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Old 09-25-2014, 02:02 PM   #1
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Special Drivers License for RVs

My wife and I had planned to keep our Class A CDLs after retirement until governmental red tape made it no longer feasible. I have owned a motor home for over seven years and didn't think anything about it when we decide to let our CDLs lapse. A number of RV dealers and other media in SC advertise that all one needs to operate a class A motor home is a driver's license to drive a car.

IT AIN'T SO SPORTS FANS!

I own a Class A Rockwood Embassy diesel pusher with a GVW of 19,000 lbs. I recently bought a Monaco Diplomat rated at 29,000 lbs. I didn't think about my driver's license, until one day a little light went of in my mind, and it said do some research on the subject.

I checked with the SCDMV and discovered that a regular driver's license is okay for a Class A motor home until it exceeds 26,000 lbs. To drive a motor home that weighs 26,001 lbs. or more requires a class E license, and if you plan to pull anything behind the coach, you must have a class F license.

The next day I went to the local DMV early and was third in line. While we were waiting for them to unlock the door, the gentleman in front of me said he just learned of the special requirement. He has been pulling a toad behind a 40' Class A for two and a half years when he found out about the requirement that he have a class F license. The requirement also applies to camper trailers and tow vehicle.

I SAY ALL THAT TO SAY THIS...UNLESS YOU KNOW WITH 100% CERTAINTY THAT YOU HAVE THE RIGHT DRIVER'S LICENSE FOR YOUR RV COMBO CALL YOUR DMV. If you have an accident and the other driver is at fault, you are still in big trouble if you are driving without a license.
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Old 09-25-2014, 02:10 PM   #2
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Also remember that different states have different requirements. WA only requires a regular license as ALL RV's are exempt.
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Old 09-25-2014, 04:45 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RandyS549 View Post
My wife and I had planned to keep our Class A CDLs after retirement until governmental red tape made it no longer feasible. I have owned a motor home for over seven years and didn't think anything about it when we decide to let our CDLs lapse. A number of RV dealers and other media in SC advertise that all one needs to operate a class A motor home is a driver's license to drive a car.
Can you give me more info on why you allowed your CDL to lapse? I have a Class B and have not driven commercially for over 10 years. I do not have a medical certificate any longer and according to DE DMV don't need one as long as I'm not driving commercially. Other than an eye check and new picture at renewal time I am not seeing any additional red tape. Just curious as to your reasoning.
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Old 09-25-2014, 05:14 PM   #4
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Here is a pretty good webpage that answers a lot of questions on this subject.

RV Driver's License Requirements
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Old 09-26-2014, 06:17 PM   #5
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Sounds like a move to Florida is in order...
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Old 09-26-2014, 10:31 PM   #6
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We are about to purchase our first DP here in Texas and I have to say I am shocked at how many owners and even people in the RV business claim you can drive a 40ft DP weighing 27k, 28k or even more with a standard license when the TX DPS office is clear that over 26000 requires a class a or class b license depending on the weight of the toad.
Dutifully studying my book now to prep for my test.....
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Old 09-26-2014, 10:42 PM   #7
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My wife and I just got our Class B non commercial license 2 months ago here in Nevada. Have been driving 34,000lb plus, 40' DP for almost 10 years and thought I was totally legal and most of my friends are still doing the same thing. My guess is probably 50% of the folks driving 26,001 or heaver RV's are doing so illegally. It is an easy test but almost no one even at the DMV know nothing about special licensing for RV drivers from my experience.
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Old 09-26-2014, 11:12 PM   #8
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No need to call DMV - here's a website you can check first:

RV Driver's License Requirements
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Old 09-26-2014, 11:33 PM   #9
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Georgia no special license required.
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Old 09-27-2014, 06:20 AM   #10
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Don't waste your time calling a DMV office. They know how to do the things they do all the time, and have little or no clue about anything else. Call the state DOT, or Commercial Licensing Office-- look for some name like that.

When we first got our coach we wound up driving illegally for 18 months because two different clerks at the NC DMV, in response to specific, direct questions, told us no special licensing was required for our DS. Last winter we relocated to TX, and now hold TX Class B.
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Old 09-27-2014, 10:34 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by TXwannabe View Post
We are about to purchase our first DP here in Texas and I have to say I am shocked at how many owners and even people in the RV business claim you can drive a 40ft DP weighing 27k, 28k or even more with a standard license when the TX DPS office is clear that over 26000 requires a class a or class b license depending on the weight of the toad.
Dutifully studying my book now to prep for my test.....
Be sure you specify that you want a Class B NON COMMERCIAL license in Texas. There are differences and a class B CDL has other restrictions that you don't want.

Yes, there are a lot of drivers operating without a valid license if they don't have the correct one for their state. With reciprocal licensing agreements between states, if you are legal in your home state, then you are good nationwide.
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Old 09-27-2014, 01:09 PM   #12
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Glad I live in Florida.
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Old 09-27-2014, 05:20 PM   #13
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Also remember that different states have different requirements. WA only requires a regular license as ALL RV's are exempt.
WI too!
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Old 09-27-2014, 05:29 PM   #14
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It's interesting that Florida's law appears to be the same as Texas. Texas has an exemption from a COMMERCIAL Driver's License for RV use, but then in another chapter requires a Class B Non Commercial for any vehicle weighing 26,001 pounds or more towing a load of less than 10,000 pounds.

Just looked at Florida's statutes to compare to Texas and in Section 322.54 a Class B license is required for vehicles 26,001 or more. The RV exemption in Florida's statute 322.53 also says the exemption is for a Commercial DL.
Chapter 322 Section 54 - 2011 Florida Statutes - The Florida Senate
Chapter 322 Section 53 - 2011 Florida Statutes - The Florida Senate

It sounds like a call to your state DMV or to a local police agency that has a Commercial Vehicle Enforcement (CVE) division might be in order. There is a lot of misinformation floating around about different state requirements.
Just looked again at the back of my Florida Class E license:

"Any non-commercial vehicle with a GVWR less than 26,001 lbs or any RV"

This was signed by Executive Director Julie Jones and Director of Motorist Services Clayton Boyd Walden, with a Rev Date of 09-01-12. Want me to send you a picture? That about sums it up Lt. Dan.......
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