Do You Need a CDL (Commercial Driving License) to Drive an RV?

Last Updated on February 15, 2022 by Ted Mosby

The term “CDL” refers to a Commercial Drivers License. In the United States, a commercial driver’s license (CDL) is necessary to operate big, hefty, or placarded hazardous material trucks for business reasons.

A valid CDL is required for certain kinds of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs). CDL, generally, has three classes; Class A, B, and C. The basic qualifications for all licensing classes (A, B, and C) are the same.

To operate an automobile with air brakes, a lorry with a tank, a truck transporting hazardous chemicals, or a passenger vehicle, the driver may be needed to earn one or more special approvals, such as Air Brakes, Dangerous Chemicals (Hazmat), Tankers, or Passenger Cars.

You must pass a written test for each kind of CDL and certification, and some additionally need a skills test. Additional restrictions apply to some kinds of endorsements. For Hazmat, the driver must additionally be fingerprinted and must undertake a security threat assessment by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

Commercial Driving License

Do You Need a CDL to Drive an RV?

To drive your RV in the most region for the majority of RVs, you only need a basic driver’s license. In some areas, you may require a special license to register, own, and operate your RV, hauling vehicles, or motorhome if it is longer than the maximum length or weighs more than 26,000 lbs.

CDL or Class B licenses are the most common specific RV licenses. Many RVers believe that if they’re not driving an RV for commercial reasons, they do not require a CDL. However, certain states may require a CDL if the RV surpasses a specific weight or is carrying more than 16 passengers, including the driver.

Steps to Obtaining a Commercial Driver’s License for RV

Step 1: You should be at least 21 years old to obtain a CDL.

Step 2: Verify your identification and Social Security number (depending on your state’s regulations).

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Step 3: Provide proof of state residency and citizenship in the United States

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Step 4: Fill out the Medical Examination

Step 5: Pass an eyesight examination

Step 6: Pass a test of knowledge

Step 7: After qualifying, a Commercial Learner’s Permit will be granted (CLP)

Step 8: You will have to wait for at least 14 days before scheduling your CDL road skills test

Step 9: A pre-trip check must be passed.

Step 10: Pass the driving and road skills tests

Step 11: Pay the fees for your new CDL upon qualifying (optionally, file a 10-Year Record Check if you’ve held a driver’s license in a state or jurisdiction different than the one where you’re seeking for your CDL) 

The fundamental standards for numerous types of commercial driver’s licenses are set by the federal government, although states are welcome to share their own standards. To drive professionally interstate, you are required to be 21 years old or older, according to current legislation.

Many states, though, will only give a CDL to persons who are 18 or older for intrastate driving; consider your state’s requirements. When you’re ready to get your CDL and have completed your state’s application, you’ll be required to show evidence of the following:

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  • Your social security number
  • Your identifying data
  • Your place of residence

Special licenses that are required in certain states and circumstances

1. California

To operate a vehicle weighing more than 26,000 lbs, you’ll require a Class B non-commercial license

2. Maryland

To operate a vehicle weighing more than 26,000 lbs, you’ll be required to have a Class B non-commercial license

3. Michigan

You’ll need a recreational dual “R” approval on top of your standard operator license if you’re pulling a fifth-wheel with a camper behind it

4. North Carolina

For a single vehicle weighing more than 26,000 lbs, you’ll require a Class B license; for a combo of vehicles weighing more than 26,000 lbs, you’ll be required to have a Class A license

5. New Mexico

For a single vehicle weighing more than 26,000 lbs, you’ll require a Class B license; for a combo of vehicles weighing more than 26,000 lbs, you’ll be required to have a Class A license

6. Nevada

You require a Class B license for a single-vehicle weighing more than 26,000 lbs and a Class A license for a combo of vehicles weighing more than 26,000 lbs.

7. Pennsylvania

For vehicles weighing more than 26,000 pounds with trailers, you’ll require a Class A non-commercial license; for vehicles weighing more than 26,000 lbs, you’ll be required to have a Class B non-commercial license

8. Texas

To operate a vehicle that weighs more than 26,000 lbs, you’ll require a Class B non-commercial license

9. Washington D.C.

For a single vehicle weighing more than 26,000 lbs, you’ll need to have a Class B license; for a combo of vehicles weighing more than 26,000 lbs, you’ll require a Class A license

10. Wyoming

For cars that weigh more than 26,000 lbs and haul more than 10,000 lbs, you’ll need a Class A non-commercial license; for vehicles weighing less than 26,000 lbs and towed vehicles that weigh less than 10,000 lbs, you’ll need to have a Class B non-commercial license

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Conclusion

In this article, we tried putting all the important information regarding Commercial Driver’s License for RVs. Depending on the weight of the vehicle, as well as the hauling weight, every state might present its own requirements for obtaining a CDL.

You must check for the requirements in your own state in order to obtain the CDL if needed. We hope this article has been able to assist with the purpose mentioned.

FAQ

Can you drive an RV on a car license USA?

In general, a conventional driver’s license is required to operate an RV in the United States. You can drive passenger automobiles and also RVs as well as travel trailers with a GVWR of fewer than 26,000 lbs with this license.

A conventional RV, by comparison, weighs below 10,000 lbs.

Do you require a CDL to drive an RV in Texas?

Drivers of RVs for personal use in Texas are free from CDL requirements, regardless of weight. As a result, their unique licenses are frequently referred to as “Class A (or B) as well as non-CDL” to differentiate them from both CDLs and the ordinary Class C driving license required for passenger vehicles.

About Ted Mosby

I am Ted Mosby from Cleveland, Ohio. I am a Freelance Architect. I live in New Jersey, USA right now and I take my RV every alternate weekend. I own a Forest River Berkshire XLT Diesel 45A Class A Motorhome. As I am a Freelancer I can work anywhere so most of my work is done inside my camper remotely.