You finally bought a Class C RV, you are looking forward to hitting the open road and realizing your dream to become an RVer.
However, there is something that stops you in your tracks. You begin to wonder if you need to have a special license to operate an RV.
This is perhaps one of the most popular thoughts that people have when they become interested in the RV lifestyle. To answer the title question, in most cases, you don’t need to gain a special license to operate an RV.
That being said, there are more than a few RV specific license requirements that you have to be aware of.
This is typically dependent on the state you plan to drive your RV in and the weight of the RV. Now, this might seem like a lot to get through, but thankfully this article aims to break it all down so when you begin your RV journey you can do so with peace of mind.
A CDL or commercial license is the same type of license given to truckers and commercial bus operators. Some states require you to get the non-commercial version of the special license if you intend on driving weighty, large vehicles for your private use.
Now while there are quite a number of motorhome types and their license requirements differ, we are specifically focused on the Super C.
The great thing about this is that if you have already been issued a license in any state, then it is more than likely enough to drive an RV. That being said, this is only valid if you intend to drive a normal sized RV.
There are certain states that have additional licensing requirements before you are allowed to legally drive a vehicle with a weight of over 26,000 lbs. In some other states, the additional licensing requirements are for vehicles that can carry over 16 passengers.
You might wonder as an average RV user, what that means for you. If you will be required to get a special driver’s license to drive your Super C RV.
The great news is that a Super C RV falls right under the 26,000 lbs weight limit, so you will not be required to have a special driver’s license in any of the states.
However, if your RV happens to be above the weight limit or you intend on carrying more than 16 people, you will be required to get a special license.
Now that the question has been answered it is time to see what the licensing requirements for a Super C RV are. Class C RVs are perhaps some of the best RV classes for numerous reasons.
For one, a Class C RV can fit all the luxuries usually found in a Class A into a much smaller and yet affordable package.
Additionally, you do not need to get another special license to add to your already existing one, given that a Class C RV typically weight between 10,000 to 12,000 lbs.
It is important to note that while adequate research has gone into this article to ensure that the information to be given concerning the laws is updated and accurate, laws can and do change.
If you are unsure about if your state requires you to have a license before you are able to drive an RV, it is best to directly check with your state’s DMV before making a purchase or renting an RV.
However, in the event that you are interested in driving one of the larger RVs, the list below contains that states where you may be required to attain additional licensing.
The states below have laws which require a commercial license for those looking to drive vehicles with a weight of over 26,000 lbs.
While the specifiers for each individual state might vary, such as some state requiring only a single vehicle to weigh more than the limit and others accounting for numerous towed vehicles with a total weight of more than 26,000 lbs.
Nevertheless, the states below are the ones that might give you a cause for concern if you intend on going big.
- Washington D.C
- New Mexico
- Wisconsin: Wisconsin does not have a weight limit, what it does have is a length limit, so you will have to get a CDL if your rig is more than 45 feet.
In the states below, you might be required to get a special license if you aim to drive rigs that weigh more than the 26,000 lbs limit. However, the license you require won’t be a CDL.
As with earlier, you will want to check the details with your state’s DMV, as laws and statutes can change.
Nevertheless, if you intend on driving a vehicle that weighs more than the limit of 26,000 lbs, regardless of if it is a combined or single weight, you will be required to have a special license in the states below:
- North Carolina
- New York
- South Carolina
States with no special license requirements
These are the states that enable you to drive your RV without needing to get an additional license to supplement your regular one. They are:
- West Virginia
- South Dakota
- Rhode Island
- North Dakota
- New Jersey
- New Hampshire
At first glance, particularly when researching it might appear that trying to find out if you are able to legally drive an RV on a state’s road without requiring a supplementary license can be frustrating, confusing or even challenging.
The truth is there are numerous factors one has to consider, however, once you understand what you are searching for, it becomes quite easy.
One thing to always remember is that, if you intend on driving an RV or vehicle that weighs more than 26,000 lbs, you will require a special license, be it a CDL or otherwise.
The most important thing to remember when you are still unsure is to contact your state’s DMV. They will most definitely have the most updated information regarding driving an RV legally. You should be fine so long as you follow the rules of the road.
So before you make the purchase of that lovely Super C RV final, find out how much it weighs and what your state requires you to do before you can legally put it on the road.