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Old 10-04-2018, 11:02 AM   #1
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How'd you get your RV License

Hi everyone,
So, I'm completely new to RVing, don't even have an RV yet but the wife and I are pretty inclined towards a lightly used Class A DP. In researching how to even get started, it seems that in many states actually getting licensed is something of a chicken or the egg scenario.

In MD where I live, you need to first get a Learner's Permit, but that requires passing a skills test, to which you must bring your own RV. But, if I don't have an RV because I don't have a license for one and couldn't rent one because I don't have the proper endorsements on my license to do so, how am I supposed to obtain an RV to pass a skills test for the learners permit?

I asked the MVA/DMV about this and they told me to consider taking a CDL class. Which, okay but that seems like overkill. I don't think I should need to take a full blown CDL class when all I'm looking to do is obtain a learner's permit for a Non-Commercial Class B license.

I've searched around for RV schools and training, but the Googlebox doesn't turn up much in the DC, MD, NoVA areas. The ones on the internet that come to you require that you provide your own RV, which to me is great if you already own an RV and just want some advanced or refresher driver training but its useless if you're just getting started because clearly, you don't have an RV yet.

Anyone out there have any insight into how to get over this first obstacle of getting licensed properly?
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Old 10-04-2018, 11:14 AM   #2
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Here in NC there is NO license needed for RVing other than your standard drivers license. Recreational Vehicles are exempt from CDLs or other endorsements. That includes towing travel trailers, fifth wheels, boats, and driving motorhomes.
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Old 10-04-2018, 11:15 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Mapnerd View Post
Hi everyone,
So, I'm completely new to RVing, don't even have an RV yet but the wife and I are pretty inclined towards a lightly used Class A DP. In researching how to even get started, it seems that in many states actually getting licensed is something of a chicken or the egg scenario.

In MD where I live, you need to first get a Learner's Permit, but that requires passing a skills test, to which you must bring your own RV. But, if I don't have an RV because I don't have a license for one and couldn't rent one because I don't have the proper endorsements on my license to do so, how am I supposed to obtain an RV to pass a skills test for the learners permit?

I asked the MVA/DMV about this and they told me to consider taking a CDL class. Which, okay but that seems like overkill. I don't think I should need to take a full blown CDL class when all I'm looking to do is obtain a learner's permit for a Non-Commercial Class B license.

I've searched around for RV schools and training, but the Googlebox doesn't turn up much in the DC, MD, NoVA areas. The ones on the internet that come to you require that you provide your own RV, which to me is great if you already own an RV and just want some advanced or refresher driver training but its useless if you're just getting started because clearly, you don't have an RV yet.

Anyone out there have any insight into how to get over this first obstacle of getting licensed properly?

The only thing left is to move to Florida. Now I know this sounds like a feeble attempt at humor but Florida considers a state of mind and you can have dual residencies. Find a mailing address and register the vehicle in Florida so when it is in Maryland then you are on a road trip. You do need a Florida drivers which is not a grey area but could be. Also insurance would probably be cheaper depending on where your address in Florida is. Additionally if you ever need a windshield replaced it will be free.

Not only that Florida dosent charge a tax on how much the MH is worth just because you have been successful enough to afford a pricey toy as some states do.

Worth considering.
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Old 10-04-2018, 11:18 AM   #4
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In Louisiana your Driverís License is already in your pocket.
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Old 10-04-2018, 11:22 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Flagstaff206 View Post
Here in NC there is NO license needed for RVing other than your standard drivers license. Recreational Vehicles are exempt from CDLs or other endorsements. That includes towing travel trailers, fifth wheels, boats, and driving motorhomes.
Sorry, but that is not the case. If you look at the back of your class C license, you are limited to below 26,001 lbs. My rv has a GVWR of 34,000 lbs., so a non-cdl class B license is required to be legal. There are also limits on how much you can tow on a class C license.
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Old 10-04-2018, 11:26 AM   #6
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actually in MD you have to take the written test first at the time of the learners issuance...you can pull the commercial manual off line or grab a hard copy at the branch office to study for it...after that then you can take the skills test for license issuance after a certain wait period...thats when you need the rig for the actual drive test and youll need someone to come with you to the testing with a class B or A at that point as they will check that along with proof of insurance and registration...license is issued at end of passing the skill test...I looked into all of this about a year ago and there are no noncommercial schools around only commercial unfortunatley
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Old 10-04-2018, 11:30 AM   #7
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Are you sure you have to take the driving skills test in a RV to get a learner's permit? In most states, a learner's permit only requires passing a written test which is followed by a driving test at a later date. Once you have the permit, then someone with a proper license can accompany you to the driving test. I went alone and the examiner never asked how I got there.
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Old 10-04-2018, 11:34 AM   #8
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Q: "How'd you get your RV License"

A: In a 1960's Mack B61 twin-screw dump truck in the 70's (Class 2, before CDL's even existed), and then a Class 1 in an R-model Mack with flatbed trailer in the late 70's, again before CDLs even existed. Class A CDL status came from answering a questionnaire, though in a practical sense, nothing changed.

But if your proposed DP is 26,000 lb or under, MD doesn't require a special license, AFAIK.

RV Driver's License Requirements

I believe my neighbor's Monaco LaPalma 36 DP has a GVWR a shade under 26k, for instance.

Driver's License Class Codes
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Old 10-04-2018, 11:35 AM   #9
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I suspect the MVA agent might have misunderstood me. A skills test for the learners permit seemed odd but I took what he said at face value. Only passing a written test to gain the learners permit seems more reasonable.
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Old 10-04-2018, 11:38 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by znt1186 View Post
Sorry, but that is not the case. If you look at the back of your class C license, you are limited to below 26,001 lbs. My rv has a GVWR of 34,000 lbs., so a non-cdl class B license is required to be legal. There are also limits on how much you can tow on a class C license.
RVs ARE exempt from CDL rulings as they are not classified as commercial. Us boaters had a go round with DMV over this a few years back and the final ruling was in out favor.
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Old 10-04-2018, 11:39 AM   #11
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It's gonna be over 26k. We're looking at the Thor Aria 4000, Fleetwood Discovery LXE 40G, Forrest River Berkshire XL 40C - big long RVs. Though if we might go back on that to something a little under 40 since 40' is usually the limit for national parks and such.
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Old 10-04-2018, 11:48 AM   #12
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RVs ARE exempt from CDL rulings as they are not classified as commercial. Us boaters had a go round with DMV over this a few years back and the final ruling was in out favor.


You are correct no cdl. Commercial drivers license Must have medical endorsement

Ok now
A NCL license is required
Non commercial license
No medical

Ncdl. A. And B

26000plus one pound

Must have one or the other

A letís you tow over 10000lb
B up to 10000 lb

I have ncdl class b

Ncdmv can help you sort it out
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Old 10-04-2018, 11:48 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by masdixdragon View Post
actually in MD you have to take the written test first at the time of the learners issuance...you can pull the commercial manual off line or grab a hard copy at the branch office to study for it...after that then you can take the skills test for license issuance after a certain wait period...thats when you need the rig for the actual drive test and youll need someone to come with you to the testing with a class B or A at that point as they will check that along with proof of insurance and registration...license is issued at end of passing the skill test...I looked into all of this about a year ago and there are no noncommercial schools around only commercial unfortunatley
Thanks masdixdragon, this is helpful and makes more sense. Shows what I get for taking what the MVA/DMV says at face value. By skills test, the agent probably meant written test.

Though, your response raises another question for me - where the heck am I gonna meet someone who will show me the ropes in their RV and let me use it for my driver's test?
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Old 10-04-2018, 12:15 PM   #14
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I have the MD RV license

I have the MD RV license. First you need to pass the written test for Class B noncommercial RV with airbrake endorsement test. Then you need to pass the precheck test where you walk around your RV pointing out things that you are supposed to check before driving. Then you need to pass the airbrake testing on your RV. Then you need to pass the road test in your RV.

The Frederick MVA office was the only office that knew about all these RV tests. They allowed me to bring my own RV by myself too. Technically you are supposed to bring someone who already has the license, which is why no other office would test me. This was many years ago when the Frederick office understood that I knew no one with the license.

For liability reasons, I refrain from letting anyone use my RV. But I am willing to help you learn your RV and accompany you to the test if you want. Simply let me know.

The MVA can be very frustrating, most people who work there have no idea about this RV license test. Some asked if I was a school bus driver or fire truck driver.

In another forum OP asked how to get experience. We bought our 2008 Gulfstream Tourmaster 43ft. diesel pusher from Queenstown RV in College Park, MD. I watched all the YouTube videos I could about driving big trucks or RVs. My relatives with big RVs also gave me tips. Delivery day was the first time for me driving an RV of any kind. I took it slow. I practiced and practiced and practiced. Then I took it to the MVA and passed.
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