Driving they say is a privilege. Yet very few people hold that viewpoint. For many, especially young teenagers, it is a right of passage. The defining line between childhood and adult status. Getting your driver’s license also means freedom, an attitude shared by many RV owners.
Can I Drive a Motorhome With a Car License? Yes, you can. That is one of the aspects that make owning an RV so attractive. There are no special licensing hoops to jump through. You can use your normal 5-year state or province driver’s license to tour the country when you get too old to work.
To learn more about what license you need to drive your RV just continue to read our article. It contains the information you need to make sure you can own and drive your favorite retirement or pre-retirement toy. Of course, you don’t have to retire to enjoy driving an RV.
Mostly, you do not have to change your car driver’s license in order to drive an RV. As long as you remain with a Class A or lower RV you are good to go. That is good news for those who would like to try the RV experience long before they are forced to leave their jobs.
You can easily rent and drive a nice RV to see if it is something you want to do when you have lots of time on your hands.
This is something that you have to investigate on a state-by-state basis. Most states allow you to use your regular car’s license as long as your RV weighs less than 26,000 pounds.
Once the RV goes past that weight boundary you will need to get a commercial license if you want to use a heavier RV. Because of the confusing nature of RV licensing rules, you need to check with each state first to make sure your car license is enough for you.
If the state you live in requires you to have a special license, then there are normally only 2 types you can get. One is the non-commercial version which allows you to drive certain RVs.
The other is a commercial license that allows you to drive the heavier rigs that exceed that magic 26,000 pound line. This is the same CDL license you need to drive big rigs and buses. If a vehicle is designed to carry 16 or more passengers, you will need to have a CDL.
In Canada, and more specifically the province of Ontario, a G license is enough to drive a motorhome. If the RV weighs less than 24,250 pounds or 11,000 kgs. Also, a G license lets you tow a vehicle with an RV as long as the combined weight meets the same restriction.
The class G license is equal to a class A,B, C, D, E and F license. To get the full story on this category just click this link
Yes, in both America and Canada a Class D license is allowed to operate an RV. In America, the weight restriction is still the 26,000-pound mark mentioned above. In Canada, it should be the same weight restriction as to the Class G since the two licenses are equal.
But the problem is that each state makes its own rules. To get state-specific restrictions and permissions you would have to contact the state or province you are living in.
Some states may restrict the size of the RV you can drive with a normal car license/ By size we mean length. California has a 40 and 45-foot length limit on some of its licenses. It is best to contact their DMV office to see how those restrictions apply to RVs.
In fact, California is the only state to place a length restriction on its license classes. But to make sure, double-check with your State’s DMV in case we missed anything.
As we stated earlier, each state makes up its own rules. If you want to buy an register an RV in a State that isn’t your home, you may need to have the right license in order to do so. To get the most accurate information, you would need to contact the individual state’s you want to make your purchase or registration.
For the following states, and we did not research all 50, here are some requirements for driving an RV. This information should put you on the right track and give you an idea what to expect from those states we did not mention.
This state does require that you have a special license to drive an RV. They also require a non-commercial license for vehicles that weigh over 26,000 pounds or towing 10,000 pounds.
To make sure you get the right information, contact the California CHP office or the local DMV. Remember California does have a length requirement as well. Don’t assume that because you didn’t need a special license before that you do not need one now.
We are going to put the Florida statute here so you can check for yourself what it exactly says. We will try to do that for all the states we mention as well. But the good news is you do not need a special license to drive an RV in this state- Florida (Fla. Stat. § 332.53).
Making sure is a great way to avoid being sorry if you do not double-check and drive in the wrong state.
Alabama is like Florida. You do not need a special license to drive an RV. If you want to look up the statute, here it is- Alabama (Ala. Code § 32-6-49.7). Most RVs are of the lower classes which means you may not be driving anywhere close to the 26,000-pound weight limit.
Even Class A RVs do not all reach or pass that restriction.
If you want to enjoy those great Texas bar-b-ques, you may have to have a special license to drive in their state. The state requires its citizens to have a special license to operate an RV.
One of the important pieces of data we haven’t found is if there are exceptions to these state rules. But since that 26,000-pound limit seems pretty much across the board, it is doubtful you will need a special license if you are from out of state.
This state joins the ranks of those which do not require a special license to drive an RV. This may be because there are so many snowbirds that flock to the state in the winter.
If you want, you can read the statute here- Arizona (Ark. Code § 28-3102). One of the items that help make a difference in licensing is if you are using your RV for private or commercial use. These classifications will determine if you need to upgrade your license or not.
This state follows Arizona into that non-special license classification. You can drive your RV to your heart’s content in this state without needing an upgrade. The Colorado (Colo. Rev. Stat. § 42-2-402) says so.
But the secret to maintaining this freedom is to make sure you and your fellow RV owners keep their driving records clean. Nothing changes a law faster than bad driving habits.
Three in a row. Here is another state where you do not need to upgrade your license and get special permission to drive an RV. If you doubt our word, here is the statute that governs this topic- Georgia (OCGA § 40-5-142).
Being the home to about 6 or more Interstates may have had some influence on the Georgia legislature. A lot of RVs and tourist dollars pass through the state on those interstates.
Illinois (625 ILCS § 5/6-500) tells us that this state is number 4 in a row. And you would think this should be home since Illinois is the capital of RV manufacturing. Not having to worry about upgrading your license allows you to concentrate on driving and not losing more money to hidden fees and costs.
You want to keep your mind on the road and not if you met all the requirements to drive an RV.
That old song, Indiana wants me, I can’t go back there comes to mind when we wrote this section. The good news is you can go back there because you do not need a special RV license to drive your favorite holiday rig.
In this case, Indiana (CDL Manual) gives everyone the straight story in not requiring a special license for RV driving. The mid-west does not have a lot of hills either making driving your rig a lot more fun.
Our track record is still going strong. This is another state where you do not need a special license to drive an RV. Here is the state’s statute so you can double-check our word- Idaho (I.C. § 49-302).
The thing about Idaho, you need to be fairly experienced driver to manage and navigate all the mountain roads that the state has in its northern and western regions. The eastern part of the state is pretty tame though.
Our string is broken as Kansas does require a special license. That license is a CDL or a commercial driver’s license. These upgrades should not be that hard to obtain. If you have a clean driving record the requirements should not be a problem.
Just check with the Kansas DMV to see what requirements you need to meet and pass before you get permission to drive an RV. In fact, Kansas is only one of 8 states who do.
We are back on track once again as Louisiana is not one of those 8 states. Louisiana (LSA-RS § 32:408) lets you know all the specifics surrounding their decision and makes sure you can get to where you are going driving your RV.
Enjoy that Cajun cooking as you drive in the state. That is one of the best things about RV life. You get to experience different cultures within your own country.
That was short-lived as Nevada may not require you to have a CDL to drive your RV. But it does require you to have a special license. Talk to your DMV officials or state highway patrol to make sure you get the correct information on what you have to do to obtain that special license.
The only thing you need to be wary of and guard against is that you do not gamble your special license money away.
The great state of Ohio, the home of The Ohio State University, does not require you to have a special license to drive your RV. You can go to those Ohio State Buckeye tailgate parties in style and cook yourself up a feast before the game.
Just make sure you do not drink before you drive RVs are not exempt from drinking or open container laws. Here is their statute laying the law out for you Ohio (Ohio Rev. Code § 4506.3).
This state follows Nevada in its RV license department. You need a special license to operate an RV within their borders, for residents for sure. The good news is that you do not need a CDL.
The State’s DMV should have all the information you need to find out what you need to do to get that special license. The best way to stay out of trouble is to make sure you abide by the rules of the State and country you are in.
Tennessee is a free state as well. No special licenses, no CDL are needed to drive your RV. That makes living in this country music state a lot easier, especially if you are not fond of country music.
Tennessee (T.C.A § 55-50-102) provides you with the information you need to make sure you remain a law-abiding citizen. As you drive through the state, just put that hard classic rock station on to drown out that country twang and relax as you drive.
This is the final state that we will look at in this article. It too doesn’t require a special license for you to drive your RV- Utah (Utah Code § 53-3-102). In all, only 8 states require a CDL to drive your RV.
10 states require a special license. That leaves you with 32 states where you can use your regular driver’s license to vacation in the RV of your choice.
Just as each state has its own rules governing RV operation, so do different countries. When you plan on crossing the northern order be prepared to face a few different rules than what you have followed in America.
In British Columbia you should be able to tow TT and other RV trailers as well as drive different RVs with the standard Class 5 license that province issues. Also, in Canada you may have to be above the age of 25 to drive and rent an RV in that great nation.
If you want to rent an RV in Canada, you need to have a standard valid license in Latin lettering. The license is also supposed to be older than 1 year The class of the license can be a standard one that you use in your home state.
You do not need an international license to drive in Canada, either for a regular car or your RV. Your current American license that allows you to drive an RV in America is enough.
Ontario has recently revised its driving license rules and has created a separate license just for RVs. But that doesn‘t mean you cannot use other class licenses to drive an RV in that province. In fact, you can use a Class A, D and G to operate your RV.
A class A license gives you permission to drive any vehicle weighing over 10,000 pounds. The RV or TT has to be for personal use only and it meets Transport Canada’s standards. Also, only one vehicle can be towed with the RV attached to the tow vehicle via a 5th wheel hook up.
A class D license lets you drive an RV or tow a trailer that weighs over 24,250 pounds. There are no restrictions as found in the Class A division.
A class G license lets you operate an RV that weighs 24,250 pounds OR LESS. We need to emphasis that point to make sure there is no confusion. The same restrictions as Class A apply to this license.
Alberta has several different classes of licenses that add more vehicles the further you go up the ladder. Starting with the class 5 there are two categories, a GDL and a Non-GDL both can operate almost the same amount and styles of vehicles including RVs without air brakes.
Classes 4 to 1 are similar, each class just adds in a vehicle or two more and have the same restrictions. You may need to get an air brake endorsement to drive an RV equipped that braking system.
There is a commercial license available, and it comes with its own set of 4 classes but none of the four allow for RV operation. To get more information about driving an RV in Canada, you would have to contact each province’s DMV department.
The good news is that there are only about 12 of those as compared to 50 in America.
You need to be 25 years or older to rent an RV and drive it in America. This age limit was done to protect the owners who rent their RVs out for some extra income. Also, you should not assume that the 21 year age limit to rent cars, which is allowed in some states, applies to RVs.
The two types of vehicles have different rules that apply. If you lie about your age, you can lose your license and go to jail. You also will be liable for any damages and can be sued.
For just driving an RV, there is no real age number given. You would have to contact your home state’s DMV office and ask them. Each state may have different rules on this topic and it is best to discuss it with them.
RVs are vehicles that are in their own special class. That is because of the amenities they carry inside, their size and if they need to be towed or not. Those facts make people wonder if they need a special license to drive them or not.
The good news is that in most states, you do not. There are about 18 where you do and you should double-check with your state to make sure you comply with their driving regulations.
Once you get it sorted out, have fun touring the country and enjoying life as a retiree or a vacationing family. Don’t assume American rules and regulations apply to Canada concerning RVs. They don’t and you should check with the provinces to see what rules you need to meet to drive their.