Do I need a CDL to drive an RV?

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
Alaska No No None July 2005
Alabama No No None July 2005
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
Delaware No No None June 2011
Florida No No Class E license is valid for all RV’s July 2005
Georgia No No None July 2005
Hawaii Yes > 26k lb Yes > 15k lb CDL implied above 26,000 lb. July 2005
Iowa No No None July 2005
Idaho No No None 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
Kentucky No No None July 2005
Louisiana No No None 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
Maine No No None July 2005
Michigan No Y > 1 trailer “R” endorsement required if pulling two trailers July 2005
Minnesota No No None July 2005
Mississippi No No None July 2005
Missouri No No None 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
Nebraska 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
Ohio No No None July 2005
Oklahoma No No None July 2005
Oregon No No None July 2005
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
Tennessee No No None September 2010
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
Utah No No None June 2010
Virginia No No Information confirmed by a VA state trooper June 2008
Vermont No No None July 2005
Washington No No None July 2005
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

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