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Old 12-09-2005, 05:50 PM   #1
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I have seen numrous statements to the effect that motorhomes don't require a special license. I am not sure that is true in todays megacoach world. We happen to have CDLs, but in our state a regular driver's license permits you to drive a vehicle up to 26,000 pounds. We have several friends with regular driver's licenses and 40 to 45 ft diesel MH that weigh more than 26K. In my opinion if they are in an accident, they may be in serious trouble in a court room.
I have not seen this topic discussed, but I would expect if you look on the back of your license it tells you how heavy a rig you can legally drive.
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Old 12-09-2005, 06:38 PM   #2
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I would guess that if you have a 40' to 45' motorhome, you can also afford a good lawyer.
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Old 12-09-2005, 06:50 PM   #3
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Motorhomes are exempt from CDL requirements.
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Old 12-10-2005, 02:06 AM   #4
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This topic has been discussed and can be found by clicking on the "find" button to locate. If you own the coach you do not need a CDL. If not, you DO, to drive it legally in some states.
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Old 12-10-2005, 11:53 AM   #5
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Pennsylvania where we live is another state that requires a special class B license for driving a vehicle in excess of 26,000 lbs. The license though is not a CDL.

A CDL stands for Commmercial Drivers License and is required when "driving for hire" A non commercial (or regular license) is available in various classes.

An regular class C license is good for up to 26,000 lbs, a Regular (non-commercial) Class B license is for driving a vehicle over 26,000 and pulling a trailer under 10,000lbs. A Class A license is required when pulling a trailer over 10,000 lbs.

I have a Class B license which did require a over the road driving test administered by the State Police. There is no additional fee for the test, and only a one time $ 5.00 appliction/testing fee.

It's certainly worth getting the correct license that your state requires.
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Old 12-10-2005, 12:56 PM   #6
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North Carolina is very similar to what Joe has indicated for Pennsylvania. I carry a NC Class "A" license. On the back of it it reads:
Quote:
A combination of vehicles that is exempt from CDL requirements when the towed unit has a GVWR of 10,001 pounds or more.
If you live in a state that has Non-CDL Classes of licenses, it might be a good idea to read what it says on the license. If you're driving a Motorhome that's over 26,000# GVWR or dragging a fifth wheel wheel that's over 10,000# GVWR you might not be legal.

Check it out for your state, they all are a little different.
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Old 12-10-2005, 01:12 PM   #7
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There is no single answer - each state has its own laws and you MUST conform with the licensing law of the state that issued your driving license. Every other state you drive in will consider you legal IF you are legal in your home state, even though the requirements may be different in that state (it's called reciprocity).

Some states exempt all vehicles in private use, regardless of size. Some exempt private vehicles only up to 26,000 lbs and some issue special classes of licenses for non-commercial use, sometimes the same as a CDL but designated non-commercial and sometimes just a different class or type of license.

So the only answer is to check with your state, or ask someone who has already learned the answer that applies to your state. An answer based on another state's licensing laws is irrelevent to you.
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Old 12-10-2005, 01:45 PM   #8
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Proper drivers license is a question that is asked many times on all RV forums. Best reply: check your State. Most States have the info on-line and is easy to check out. Here is the info from SC:

Class D Passenger vehicles and all non-commercial vehicles that do not exceed 26,000 pounds gross vehicle weight.
Class E Non-commercial single unit vehicles that exceed 26,000 pounds gross vehicle weight.
Class F Non-commercial combination vehicles that exceed 26,000 pounds gross vehicle weight.
Class G Moped.
Class M Motorcycle.

Looks like a Class E Non-Commercial license to drive these large motorhomes.

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Old 12-10-2005, 03:06 PM   #9
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I upgraded my license to a CDL with air brake endorsement when we purchased our moho. I found the learning that took place made me a MUCH better driver. I'd recommend that drivers of any large vehicle or truck/5th wheel upgrade to a CDL.
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Old 12-10-2005, 03:06 PM   #10
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There is no single answer - each state has its own laws and you MUST conform with the licensing law of the state that issued your driving license. Every other state you drive in will consider you legal IF you are legal in your home state, even though the requirements may be different in that state (it's called reciprocity).
If I'm over 26,000 pounds and only have a class A PA driver's license how is Florida going to give me a ticket???
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Old 12-10-2005, 07:16 PM   #11
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They may catch you at a way station if they do a spot check on your license or if they pull you over for a moving violation or if you are involved in an collision. In Conecticut they have been known to impound your drivers license on the spot which then makes you a pedestrian if you don't have another driver in the vehicle who does have a valid license for that class of vehicle. They use to drive you to the nearest rest stop or exit and arrange to have your vehicle towed and stored until you could make the appropriate arrangements. Well that was the way I remember it from 20 years ago. It is not a bad idea to verify with you local License Beurau what the requirements are in the juristiction where you live.
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Old 12-12-2005, 06:40 AM   #12
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If I'm over 26,000 pounds and only have a class A PA driver's license how is Florida going to give me a ticket???

I'm not sure what you are asking, Tom. How does any state give you a ticket for anything? If they don't catch you, of course there is no ticket. Same for bank robbery - no jail if you don't get caught. But if your license gets checked, say at a spot check (rare), or as a result of an accident or some traffic law infraction, you may get caught. They don't have to weigh you - a GVWR over 26,000 would be sufficient.

I would think the worst scenario is being involved in an accident where the other driver is not clearly at fault. An attorney would be sure to jump on the fact if your license was insufficient for the size of vehicle.

That said, I would say the chances are slim that anybody would ever know.

The good news is that FLorida won't care, because they do not require more than a standard passenger car driving license for any private motorhome of any weight.
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Old 12-12-2005, 07:53 AM   #13
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I'm not sure what you are asking, Tom. How does any state give you a ticket for anything?
What I don't understand is how FL can enforce a law that is not a FL law violation. The officer would have to be versed in every state license law.
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Old 12-12-2005, 11:34 AM   #14
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Tom N,

It depends on which law you are refering.

Florida exempts motorhome drivers from CDL requirements, so you are good to go when driving in Florida.

However, you are not exempt from overall length laws, therefore if your motorhome happened to be 50 feet long, you could be cited. If your motorhome and pulled trailer exceeded 65 feet, you could be cited.

You could be cited for an rv that exceeded weight limits for the road or bridge.

There are, of course, many other examples, but as far as drivers licenses are concerned, Florida will let you operate with your standard license that everyone gets.
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