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Old 07-26-2013, 08:05 PM   #29
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In California, you don't need a class B for any straight vehicle under 26,000 lbs. I would look online at your state DMV.
Actually California goes by length, not weight. If the coach is 40' or less, no special license required.
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Old 05-30-2015, 10:55 PM   #30
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Licensing Requirements

Here's a question that I have never seen answered. WE know about reciprocal agreements, i.e, if you are legal in your state of residence, you are legal in all states. But, what if you are not legal in your home state (like for instance you have a 41 footer and no class B Non-commercial) can you be legal in a state where there is no special licensing requirement?
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Old 05-30-2015, 11:04 PM   #31
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Here's a question that I have never seen answered. WE know about reciprocal agreements, i.e, if you are legal in your state of residence, you are legal in all states. But, what if you are not legal in your home state (like for instance you have a 41 footer and no class B Non-commercial) can you be legal in a state where there is no special licensing requirement?

There is a very real chance that your insurance company, could see the fact that you don't have the proper licence, in your state of residence or registry , as driving without a licence, and void your policy, in the event of an at fault accident.
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Old 05-31-2015, 09:43 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Grzly03 View Post
Here's a question that I have never seen answered. WE know about reciprocal agreements, i.e, if you are legal in your state of residence, you are legal in all states. But, what if you are not legal in your home state (like for instance you have a 41 footer and no class B Non-commercial) can you be legal in a state where there is no special licensing requirement?


Legal means just that and if you are NOT in your state than you will be reciprocally NOT in any other state.
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Old 05-31-2015, 10:02 AM   #33
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I've always though it was stupid to even have the Class B for a 45' MH when you can drive a truck with a under 10K 5th wheel that's way longer than 45' on a Class C by just taking the written RV test. Then if you go through all of the different CA laws, that even the LEOs don't understand, you'll never know if your legal or not. I think they wrote them just to totally confuse everyone.
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Old 05-31-2015, 10:37 AM   #34
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CDL (Commercial Drivers License) is not required for an RV. Some states do require a higher class license though. Here in WA nothing more than your standard license is required.
The above is the answer that most likely applies to your situtation.. Some states require a "Big Vehicle" endorsement.

CDL is only required if you are a paid, professional RV porter driving them from Point A to Point B on behalf of the owner,Dealer, Factory or someone who PAYS you to drive it.

If you are an "Owner/Operator/Resident" You are not driving commercial and thus do not need a CDL.

That said... Talk to your insurance agent.. CDL might make a differnce to him.. Not sure if it gets you a discount or a mark up... And not sure it is worth the cost..Else I'd get one. So let us know what you find out.
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Old 05-31-2015, 06:11 PM   #35
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CDL (Commercial Drivers License) is not required for an RV. Some states do require a higher class license though. Here in WA nothing more than your standard license is required.
I know that your post goes back to 2013, but just for the record there are 4 states the require a CDL to drive an RV if certain conditions are met. Just don't want anyone in those states to be unaware of the law:

DC >26K pounds requires CDL to drive a motorhome. (According to officials, a CDL is required above 26,000 lb. Must pass the CDL knowledge test, but the road test is not required.)

HI >26K pounds requires CDL to drive a motorhome. (Class 4 license required for trailers weighing more than 15,000 lb and less than 26,000 lb. CDL implied above 26,000 lb.)

IN > 45 feet requires CDL to drive a motorhome

WI > 45 feet requires CDL to drive a motorhome (RV exemption in CDL manual: "motor home, fifth wheel mobile home,... provided it isn't longer than 45 feet" )
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Information from Changing Gears with links to DL Web Site(s)
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Old 05-31-2015, 08:30 PM   #36
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I know that your post goes back to 2013, but just for the record there are 4 states the require a CDL to drive an RV if certain conditions are met. Just don't want anyone in those states to be unaware of the law:

DC >26K pounds requires CDL to drive a motorhome. (According to officials, a CDL is required above 26,000 lb. Must pass the CDL knowledge test, but the road test is not required.)

HI >26K pounds requires CDL to drive a motorhome. (Class 4 license required for trailers weighing more than 15,000 lb and less than 26,000 lb. CDL implied above 26,000 lb.)

IN > 45 feet requires CDL to drive a motorhome

WI > 45 feet requires CDL to drive a motorhome (RV exemption in CDL manual: "motor home, fifth wheel mobile home,... provided it isn't longer than 45 feet" )
-----------
Information from Changing Gears with links to DL Web Site(s)
Although not false what the Changing Gears website is saying, in practical terms, the reason many of us always say that a CDL is not required in any state pertaining to driving an RV because, again, in "practical terms" it really isn't.

Here's why:

In DC, they may require a CDL to drive vehicles over 26,000 lbs GVWR but no road test or medical card is required ...therefore, it really isn't a CDL by definition and is similar to the Class B non-commercial license that some states require. In many of those states, the same written test is given to both CDL and non-commercial Class B applicants.

In both Indiana and Wisconsin, it is already inherently illegal to operate any single vehicle over 45-feet in length. Most states limit single vehicle length to 45-feet or under and it is prohibited unless the vehicle is qualified for a permit given and obtained to operate an over-sized vehicle. That's the reason RV manufacturers will keep length to a maximum of 45-feet. So for practical purposes, residents of Indiana and Wisconsin aren't going to have a motorhome over 45-feet long anyway.

And that leaves Hawaii. Changing Gears uses the terminology "implied" as it must be a murky definition in their laws as to the size/weight of an RV for the driver to need a CDL. I'm thinking because there's not many residents of Hawaii who will want to own an RV over 26,000 lbs. GVWR. Sure, there are some diesel pushers on the islands but Hawaii is generally an RV unfriendly state to begin with.
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Old 05-31-2015, 10:56 PM   #37
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I guess it all comes down to the eye of the beholder, the officer that stopped anyone, and the judge, as to how the law is to be interpreted. I wonder which one would win.

I went to the WI DL manual and it specifically states in their manual that a CDL is required if the length is "longer" than 45 ft. I wonder how many MH's there are longer than 45'. I'm not going to take the time to research any of the other states manual. The person in their specific state can do the homework.

Thanks for the reply.

Edited: In regards to the question "do you need a CDL to be driving these class A RV," I guess the answer is, "It all depends on where you are and who you talk to."
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Old 05-31-2015, 11:16 PM   #38
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I've always though it was stupid to even have the Class B for a 45' MH when you can drive a truck with a under 10K 5th wheel that's way longer than 45' on a Class C by just taking the written RV test. Then if you go through all of the different CA laws, that even the LEOs don't understand, you'll never know if your legal or not. I think they wrote them just to totally confuse everyone.
The class b lic. is more about demonstrating your knowledge of operating things like air brakes, slack adjusters, air pressure drops... Things like this. It's not specifically tagged to size alone.

Its an easy test, but agree the laws are ambiguous, confusing, and a hassle..
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Old 06-01-2015, 06:08 AM   #39
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I guess it all comes down to the eye of the beholder, the officer that stopped anyone, and the judge, as to how the law is to be interpreted. I wonder which one would win.

I went to the WI DL manual and it specifically states in their manual that a CDL is required if the length is "longer" than 45 ft. I wonder how many MH's there are longer than 45'. I'm not going to take the time to research any of the other states manual. The person in their specific state can do the homework.

Thanks for the reply.

Edited: In regards to the question "do you need a CDL to be driving these class A RV," I guess the answer is, "It all depends on where you are and who you talk to."
Wayne, I hope you didn't think I was criticizing what you wrote. If so, I apologize. What you said and pointed out is absolutely true. What the Changing Gears website is reporting may be factually correct. However, in practical terms, I believe we can demonstrate that even those three states and the District of Columbia that supposedly require a CDL to drive an RV under some conditions really doesn't quite make sense.

In Wisconsin, yes, it does it may specifically state that one does not need a CDL to operate an RV provided it isn't over 45-feet. However, it makes no sense since it is illegal to operate a vehicle over 45-feet in that state.

Wisconsin Statute 348.07(1) Length of vehicles (click here):
Quote:
"No person, without a permit therefor, may operate on a highway any single vehicle with an overall length in excess of 45 feet..."
Indiana has the same length restrictions for single vehicles in general. And as stated previously, so do most states limit vehicle length to 45-feet.

Are there RVs over 45-feet? Sure, there are a few. Here's an example ...click here. But from what I gather, those drivers take the chance of not being cited in states that limit vehicle length to 45-feet which i believe are most if not all states. I know on one forum, somebody asked the driver of one if he ever had any problems with LEO citing him for being over-length and he said that on the few accessions that he had encounters with LEO that they were so curious about his luxury RV from a personal standpoint that once he gave them a tour of the inside and offered them coffee and donuts, he was sent on his way.

So if the residents of Wisconsin or Indiana choose to break the law and drive a single vehicle that is over the length limit, why would it make sense for them, on the other hand, to comply with the law and get a CDL because the law requires it for an RV over 45-feet?? ...which again is illegal to be operated in Wisconsin or Indiana in the first place???

So that's all that I was trying to point out ...and not to criticize you nor the Changing Gears website. Both you and Changing Gears are technically correct but those states being correct in a "practical" sense is another matter.
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Old 06-01-2015, 06:52 AM   #40
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read all these comments and all bs aside. if you live in pa yes you need a class b license period. and you ask how do I know this, I know lots of people from there with class a motorhomes and this is what they all tell me. I don't have to worry I have a cdl a with all endorsements so im good to go anywhere. good luck in your new adventure
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Old 06-01-2015, 10:16 AM   #41
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TX requires a special RV license over a certain size. I know folks from there that have it. But, the way the OP put the question, driving in DC, WI, CA... without an RV endorsement when you are from NH, SD, WA... is NOT illegal. The length of your rig IS to be considered in some states and we must be responsible as RVers in those states to honor their road laws.
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Old 06-01-2015, 11:18 AM   #42
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The class b lic. is more about demonstrating your knowledge of operating things like air brakes, slack adjusters, air pressure drops... Things like this. It's not specifically tagged to size alone.

Its an easy test, but agree the laws are ambiguous, confusing, and a hassle..
You would think that however even 40' have air brakes and all the other items that over 40' do. In fact there are 40' that even have a tag axel. I would bet that most anyone that's driven a 40' could hop into a 45' and be handling it just as well after a few minutes practice.

Don't know about other states such as TX but for CA at least it's all about the extra 5' and not about having any more knowledge than is needed for a 40'.
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