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Old 04-17-2016, 06:40 AM   #1
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Special non CDL drivers license

If you talk to most rv dealers they will tell you that driving an RV doesn't require a special license... But here in Illinois you do.. Check with DMV in your state. A special non cdl license is required if your rv weighs more that 16000 lbs... And a different license is required over 26000 lbs or with air brakes. Not sure why we are being told different than the law

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Old 04-17-2016, 06:48 AM   #2
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In Illinois if your RV weighs more than 26001 lbs you are required to get a Class B non CDL license. You can take the written test for the Class B and obtain a permit which allows you to drive it for one year. After that you will need to take the behind the wheel test to get the permanent Class B non CDL. Your profile indicates your current coach is a 34 foot Bounder which I think has a gasoline engine. That coach is probably below the 26001 limit so you should be able to drive it on a conventional license. Should you ever upgrade to a DP, you probably will exceed that weight limit and need the Class B non CDL.


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Old 04-17-2016, 06:48 AM   #3
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Agree that many "assume" they know what they need but here's a great resource for checking.....

Home - AAA Digest of Motor Laws
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Old 04-17-2016, 06:59 AM   #4
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True. In NC, if your rig is over 26,001 lbs, you must have a non-commercial Class B license. If you tow anything over 10,001 lbs, you then need a Class A non-commercial license. Many states are the same, but some states don't have a requirement for anything other than a regular DL (i.e. Florida and Mass). If you're legal in your home state, then all other states are reciprocal.

The license requires a written test and a road test. Also an air brake test if you have air brakes.

Study the CDL manual for the written test, the pre-trip and in-cab inspection. None was hard. 50 questions. Google "CDL pre trip inspection" and watch some videos. The pre-trip inspection is the pretty much the same nationwide.

Road test in NC had me drive a few city streets and interstate with 2 lane changes. Easy driving. No parallel parking. Just watch out for and remember posted bridge clearances and weight ratings as you drive because he will ask you the ratings after you pass them. All interstate bridges are 15' unless marked ortherwise.

The risk you run if you don't have the proper license is that in an accident, your insurance may not cover you since you would be considered an unlicensed driver. No RV dealer will tell you this, nor will your insurance agent.
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Old 04-17-2016, 07:07 AM   #5
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Same here in NY If over 26000, then you need and "R" endorsement on your license. As to why the salesman said what he said - They don't care and will say what's necessary to sell an RV to you. When I bought ours I questioned him as to why he didn't enquirer if I could legally drive the motor home, his reply, He didn't care that was my problem.
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Old 04-17-2016, 08:16 AM   #6
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South Carolina requires a Class E special license for vehicles over 26000 pounds and a Class F for such vehicles if they tow something. Many motorhome owners in the state who I have talked to acknowledge the law but don't bother to comply. I drove mine for three years without the license before deciding to become legal last year.
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Old 04-17-2016, 08:30 AM   #7
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Texas law is basically the same. Any vehicle 26,001 and higher requires a non commercial class B license. I took my test while my new DP still had the temporary buyer's tag on it. I didn't want to take any chances with not being licensed.
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Old 04-17-2016, 08:32 AM   #8
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I think most of these states indicate GVWR (gross weight) - not actual weight. So even if you're under the limits, if you can carry more, you need the license.

We hear the same thing down here:
1) Yea, 3/4 ton towable.
2) Don't need a license.
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Old 04-17-2016, 09:42 AM   #9
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Maryland is another state where a "higher level" of license is required. We lived there for a long time and the RV dealers (at least through the '90's) blatantly disregarded the law and the police seemed to do little to enforce it. Now that we don't live there any longer, I don't know if this has changed,
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Old 04-18-2016, 02:03 AM   #10
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Ooooh Are you picking scabs with this one! In 2003 when we bought our Motor Home, I went to the local DMV license and discussed it with them (In Texas)

They said, "No problem. You regular license will work fine." Then I began to hear rumbles on the internet. We Finally went back to them and they said well, yes we need a license, but they don't have any books from which to study. We finally got the books and them they figured out there was a SNAFU and because I use a CPAP machine, I needed to go to my sleep doctor. Then of course, my Sleep Doctor had retired so I had to take another sleep test which is Soooo much fun.

I finally got my license (and Thank GOD I beat my wife's score) and after only six months hassle!
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Old 04-18-2016, 02:31 AM   #11
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Funny thing to is, we have lots of law enforcement friends here in NC that don't know there is such a change in the law requiring the special license.

Although DW and I both have a class (A) CDL, we don't discuss that licensing issue with those LEO friends that don't know about the changes in the requirements, or the length laws for RV's. Some things are best kept secret, LOL..

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Old 04-18-2016, 05:05 AM   #12
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That's too funny.. I agree... Boy lots of response on this one wow
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Old 04-18-2016, 05:51 AM   #13
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Dtwallace, I'm with you. I called 4 DMV offices here in NC and got 4 different answers regarding whether I needed an upgraded license. No one knew what a class B non-commercial license was. Couldn't get Raleigh, naturally.

I too know several LEO's and some of them knew, so I went back to DMV and told them what I wanted. After giving me the wrong written test the first time, they finally got it together and gave me the correct test. They first said that a skills test was not required (wrong), but later said it was required. Took it, air brake test and simple driving test. No pre-inspection test?????

Got my Class B, but a bureaucratic nightmare.

My LEO friends said in the event of an accident, they would check the GVWR placard in the coach and then check to see if I was licensed for the weight (coach GVWR is 54,000lbs). If not, they would cite me as "unlicensed" on the accident report, leading to a fine and probably non-coverage from my insurance company.
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Old 04-18-2016, 09:47 AM   #14
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Actually there are only 14 states that require any type of special license to drive a motorhome depending on the vehicle weight rating.

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