above 26,000 lb GVWR or GCWR requires non-commercial Class A or B||July 2005|
|Massachusettes||No||No||Class D license is valid for all RV’s||July 2005|
|Maryland||No||Y > 26k lb.||Above 26,000 lb GVW requires non-commercial Class A or B||July 2005|
|Michigan||No||Y > 1 trailer||“R” endorsement required if pulling two trailers||July 2005|
|Montana||No||No||Class D license is valid for all RV’s||December 2005|
|North Carolina||No||Yes > 26k lb||Above 26,000 lb GVWR or GCWR requires non-commercial Class A or B||July 2005|
|North Dakota||No||No||None||July 2005|
|New Hampshire||No||No||Class D license is valid for all RV’s||January 2006|
|New Jersey||No||No||None||July 2005|
|New Mexico||No||Yes > 26k lb||Above 26,000 lb GVW requires class E||October 2008|
|Nevada||No||Yes > 10k lb||When towing trailer above 10,000 lb GVWR, requires “J” endorsement. Above 26,000 lb GVWR or GCWR requires non-commercial Class A or B||July 2005|
|New York||No||Y >26k lb.||Above 26,000 lb GVWR requires “R” endorsement. A new law enacted 7/2005 has eliminated the non-CDL class C||January 2007|
|Pennsylvania||No||Yes > 26k lb||Above 26,000 lb GVWR or GCWR requires non-commercial Class A or B||September 2009|
|Rhode Island||No||No||RI statute 31-10.3-16 (5) specifically exempts RV’s||August 2007|
|South Carolina||No||Yes > 26k lb||Above 26,000 lb GVW requires Class E or F||January 2007|
|South Dakota||No||No||None||July 2005|
|Texas||No||Y > 26k lb||Above 26,000 lb GVWR or GCWR (while towing > 10,000 lb) requires non-commercial Class A or B||August 2007|
|Virginia||No||No||Information confirmed by a VA state trooper||June 2008|
|Wisconsin||No||Yes > 45′||RV exemption in CDL manual: “motor home, fifth wheel mobile home,… provided it isn’t longer than 45 feet”||July 2005|
|West Virginia||No||No||None||July 2005|
|Wyoming||No||Y > 26k lb||Above 26,000 lb GVWR or GCWR requires non-commercial Class A or B||July 2005|