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Topic: Driving License Classes

Posted By: stevelv on 03/03/07 01:45pm

I just did a bit of research for another thread about Driving License classes and it looks like quite a few states require a Class B for anything heavier than 26,000 lbs GVWR

Specifically I checked Nevada, Texas and Kansas who DO and Michegan who DOES NOT.

Might be worth a sticky thread with the definitive answers because I am sure there are a lot of incorrectly licensed MH drivers out there and I have no idea what it will do to your insurance in an accident if you don't have the correct class of license.

Do you drive > 26,000lbs on a Class C and in which state?


Posted By: Great NW on 03/03/07 02:16pm

I've never heard of having to have a commercial driver's license for an RV, unless you are operating it as a business and driving for hire. You are corect about needing a Class B for 26K lbs, but I'm sure that is for commercial vehicles.

You don't need anything but a Class C license in the Evergreen State.


2007 2500HD Chevrolet Silverado Classic,CC,6.0l,Regular Bed
Pullrite 16K Super Glide (a cab saver)
2005 Jayco Jay Flight 27.5 BHS


Posted By: magicbus on 03/03/07 02:37pm

Steve - you have to watch this. Florida for example allows a Class E (the standard) to drive 26,001# or less - otherwise a CDL is required. If you look at the CDL section you will see RV's are specifically exempted. It's an interesting hole. I asked a DMV when I got my license about an endorsement for my 30,000# RV and they said there are none.

Dave


Our new RV... the journey continues.



Posted By: On the road with Milo on 03/03/07 02:42pm

Great NW wrote:

I've never heard of having to have a commercial driver's license for an RV, unless you are operating it as a business and driving for hire. You are corect about needing a Class B for 26K lbs, but I'm sure that is for commercial vehicles.

You don't need anything but a Class C license in the Evergreen State.


He never said anything about a commercial license only that some states required an upgrade.
Only a commercial operation requires a commercial license.

Unless you operate a truck registerd in Mexico. You will than be allowed to operate and carry haz-mat througout the United States with a MEX op. license and without screening for Haz-Mat(ref.OOIDA).

Most states unfortunately allow an exemption for recreational vehicles. This depends on the state and includes, weight,length and configuration.
Every state should require some type of edjucational requirements and reciept by the operator that they are qualified.
Todays units are larger, heavier and more powerful than ever before.
Many are of sub-standard handling capabilities. This in itself requires and tests an operators capabilities and exsperience.

Your great grandfather could go to a lazy place in Florida and purchase a 54,000 lb, 45foot,600HP coach on Monday. On Tuesday, without ever driven anything but the family car, leave their parking lot and head to Disney. I have witnessed this on a regular basis.


Posted By: stevelv on 03/03/07 02:19pm

OK, I am trawling through the Driver Handbooks of all 49 States at the moment and will edit this list as I get more info. PLEASE do NOT take this as being definitive and if you find an error then let me know and I'll fix it.

UPDATE
Don was kind enough to send me the FMCA version which should be more accurate than mine so here it is if you want it.

Click Here

State // Max Weight for Recreational Vehicles on regular Class C license. All require a Class B (non-CDL).
Texas / 26,000
Kansas / 26,000
Nevada / 26,000
Michigan / None
California / No weight but max 40' length
New York / Class 'R' Endorsement required
Florida / 26,000 (loophole for RVs)
Illinois / Class D max 16,000
/ Class C max 26,000
Pensylvania / 26,000
Ohio / 26,000 then CDL Required!
Georgia / RV Exclusion - no limit
North Carolina / 26,000
South Carolina / 26,000
Washington / None
New Jersey / None
Virginia / None
Massachusetts / 26,000 but RV Exception
Indiana / None
Oregon / 26,000 but RV Exception
Arizona / None
Tennessee / 26,000 - CDL required
Missouri / None
Maryland / 26,000
Wisconsin / None
Minnesota / RV Exclusion no restrictions
Colorado / 26,000 - CDL required
Alabama / 26,000
Louisiana / RV Exclusion no restrictions
Kentucky / None
Oklahoma / None
Connecticut / None
Iowa / 16,000
Mississippi / None
Arkansas / None
Utah / 26,000

more coming .....

* This post was last edited 03/06/07 05:53pm by stevelv *


Posted By: stevelv on 03/03/07 02:34pm

Great NW wrote:

I've never heard of having to have a commercial driver's license for an RV, unless you are operating it as a business and driving for hire. You are corect about needing a Class B for 26K lbs, but I'm sure that is for commercial vehicles.

You don't need anything but a Class C license in the Evergreen State.


Well it looks like Ohio requires a CDL for anything over 26k, everyone else requires a "non-CDL Class B" except for a couple including Washington. CA has a length restriction not weight. These are for any non-commercial vehicle over 26,000 lbs GVWR.

This was an eye-opener to me - had no idea.


Posted By: Lug_Nut on 03/03/07 04:31pm

stevelv wrote:

wamesit wrote:

Ive checked with ma rmh and youre standard liscense is fine. Ive even have it in writing. As long as it not for commercial use you can drive up to a 45 foot mh. Also I was involved with my MH in a total accident in SC and my insurance co did not give me ahard time. It seems different states have different rules. Their is no consistency. Good Luck Chuck


I'm not disputing what you have been told but from the Ma Drivers Manual which is online here Page 7 it definitely gives a limit of 26,000 lbs for a standard Class C and there is no RV exclusion that I can see.



A good attorney will will be your worst nightmare if you ever have a bad accident involving a fatality.
His question in court " Please read the restrictions or limits of your license".
I will leave the rest up to you.


'07 Newmar Essex 45' ISM 500 4 slides



Posted By: bobslg on 03/03/07 03:49pm

Stevelv
The requirement you listed for Illinois are correct. DW and I just recently obtained our non-CDL Class "C" licenses before purchasing a 'new to us' Bounder with a 17,000 lbs. GVWR.
There must be a lot of RVers in Illinois driving with the wrong class of license. We informed our insurance man of the license upgrade and he was very happy.
Bob and Sue






Posted By: wamesit on 03/03/07 03:51pm

Ive checked with ma rmh and youre standard liscense is fine. Ive even have it in writing. As long as it not for commercial use you can drive up to a 45 foot mh. Also I was involved with my MH in a total accident in SC and my insurance co did not give me ahard time. It seems different states have different rules. Their is no consistency. Good Luck Chuck


Donna and Chuck
2011 tiffin phaeton model qth 40ft
03 saturn toad blue ox tow bar
1998 Hi-Line Park Model trailor up in Maine
2 chihuahua one female (bambi) one male (Alabama)


Posted By: H345 on 03/03/07 04:26pm

Steve , Thank you for taking the time to research this touchy subject . When our lawmakers can not get it right , how do we ever expect the LEO's that enforce it to understand it . Add another question to the mix - if you have a Class B CDL license , but no longer drive commercial , do you need a current medical to be legal ?


Posted By: stevelv on 03/03/07 04:39pm

H345 wrote:

Add another question to the mix - if you have a Class B CDL license , but no longer drive commercial , do you need a current medical to be legal ?


I can answer that one on the basis of Nevada law - Yes you must have a valid Medical Card to be legal - HOWEVER you can take your CDL Class B and downgrade to a non-CDL Class B and remove the Medical Card requirement. Of course, your State might differ LOL


Posted By: stevelv on 03/03/07 04:07pm

wamesit wrote:

Ive checked with ma rmh and youre standard liscense is fine. Ive even have it in writing. As long as it not for commercial use you can drive up to a 45 foot mh. Also I was involved with my MH in a total accident in SC and my insurance co did not give me ahard time. It seems different states have different rules. Their is no consistency. Good Luck Chuck


I'm not disputing what you have been told but from the Ma Drivers Manual which is online here Page 7 it definitely gives a limit of 26,000 lbs for a standard Class C and there is no RV exclusion that I can see.


Posted By: stevelv on 03/03/07 02:50pm

magicbus wrote:

Steve - you have to watch this. Florida for example allows a Class E (the standard) to drive 26,001# or less - otherwise a CDL is required. If you look at the CDL section you will see RV's are specifically exempted. It's an interesting hole. I asked a DMV when I got my license about an endorsement for my 30,000# RV and they said there are none.

Dave


So I see (I updated the list) - that's crazy and confusing for anyone in FL - I've tried to check for specific RV exclusions where possible but I am relying on people to correct me.

Thanks


Posted By: ndnparts on 03/03/07 02:52pm

Oregon does not have a non commercial class for motorhomes (RV's), regardless of weight (talked with DMV personally). You will find the 26k limit for class C licenses, but they assume you are commercial when over 26k, and RV's are exempt unless used for commercial purposes. Unfortunately, if you just read the class C information, you would think you are required to have a CDL, but they assure me this is not the case and you do not need any special endorsement for non commercial use. They need to write a section that only pertains to recreational vehicles. It would be fairly easy to exceed 26k with some of the 5th wheel rigs out there when combined with the towing vehicle. Stan

PS: This might be something that Motorhome Magazine or FMCA would be willing to take on and publish since they do such a nice job on TOAD info and supplemental brake laws. Just a thought.


Posted By: Deen on 03/03/07 06:44pm

stevelv wrote:

OK, I am trawling through the Driver Handbooks of all 49 States at the moment and will edit this list as I get more info. PLEASE do NOT take this as being definitive and if you find an error then let me know and I'll fix it.

State // Max Weight for Recreational Vehicles on regular Class C license. All require a Class B (non-CDL).
Texas / 26,000
Kansas / 26,000
Nevada / 26,000
Michigan / None
California / No weight but max 40' length
New York / Class 'R' Endorsement required
Florida / 26,000 (loophole for RVs)
Illinois / Class D max 16,000
/ Class C max 26,000
Pensylvania / 26,000
Ohio / 26,000 then CDL Required!
Georgia / RV Exclusion - no limit
North Carolina / 26,000
South Carolina / 26,000
Washington / None
New Jersey / None
Virginia / None
Massachusetts / 26,000
Indiana / None
Oregon / 26,000 but RV Exception
Arizona / None
Tennessee / 26,000 - CDL required
Missouri / None
Maryland / 26,000
Wisconsin / None
Minnesota / RV Exclusion no restrictions
Colorado / 26,000 - CDL required
Alabama / 26,000
Louisiana / RV Exclusion no restrictions
Kentucky / None
Oklahoma / None
Connecticut / None
Iowa / 16,000
Mississippi / None
Arkansas / None
Utah / 26,000

more coming .....


WA is 26,000 but exempt for RV's.


Posted By: Deen on 03/03/07 06:49pm

ndnparts wrote:


PS: This might be something that Motorhome Magazine or FMCA would be willing to take on and publish since they do such a nice job on TOAD info and supplemental brake laws. Just a thought.


HAH!!
About a year ago the FMCA published the listing of Trailer Towing laws and claimed it pertained to toads, a month or so later they had to publish a retraction!! I've caught and notified them of several wrong stories, the last one was the tire one several months ago. They might be good but they sure aren't perfect!!


Posted By: Deen on 03/03/07 06:51pm

H345 wrote:

Steve , Thank you for taking the time to research this touchy subject . When our lawmakers can not get it right , how do we ever expect the LEO's that enforce it to understand it . Add another question to the mix - if you have a Class B CDL license , but no longer drive commercial , do you need a current medical to be legal ?
Without a current medical the license it void or at least that's what WA says


Posted By: Lug_Nut on 03/03/07 06:52pm

Hey Dean, I didn't see Montana in your list and as many RV's are plated there, it would be interesting.


Posted By: a9lewis on 03/03/07 05:48pm

In Texas, I believe you need a class B non-CDL license for RV's over 26,000 pounds. I did the upgrade. I studied and passed a written test on chapter 13 (safety)from the CDL handbook and took a drive in my motorhome with an inspector riding shotgun. I did not have to test the air brakes or parallel park.


Posted By: dleslie125 on 03/03/07 04:57pm

I haven't received my Jan FMCA mag yet since we are in Florida and it is mailed north, but I seem to recall that every Jan FMCA publishes a list of 4 down toads AND the license and requirements by state and province (as well as vehicle requirements).


2011 Itasca Impulse 26QP Silver Toad 2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited
New W-I Class C Yahoo Group
07 Jayco 32SS Kodiak 8.1 • 06 HR Amb 40PLQ ISC • 04 Winnie Jrny 39W CAT • 2000 Triple E CDR F53
Member Super C RV Group


Posted By: Ivylog on 03/03/07 05:30pm

In GA you can drive any RV, even one with air brakes on a standard Class C.


This post is my opinion (free advice). It is not intended to influence anyone's judgment nor do I advocate anyone do what I propose.

04 Monaco Dynasty 42' quad slide
Where am I?
How I tow.


Posted By: Ivylog on 03/03/07 06:01pm

Steve, on the back of the GA driver's licence it says "Class C- May operate single vehicle less than 26,001lbs GVWR, May tow trailers less than 10,001lbs GVWR. All recreational vehicles are included in this class." I cannot pull my 20Klb. trailer behind my PU without a CDL, but my wife can drive our 42'DP with air brakes towing a toad grossing 45K lbs on a Class C,,,,go figure.


Posted By: luckycowgirl509 on 03/03/07 05:21pm

Tom_Anderson wrote:

H345 wrote:

Add another question to the mix - if you have a Class B CDL license , but no longer drive commercial , do you need a current medical to be legal ?


In California, I'm 99% sure that if your medical card is not valid, you're still legal to drive non-commercial vehicles. Just not anything that requires a medical card.


This is true. But failure to maintain a valid Health Report form with DMV will mean that your license is valid only for Class C.


Luckycowgirl
2010 Tiffin Allegro Bus



Posted By: luckycowgirl509 on 03/03/07 05:05pm

According to the DMV Handbook for Recreational Vehicles in the state of California:

If you have a Class C you may drive:
1) any 2-axle vehicle with a GVWR of 26,000 lbs or less
2) any 3-axle vehicle weighing 6,000 lbs. or less gross
3) any housecar 40 feet and under, in length

If you have a Non com'l Class B you may drive:
1) all vehicles under Class C
2) a housecar over 40 feet but not over 45 feet, with endorsement.

It's interesting to know these things, especially in our state.


Posted By: gcyeaw on 03/03/07 05:17pm

I must admit that when I purchased a 26000 pound class A RV with air brakes, I was surprised there was no special licencing requirement. The air brakes alone are something that needs to be understood by the driver. Ignorance about air brakes is dangerous for everyone on the road around you, and yourself and passengers as well. But New Jersey motor vehicle assured me that I needed nothing special to get behind the wheel.
I made it my responsability to learn about air brakes and other aspects of large vehicle handling, but not everyone realizes this is needed. This is a good thread to raise awareness of what is a national problem. With the growing number of RV owners the potential for an increase in accidents is there. If the drivers don't know how to handle the rig, the insurance rates will surely follow the rising accident trend. It is in all RVers best interest to have special licencing requirements.


Gardner
78FC33 Bluebird



Posted By: Tom_Anderson on 03/03/07 05:34pm

Also in California, you can drive a truck under 26,000 GVWR with air brakes on a regular class C license. Just the fact that a vehicle has air brakes doesn't mean a CDL is required to drive it.






Posted By: Tom_Anderson on 03/03/07 05:07pm

H345 wrote:

Add another question to the mix - if you have a Class B CDL license , but no longer drive commercial , do you need a current medical to be legal ?


In California, I'm 99% sure that if your medical card is not valid, you're still legal to drive non-commercial vehicles. Just not anything that requires a medical card.


Posted By: stevelv on 03/03/07 05:15pm

I'll finish the list off tomorrow - my head hurts

If this info is in the FMCA mag then please publish it - I looked high and low to try and find it before downloading every states driver manual and couldn't find it.

I am sure some people are unaware of the requirements (and some will probably choose to ignore it) but it's very useful information especially for new owners or those who upgrade to DPs.


Posted By: stevelv on 03/03/07 05:43pm

Ivylog wrote:

In GA you can drive any RV, even one with air brakes on a standard Class C.


Again, according to the Georgia Driving manual that is incorrect. You are restricted to driving a vehicle of no more than 26,000 lbs - I can't see any mention of RVs being excluded. It says that you will need a Class B license if your GVWR is > 26,000

There is nothing special written about having airbrakes.


Posted By: stevelv on 03/03/07 06:14pm

LOL, you are correct - that is the weirdest piece of wording in what is effectively the bible of driving law for the common man. The words can be easily interpreted in two ways, I looked at it the wrong way

"Any single vehicle with a GVWR of less than 26,001 lbs. This includes all recreation vehicles"

Does 'this' refer to the first statement or the Class

Steve

* This post was edited 03/03/07 06:33pm by stevelv *


Posted By: justme on 03/04/07 10:03am

I got my Class B license in Illinois because it is required for my motorhome. The folks in Illinois told me that they require this license because it follows federal guide lines. Some states like Connecticut don't require anything above a normal license for RV, but they may change in the future because they may want to be in line with the Feds. Meanwhile each state has recipical laws.


Posted By: Lug_Nut on 03/05/07 03:54am

rshantos wrote:

The real issue is that if you get in an accident and your vehicle is over 26,000 and your state requires a class B, you are in trouble if you are not properly licensed. Operate that vehicle without a proper license and guess who wins.


If your license is only good for 26k but exempt RV's, think again. You may not get fined but you won't stand a hope in civil court should the other party persue it.


Posted By: magicbus on 03/05/07 06:11am

Lug_Nut wrote:

If your license is only good for 26k but exempt RV's, think again. You may not get fined but you won't stand a hope in civil court should the other party persue it.
Get a grip... if you comply with the law you comply with the law. Actually, if you have a "higher grade" license you should be found "more at fault" since you should have been a "better" driver. If you run your 26,001# RV into someone else odds are darn good you are going to be found at fault regardless. Living in fear is no way to live life.

Dave

* This post was edited 03/05/07 06:23am by magicbus *


Posted By: magicbus on 03/05/07 09:12am

stevelv wrote:

PS the non-CDL Class B's only cost like $30 so I don't think it's a money thing
No it's not money Steve. The complaint I have is the requirement that one be accompanied by a driver of the same class or higher to take the stupid test. In general this would mean someone with a CDL - and they are probably out earning a living! I don't have a motorcycle license so maybe someone will correct me, but if I get a learner's permit I seriously doubt I need to have a licensed motorcyclist riding behind me.

Dave


Posted By: dleslie125 on 03/05/07 03:32pm

[quote=DFS][ For those interested, the January 2007 issue of Family Motor Coaching has "Motorhome Regulations" which includes a column "License type required...". This article starts on page 152.[/quote] I'll give you two guess what I gave Steve that he posted and referred to above. First guess doesn't count. :) Don

Note: Due to invalid formatting, all formatting has been ignored.


Posted By: DFS on 03/05/07 12:27pm

stevelv wrote:

OK, I am trawling through the Driver Handbooks of all 49 States at the moment and will edit this list as I get more info. PLEASE do NOT take this as being definitive and if you find an error then let me know and I'll fix it.

UPDATE
Don was kind enough to send me the FMCA version which should be more accurate than mine so here it is if you want it.

Click Here

State // Max Weight for Recreational Vehicles on regular Class C license. All require a Class B (non-CDL).
Texas / 26,000
Kansas / 26,000
Nevada / 26,000
Michigan / None
California / No weight but max 40' length
New York / Class 'R' Endorsement required
Florida / 26,000 (loophole for RVs)
Illinois / Class D max 16,000
/ Class C max 26,000
Pensylvania / 26,000
Ohio / 26,000 then CDL Required!
Georgia / RV Exclusion - no limit
North Carolina / 26,000
South Carolina / 26,000
Washington / None
New Jersey / None
Virginia / None
Massachusetts / 26,000
Indiana / None
Oregon / 26,000 but RV Exception
Arizona / None
Tennessee / 26,000 - CDL required
Missouri / None
Maryland / 26,000
Wisconsin / None
Minnesota / RV Exclusion no restrictions
Colorado / 26,000 - CDL required
Alabama / 26,000
Louisiana / RV Exclusion no restrictions
Kentucky / None
Oklahoma / None
Connecticut / None
Iowa / 16,000
Mississippi / None
Arkansas / None
Utah / 26,000

more coming .....

For those interested, the January 2007 issue of Family Motor Coaching has "Motorhome Regulations" which includes a column "License type required...". This article starts on page 152.


Posted By: DonP on 03/05/07 09:34am

Dave

NJ does exempt RV's from the higher class license. It may have changed but years ago in NJ a Motorcycle permit required another cyclist to be riding with you on their own bike.

Don


Posted By: Skyranch on 03/04/07 01:00pm

In California I don't think anyone 'really' knows what you need other than if it's 40-45 feet THEN you need a Noncommercial Class B. For the less than 40' RV over 26000# some will say yes ... some will say no ...

I spoke with an individual at DMV ... who had to put me on hold to get the answer ... I questioned if I needed a Non Commercial Class B licence or not. I explained that the hand-book was very confusing, I was over the 26000#, but 40' and under. That alone made it sound like I needed a Commercial Class B license, since the non-commercial Class B was for 40-45'. I was not able to an answer in any on-line California documents.

Bottom line ... I was told I do NOT need a Noncommercial Class B to drive my 40' Diplomat that is over 26000 pounds because it is a 2-axle HOUSECAR and not in the excess of 40-45 foot range.

However ... the more I read ... the more I become confused ... all references to the Non-commercial Class B are for RVs (ie: housecars) of the 40-45 foot length. Yet there is that lurking weight statement with the Class C license.

I've even spoken with a CHP officer I know, showed him a bulletin for CHP that states a 40-45' housecar drivers needs to have a non-commercial Class B. He was going to do some checking on it himself.

In fact, I just found this on the Los Angeles Police Department web site ... " House car: 12804.10(b) CVC states a house car in excess of 40 ft. up to the legal limit of 45 feet must be operated by a driver with a Class B non-commercial driver’s license."

I would probably go ahead and get a non-commercial Class B to be on the safe side ... but do you really have to have the permit for a specific period of time before getting the Non-commercial Class B license?

What a can of worms ...

Regards,


Pat
2002 Monaco Diplomat 40PBT
'96 Explorer dingy
ReadyBrake
Forever in our hearts Skye ... Jake ... Rolling doghouse for Sailor & Sage



Posted By: Daveinet on 03/03/07 10:10pm

The Federal Government has recently changed its wording to strongly encourage states to require special classifications for large vehicles. The wording targets non-CDL. This means that as states comply, there will be a lot of confusion for a while, but it will eventually get resolved.


Dave

The Flying Fortress
FMCA F298817
'83 Revcon Prince 31' FWD
502 w/Howell/GM 16197427 ECM/Edelbrock MPFI,Thorley's & Magnaflows,
4L85E 4 speed, KoniFSD,
6% grade = wanna drag?
MISC photos
Revconeers Forum



Posted By: BaldyD1 on 03/04/07 11:37am

Looks as if this subject will be hashed about time after time. ALL of the information provided in this thread has been provided in previous threads on this forum. Glad my previous home state [Virginia] and my current home state [Florida] are reasonable about licensing for RV operation. Also glad that there is reciprocity from one state to another so I can visit and view this wonderful country of ours.

The driver(s) of any and all vehicles is/are responsible for proper operation no matter the license classification. Will say that it is surprising that so many people purchase a MH prior to ever driving one.

Family member in law enforcement only knows of a couple of accidents where the MH was at fault when it hit overhead obstacles such as large signs and low overhead at a restaurant. There must be other accidents, but, what percentage of them are caused by improper operation of a MH? Maybe some law enforcement personel could provide statistics on the number of accidents CAUSED by improper operation of the MH involved.


Speedy, Jackie & Dusty {Shih-Tzu/Maltese}
2006 Kountry Star KSDP 3912
2005 Saturn Vue (dinghy)


Posted By: StuckinTracy on 03/05/07 11:38am

Skyranch wrote:



In fact, I just found this on the Los Angeles Police Department web site ... " House car: 12804.10(b) CVC states a house car in excess of 40 ft. up to the legal limit of 45 feet must be operated by a driver with a Class B non-commercial driver’s license."

I would probably go ahead and get a non-commercial Class B to be on the safe side ... but do you really have to have the permit for a specific period of time before getting the Non-commercial Class B license?

What a can of worms ...

Regards,


Skyranch;

Just to add another worm or two to the can, I don't know about yours but if you check the spec on mine, even though it's called a 40 footer, you'll find it's listed as 40'11". That's over 40' the way I see it.


10 Rally's and counting...

Mike (me-pilot)
Gail ("I'M THE BOSS"-navigator)

2008 Chevy Silverado 2500HD Duramax
2010 Carriage Cameo 37FB3
Good Sam Life members
FMCA 370826 (guess I gotta resign now)



Posted By: StuckinTracy on 03/03/07 08:00pm

Thanks Steve, you've done a good job. I was going to harass you about "49" states though. Believe it or not, they do have RV's in Hawaii. I lived there 5 1/2 years and personally wouldn't have one except on the big island though.


Posted By: Leeblev on 03/05/07 12:14pm

Stevelv: Good info.
Remember, you need to be sure of the licensing requirements for the state you reside in. Don't ask a cop because they may not be expert on licensing requirements. DMV is usually the one. However, ain't always the case. Did you know that in California, if you tow a RV over 10001 Lbs and under 15000 lbs, you must have an endorsement on your Calif. DL? You do. When I explored what was necessary when I bought a mid-size TV, I was a little confused. The VC seemed to say that I needed an endorsement. I also was unsure about whether I needed a class A non-commerical license (Allows an RVer to go over the 26,000 lb limit as well as other things)so after doing my VC homework, I obtained an Class A non-commerical app. form. When I went to DMV, I told them what I wanted and the clerk didn't have a clue! I showed him the requirement in the DMV handbook and he still didn't know what to do. I didn't really want to go the Class A route because I had not taken delivery on my truck yet and I would not be able to do the drive/walk around portion of the test. Anyway, I ended up having to come back because the local office was stuck. I ended up taking both the Class C (regular) and RV supplemental written tests. My class A app. ended up in the paperwork that DMV kept. When I came back for the second appointment, they had it straightened out and I got the endoresement on my class C. I thought it was done. Not at all! About 6 months later I got a notice from DMV that they were going to suspend my license because my medical form indicated leg problems (Arthritis and hip replacement). So, I got a release from my Ortho MD and sent it in. They now said I had to have a hearing in Sacramento, about an hour away. I balked and demanded that they consider that I only have a class C not A. Anyway, I didn't get anywhere and finally arranged a phone interview. The interviewer was an ex-cop and we spoke the same language. It ended up with me maintaining my class C and the DMV destroying the class A app., which should have been done at the first appointment with DMV. Goes to show you how dumb the government can be.
Now, I have a class C with an endorsement allowing me to tow an RV between 10-15,000 lbs., legally. Oh, yeah. If you tow an RV over 15,000 lbs., you have to have a class A non-commercial license.
Again, you have to make sure you are correctly licensed in your homne state. Your authority is DMV in your state. Don't take anyone's word on it from this form and unless you talk to a State Trooper/highway patrolman that is fully aware of the regulations in the state, you won't get a correct answer either.
Do the homework like stevelv did so you won't go wrong.


Lee
2001 36' Kountry Star DP



Posted By: KD7UFS on 03/03/07 07:43pm

My moterhome is 43 feet and 48 thousand pounds. When I lived in Washington, any ordinary drivers license was all I needed, it was exempt being non-commerical. When I moved to New Mexico, I was required to get a "class: E Non-Commercial. Exempt vehicles in excess of 26.001 lb."

I think the basic trick here, in states that require it, is that even exempt vehicles ie "Non Commercial" that are over 26,001 lb require a higher class license. The letter designation varies acording to the state. Interesting enough, here in New Mexico, they were not interested in air brakes, tag axle, or length, just weight.


KD7UFS


Posted By: pigman1 on 03/04/07 09:10am

tatest wrote:

You can save yourself some work, the information about RV drivers license requirements has been tabulated HEREby Changin' Gears.

An excellent resource. The language appears to be slightly more understandable than most, and the links to each state's WEB sites was very helpful. Thank you. I've definitely bookmarked this one.
John


Pigman & Piglady
2013 Tiffin Allegro Bus 43' QGP
2011 Chevy Silverado 1500
BlueOx Aventa LX Tow Bar
SMI Air Force One toad brake
Street Atlas USA Plus


Posted By: rshantos on 03/04/07 09:49am

The real issue is that if you get in an accident and your vehicle is over 26,000 and your state requires a class B, you are in trouble if you are not properly licensed. Operate that vehicle without a proper license and guess who wins.


Posted By: virginiarebel on 03/04/07 06:44pm

I know Florida has some dumb laws and some Floridians have trouble voting but thank God the legislators had enough sense to require nothing other than the standard driver's license to operate a RV regardless of size or weight. It appears that the states with multiple exceptions have the most problems and no one knows what type of license they need to operate a RV. In most cases, it is probably more a money maker for the state than a safety issue.


2002 36' Monaco La Palma DBD Ford V-10
2 slides, 2 sinks, 2 potties
Toad - 2001 Saturn SL2 w/Sunroof/CD/Cassette
Falcon All Terrain Hitch & US Gear Toad Brake



Posted By: tatest on 03/03/07 11:18pm

You can save yourself some work, the information about RV drivers license requirements has been tabulated here by Changin' Gears.

In any case, you can't extrapolate license classifications from state to state. A Class C license in Oklahoma IS A CDL. The "standard" operators permit in Oklahoma is a Class D. Oklahoma even issues two classes of driver's license that permit you to drive no vehicle at all: one is an ID card, the other identifies you as a suspended vehicle operator.

The Oklahoma Driver's Manual and Commercial Driver's Manual both specify that a CDL is needed to operate any vehicle 26,001 pounds or greater GVWR. Neither manual mentions an exemption for RVs (although both mention an exemption for farm equipment). The RV exemption does exist, in the state vehicle code.


Tom Test
Itasca Spirit 29B



Posted By: usmohls2@yahoo.com on 03/03/07 08:41pm

gcyeaw wrote:

I must admit that when I purchased a 26000 pound class A RV with air brakes, I was surprised there was no special licencing requirement. The air brakes alone are something that needs to be understood by the driver. Ignorance about air brakes is dangerous for everyone on the road around you, and yourself and passengers as well. But New Jersey motor vehicle assured me that I needed nothing special to get behind the wheel.
I made it my responsability to learn about air brakes and other aspects of large vehicle handling, but not everyone realizes this is needed. This is a good thread to raise awareness of what is a national problem. With the growing number of RV owners the potential for an increase in accidents is there. If the drivers don't know how to handle the rig, the insurance rates will surely follow the rising accident trend. It is in all RVers best interest to have special licencing requirements.
How many ststes require air brake endorsment?






Posted By: Tom_Anderson on 03/04/07 01:17am

usmohls2@yahoo.com wrote:

gcyeaw wrote:

I must admit that when I purchased a 26000 pound class A RV with air brakes, I was surprised there was no special licencing requirement. The air brakes alone are something that needs to be understood by the driver. Ignorance about air brakes is dangerous for everyone on the road around you, and yourself and passengers as well. But New Jersey motor vehicle assured me that I needed nothing special to get behind the wheel.
I made it my responsability to learn about air brakes and other aspects of large vehicle handling, but not everyone realizes this is needed. This is a good thread to raise awareness of what is a national problem. With the growing number of RV owners the potential for an increase in accidents is there. If the drivers don't know how to handle the rig, the insurance rates will surely follow the rising accident trend. It is in all RVers best interest to have special licencing requirements.
How many ststes require air brake endorsment?


I don't know about other states, but California has no such thing as an air brake endorsement.


Posted By: Tom_Anderson on 03/04/07 01:10pm

Skyranch wrote:


I would probably go ahead and get a non-commercial Class B to be on the safe side ... but do you really have to have the permit for a specific period of time before getting the Non-commercial Class B license?


I had my commercial class A permit less than 2 weeks before getting my license (I made the first available appointment for a drive test when I got the permit). I did the same thing when I got my M1. Both of those were quite a while ago, but I doubt the laws have changed.


Posted By: stevelv on 03/05/07 12:29pm

StuckinTracy wrote:


Just to add another worm or two to the can, I don't know about yours but if you check the spec on mine, even though it's called a 40 footer, you'll find it's listed as 40'11". That's over 40' the way I see it.


Yes, I spoke to CA DMV (have a friend who is a Senior Tech there) and she states that it is the ACTUAL length of the RV excluding mirrors and tow hitch that matters and not what the manufacturer calls it.

Fortunately my MH is classed as a 38' but has a plaque stating it's 40' and actually measures 39' (because my wife has a CA Class C DL and can sit beside me when I drive on my NV Instruction Permit!)


Posted By: stevelv on 03/05/07 08:50am

virginiarebel wrote:

I know Florida has some dumb laws and some Floridians have trouble voting but thank God the legislators had enough sense to require nothing other than the standard driver's license to operate a RV regardless of size or weight. It appears that the states with multiple exceptions have the most problems and no one knows what type of license they need to operate a RV. In most cases, it is probably more a money maker for the state than a safety issue.


Whilst I'd kind of agree with the sentiments in that it's far less personal hassle, it does worry me, as pointed out be a previous post, that you could go out and buy a 40', 48,000 lb air-brake equipped motorhome, jump in and start driving with nothing more than a years experience of driving a Geo Metro.

Kind of scary er?

PS the non-CDL Class B's only cost like $30 so I don't think it's a money thing


Posted By: stevelv on 03/03/07 08:24pm

LOL - I did wonder about Hawaii but I figured that boats were probably more their thing. I don't seem many posts from there

I agree that the likelihood of being cited for an incorrect license is small unless you get into a serious accident and then I just don't know what would happen. I remember that in the UK they could null your insurance for having no license or an incorrect license for the class of vehicle but I haven't read my insurance docket in enough detail over here to know the answer.

Most States say that it's 4 points on your license for 'driving wrong class of vehicle' which is pretty steep.


Posted By: stevelv on 03/03/07 08:32pm

The Barnesville police department made the following arrests and responded to the following calls for service Monday, Feb. 19 through Monday, Feb. 26, 2007:
Officers issued 25 citations including 10 speeding, one no license on person, }three driving while license suspended, one driving with wrong class of license , three open container violations, two possession of alcohol underage, one vehicle tag alteration, two seat belt restraint violations, one striking a fixed object and one giving false information.


Posted By: stevelv on 03/03/07 07:52pm

I just updated the original post with a link to the FMCA list of license requirements. The good news is that all States accept other States licenses so as long as your license covers you in your home state to drive your rig then all other states must accept this, even they require a higher class of license for their own residents.


Posted By: stevelv on 03/04/07 12:19am

I agree that different states have different classes meaning different things - I tried to refer to the 'standard' licence that was issued.

However I'd question that chart anyway, for example it refers to CA as requiring a Class A for > 26,000 BUT we know that CA is based on length and not weight (max 40' on Class C) so it's a******shoot


Posted By: stevelv on 03/03/07 10:56pm

Does anyone know why driving licenses aren't a Federal issue rather than a State thing? I'm sure there's a logical reason for it and I wonder if someone knows the history?


Posted By: wa8yxm on 03/03/07 07:09pm

Many states have non-commercial class B licenses. Though I worked in Michigan I was a police dispatcher for 25+ years and often saw driver status reports which were "Operators class B" or some such, which meant a non-commercial operators license, but with the heavy vehicle (B) endorsement.

I am thinking about upgrading to a CDL however but for other reasons, though I can not get a job as a driver due to other considerations.


Home is where I park it.
Kenwood TS-2000 housed in a 2005 Damon Intruder 377



Posted By: pingpong on 03/04/07 10:25am

Quote:

You can save yourself some work, the information about RV drivers license requirements has been tabulated here by Changin' Gears.


Thanks tatest for this link.

Of course when I asked, my salesman said we didn't need any special license...so we didn't get one...'cause, of course, I believe EVERYTHING he tells me, you know!!!


Husband, Wife, 2 kids, 3 cats
2007 Newmar KSDP 3910
2007 Jeep Liberty

"Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again!"

"How is it one careless match can start a forest fire, but it takes a whole box to start a campfire?"



Posted By: ndnparts on 03/03/07 08:17pm

Yep, you are correct, but over time, we would hope to improve it if they would maintain a listing. One of the TOAD lists says the length limit in Oregon is 50'. That would mean I would need to find a TOAD that was about 9' long so I could tow behind my 39' DP. The reality is, DMV says 50' is the single vehicle length, but you need to really pin them down to get that info. Turns out, 65' is the true length limit when towing. In this example, the list reported what they were given, but the information source was unclear. I think Steve is finding the same crappy wording and scattered regulations in the driver manuals. I have never heard of anyone getting a ticket for the wrong license class in a motorhome, but that's probably because the cops can't figure it out either! Stan

Deen wrote:

ndnparts wrote:


PS: This might be something that Motorhome Magazine or FMCA would be willing to take on and publish since they do such a nice job on TOAD info and supplemental brake laws. Just a thought.


HAH!!
About a year ago the FMCA published the listing of Trailer Towing laws and claimed it pertained to toads, a month or so later they had to publish a retraction!! I've caught and notified them of several wrong stories, the last one was the tire one several months ago. They might be good but they sure aren't perfect!!



Posted By: BIGBUS on 03/04/07 09:57am

26,000 pounds seem to be a cut off, most likely because most vehicles including RV's have air brakes. Here in New York, 26,000lbs GVW or a trailer over 10,000 lbs, non commercial requires an "R" endorsement on the standard license. This requires a road test. Lane control, parking, operation/maintenance of the air brakes.


Posted By: magicbus on 03/06/07 07:25am

DonP wrote:

Dave

NJ does exempt RV's from the higher class license. It may have changed but years ago in NJ a Motorcycle permit required another cyclist to be riding with you on their own bike.

Don
Thanks Don but I moved my license and RV to FL because I was tired of the stupid annual diesel emissions inspection that took 2 weeks to schedule and half a day to complete.

Dave


Posted By: Sully2 on 03/31/07 07:31am

stevelv wrote:

OK, I am trawling through the Driver Handbooks of all 49 States at the moment and will edit this list as I get more info. PLEASE do NOT take this as being definitive and if you find an error then let me know and I'll fix it.

UPDATE
Don was kind enough to send me the FMCA version which should be more accurate than mine so here it is if you want it.

Click Here

State // Max Weight for Recreational Vehicles on regular Class C license. All require a Class B (non-CDL).
Texas / 26,000
Kansas / 26,000
Nevada / 26,000
Michigan / None
California / No weight but max 40' length
New York / Class 'R' Endorsement required
Florida / 26,000 (loophole for RVs)
Illinois / Class D max 16,000
/ Class C max 26,000
Pensylvania / 26,000
Ohio / 26,000 then CDL Required!
Georgia / RV Exclusion - no limit
North Carolina / 26,000
South Carolina / 26,000
Washington / None
New Jersey / None
Virginia / None
Massachusetts / 26,000 but RV Exception
Indiana / None
Oregon / 26,000 but RV Exception
Arizona / None
Tennessee / 26,000 - CDL required
Missouri / None
Maryland / 26,000
Wisconsin / None
Minnesota / RV Exclusion no restrictions
Colorado / 26,000 - CDL required
Alabama / 26,000
Louisiana / RV Exclusion no restrictions
Kentucky / None
Oklahoma / None
Connecticut / None
Iowa / 16,000
Mississippi / None
Arkansas / None
Utah / 26,000

more coming .....


This listing for OHIO is incorrect. All that is required for OHIO for an "RV" is the standard class "D" licesne ( plain old drivers license) and at no time..is a CDL required UNLESS the "RV" is ACTUALLY being used for some commercial purpose. Ive been to the local OHP post 2 times and asked about this when I asked about "supplemental brakes" required for a "toad".


2000 Country Coach Allure; Cummins ISC 330 HP; 71/2 - 8 MPG regardless
2002 Jeep Liberty



Posted By: dleslie125 on 03/30/07 01:34pm

stevelv wrote:

So all you had was a written test and a drive test?

In NV we had 2 written tests - one for general knowledge and one for air brakes and then we had to perform a safety inspection, touching each item and explaining what we were testing for (and had to be word perfect). We then have a skills test which is stopping at a line (not over) and then straight reversing and then reversing into a loading bay (all marked by cones). Then assuming you passed that you have a 30-45 minute drive test which includes freeway merging and at least 5 right and left turns. You are marked on things like observation (use of mirrors), lane positioning and use of correct lanes.

I think if you pass the NV tests then you can handle an 18 wheeler with no problem


In Ontario that won't let you drive an 18 wheeler - you have to take the test in an 18 wheeler and when you are 65 you take the written test, practical test and medical YEARLY for tractor trailers (which includes TTs and 5ers over 10,120 lbs). Then, if you have airbrakes you have to take the written test annually at age 65. The RVDA is dealing with the government on this now as it is driving RVers nuts (if they know about it) and will drive the others nuts when they find out what the law is. I know one 5er owner who has already traded down for a unit under the limit to avoid any problems. For a MH over 24,200 lbs (including toad in that weight) you have to have a Class D license plus Z for airbrakes if you have them (including air over hydraulic). Most Class A gasser owners with 22k, 24k and 25.5k lb chassis don't realize that when you take the GVWR of the MH and add the GVWR for the toad they need a D if the total exceeds 24,200 lbs. Enforcement is sort of on hold at the moment while discussions continue. NOT a good situation.


Posted By: dleslie125 on 03/31/07 09:34am

BarbaraOK wrote:



But you only have to comply with the regs in the state in which the vehicle is registered. All other states will then recognize your license as being valid.


That is correct BUT I believe there are about 3 states that, according to the FMCA list, do not have reciprocity agreements with other US States and Canadian Provinces. Not sure what happens when you drive in them. I'm going out for the day but will list them this evening.

Don


Posted By: dleslie125 on 03/31/07 02:48pm

stevelv wrote:

BarbaraOK wrote:


But you only have to comply with the regs in the state in which the vehicle is registered.


Not so. You have to comply with the regs in which you reside - nothing to do with where the rig is registered.


Yoikes. Right. I read it so quickly I missed that. The VEHICLE has to comply with regs in every jurisdiction it operates in. Reciprocity only applies to the operators' licenses.


Posted By: arliss100 on 03/30/07 06:03pm

I just removed my message,did not notice smttyy response, which is what I was going to link
Hope you have a great time, with the right license and hoping we will cross Camping Trails some day.






Posted By: BarbaraOK on 03/31/07 09:22am

[quote=stevelv]Frankly, the whole thing is a complete screw up :) In the 'old days' (remember them lol) when people didn't travel much between states it probably didn't matter, but today where people travel from state to state almost on a daily basis it just ridiculous. For example, you can buy a rig in CA that weighs 40,000 and has air brakes and legally drive it all day on a regular license. In that day you could travel through Nevada, Utah and Colorado (it's a long day) all of which have extra testing required for driving such a vehicle. The CDL tests for commercial drives are regulated to a minimum standard by a Federal agency (individual states can impose a more rigorous test if they wish) but standard driving licenses are managed and controlled at the state level. It's a crazy mix. Florida seems to give you one if you know which box to put an x in and Nevada wants you to be able to perform a virtual pirouette with your rig. [End of Rant][/quote] But you [b]only[/b] have to comply with the regs in the state in which the vehicle is registered. All other states will then recognize your license as being valid.

Note: Due to invalid formatting, all formatting has been ignored.


Barb & Dave O'Keeffe - full-timing since 2006
Traveling catpanion Shadow (age 17)
Figment II (2002 Alpine 36 MDDS)
Mischief
(2004 Subaru Forester Toad)
FMCA - F337834, SKP #90761
Our Blog



Posted By: BarbaraOK on 03/31/07 09:24am

ODA238 wrote:

Quote:


What information did you study? I went today and they gave me a large book for a CDL. But it's not specific to a motorhome. Is there something else?


The test is taken from Chapter 15 of the Texas Drivers Handbook. The handbook is small, 5" x 7". I picked it up at the DPS station.


Not only that, but you can get the information online including sample questions.

I would not take my test at an examination office that does not know the difference between the CDL license and the NON-commerical Class B endorsement.


Posted By: BarbaraOK on 03/31/07 08:39pm

dleslie125 wrote:

stevelv wrote:

BarbaraOK wrote:


But you only have to comply with the regs in the state in which the vehicle is registered.


Not so. You have to comply with the regs in which you reside - nothing to do with where the rig is registered.


Yoikes. Right. I read it so quickly I missed that. The VEHICLE has to comply with regs in every jurisdiction it operates in. Reciprocity only applies to the operators' licenses.


Texas requires that all motor vehicles undergo a state inspection. But a vehicle licensed in another state does not have to comply with that regulation when driving through the state. Texas requires mud flaps on all trucks and MHs, but they will let you go through the state without them if your state doesn't require them.

Now commerical vehicles are different ......


Posted By: SunflyerA on 03/06/07 04:50pm

stevelv wrote:

Does anyone know why driving licenses aren't a Federal issue rather than a State thing? I'm sure there's a logical reason for it and I wonder if someone knows the history?


States rights...Federal gov't dosen't have jurisdiction.






Posted By: wamesit on 03/06/07 05:10pm

to stevelv: From the legal dept of MDMV MASS regulation 540 CMR 2.06 Part D states Any vehicle operated solely as a personal or family conveyance for recreational purposes may be operatedwith a Class D licesnse. To be exempt from CDL requirements, thevehicle must be used excllusively to transport personal family menbers or personal friends and or their effects You don not need a CDL to drive a motor home or special endorsements. Sorry I coulnt return an answer any soonner. Good Luck Chuck


Posted By: Smittyy on 03/30/07 02:14pm

Here is a web page from Changing Gears web site on RV license requirements. This section contains a summary of non-commercial RV driver's license requirements of the fifty states plus Washington DC. http://changingears.com/rv-sec-state-rv-license.shtml


Posted By: ODA238 on 03/31/07 03:12am

Quote:


What information did you study? I went today and they gave me a large book for a CDL. But it's not specific to a motorhome. Is there something else?


The test is taken from Chapter 15 of the Texas Drivers Handbook. The handbook is small, 5" x 7". I picked it up at the DPS station.


Dennis & Judy
1994 40' Monaco Signature Series Crown Royale
2005 Jeep Liberty Wrangler Toad
You have never lived until you have almost died. For those who have fought for it, life has a special flavor the protected will never know.


Posted By: ODA238 on 03/29/07 06:31pm

stevelv wrote:

I just did a bit of research for another thread about Driving License classes and it looks like quite a few states require a Class B for anything heavier than 26,000 lbs GVWR

Specifically I checked Nevada, Texas and Kansas who DO and Michegan who DOES NOT.

Might be worth a sticky thread with the definitive answers because I am sure there are a lot of incorrectly licensed MH drivers out there and I have no idea what it will do to your insurance in an accident if you don't have the correct class of license.

Do you drive > 26,000lbs on a Class C and in which state?


I checked after reading this thread and found that I needed a Class "B" license to operate my motorhome. I am happy to say that as of this past Tuesday, I am properly licensed to drive my coach. I would have argued that I did not need one based on past conversations. I guess I am lucky to have driven approximately 60,000 miles in the last 7 years without the police explaining the error of my ways.


Posted By: ODA238 on 03/29/07 06:34pm

I checked after reading this thread and found that I needed a Class "B" license to operate my motorhome. [/quote] For clarification, the class "B" is a non CDL class "B" license.

Note: Due to invalid formatting, all formatting has been ignored.


Posted By: ODA238 on 03/06/07 03:10pm

I talked to 2 of our city's finest this morning. I described my rig as 40' with a weight of 31,000 pounds. I asked what class of drivers license I needed to operate that coach. The first did not stutter and told me I needed a commercial license while the second did not hesitate and told me I only needed a regular drivers license. Apparently they do not know either. Later on, I will ask the Texas DPS.


Posted By: ODA238 on 03/30/07 09:48am

The written test was pretty much cut and dried. The driving test was administered the way I think it should have been. The tester was very clear in her instructions and told me beforehand what route we would take. There was no pressure applied. As she said, I just want to make sure you can handle this vehicle. Very Professional.


Posted By: Tom_Anderson on 03/30/07 10:30am

stevelv wrote:

So all you had was a written test and a drive test?

In NV we had 2 written tests - one for general knowledge and one for air brakes and then we had to perform a safety inspection, touching each item and explaining what we were testing for (and had to be word perfect). We then have a skills test which is stopping at a line (not over) and then straight reversing and then reversing into a loading bay (all marked by cones). Then assuming you passed that you have a 30-45 minute drive test which includes freeway merging and at least 5 right and left turns. You are marked on things like observation (use of mirrors), lane positioning and use of correct lanes.

I think if you pass the NV tests then you can handle an 18 wheeler with no problem


This is pretty much how the commercial test is in California.


Posted By: stevelv on 03/30/07 10:19am

So all you had was a written test and a drive test?

In NV we had 2 written tests - one for general knowledge and one for air brakes and then we had to perform a safety inspection, touching each item and explaining what we were testing for (and had to be word perfect). We then have a skills test which is stopping at a line (not over) and then straight reversing and then reversing into a loading bay (all marked by cones). Then assuming you passed that you have a 30-45 minute drive test which includes freeway merging and at least 5 right and left turns. You are marked on things like observation (use of mirrors), lane positioning and use of correct lanes.

I think if you pass the NV tests then you can handle an 18 wheeler with no problem


Posted By: stevelv on 03/29/07 07:35pm

Congratulations - I failed mine

See other thread where I vent my spleen


Posted By: stevelv on 03/31/07 11:47pm

Now that's where it gets VERY tricky

For example, front side window tinting - which is acceptable in AZ and strictly forbidden and enforced in CA. Non-CDL rules may or not be enforced depending upon who you speak to and what side of the bed they got out of.

CDL regs are federally mandated and so a different set of rules apply but non-CDL regs apply at State level and it's a******shoot most of the time. Generally, if you have an out of state plate they will cut you some slack but I'm not sure that they 'have' to. CA highway patrol WILL pull you for the tints (don't ask how I know )


Posted By: stevelv on 03/31/07 08:00am

Frankly, the whole thing is a complete screw up :) In the 'old days' (remember them lol) when people didn't travel much between states it probably didn't matter, but today where people travel from state to state almost on a daily basis it just ridiculous. For example, you can buy a rig in CA that weighs 40,000 and has air brakes and legally drive it all day on a regular license. In that day you could travel through Nevada, Utah and Colorado (it's a long day) all of which have extra testing required for driving such a vehicle. The CDL tests for commercial drives are regulated to a minimum standard by a Federal agency (individual states can impose a more rigorous test if they wish) but standard driving licenses are managed and controlled at the state level. It's a crazy mix. Florida seems to give you one if you know which box to put an x in and Nevada wants you to be able to perform a virtual pirouette with your rig. [End of Rant]

Note: Due to invalid formatting, all formatting has been ignored.


Posted By: stevelv on 03/31/07 10:13am

BarbaraOK wrote:


But you only have to comply with the regs in the state in which the vehicle is registered.


Not so. You have to comply with the regs in which you reside - nothing to do with where the rig is registered.


Posted By: stevelv on 04/05/07 08:40pm

Try California - as far as I know they will issue a license regardless of where you live.


Posted By: sixpack98 on 03/31/07 09:43am

BarbaraOK wrote:

ODA238 wrote:

Quote:


What information did you study? I went today and they gave me a large book for a CDL. But it's not specific to a motorhome. Is there something else?


The test is taken from Chapter 15 of the Texas Drivers Handbook. The handbook is small, 5" x 7". I picked it up at the DPS station.


Not only that, but you can get the information online including sample questions.

I would not take my test at an examination office that does not know the difference between the CDL license and the NON-commerical Class B endorsement.


Barbara makes a good point - specifically say NON-commercial Class B endorsement. When I went to the local TXDOT they initally handed me the CDL guide even thought I said it was for an RV. When I said the vehicle was NON-Commercial and an endorsement for the standard Operators license they then gave me the 5X7 DL handbook. Actually, the CDL handbook is loaded with lots of good information about pre-trip inspection, air brakes and safety considerations.


Mark and Dawn
2006 HR Endeavor
40 PET


Posted By: pingpong on 03/30/07 09:47pm

ODA238 wrote:

Quote:

The written test was pretty much cut and dried. The driving test was administered the way I think it should have been. The tester was very clear in her instructions and told me beforehand what route we would take. There was no pressure applied. As she said, I just want to make sure you can handle this vehicle. Very Professional


What information did you study? I went today and they gave me a large book for a CDL. But it's not specific to a motorhome. Is there something else?

Also STEVE...

Dang! That's some test! Glad I'm in Texas and not NV!


Posted By: phatgeezer on 03/31/07 07:51am

Here in Illinois, we were fine with our first RV, which was about 12,000 pounds, but when we bought our current Class A, it was 17,000 GVWR, we found that in Illinois a driver's license class upgrade is required to drive any vehicle over 16,000 pounds.

This could be VERY important if you have an accident. Your insurance company could deny the claim due to not being driven by a legally licensed driver.

Even if under the standard definition of "at fault" the other person is responsible, in some locations, such as Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Alabama and Washington DC, courts recognize the principle of "comparative negligence" where there is no one party at fault; the court looks at relative blame and reduces the damages accordingly.

For example, under most states' laws, if I were to fall off of a second story balcony at a hotel, I can sue the hotel for not having features in place to prevent my falling. Under comparative negligence however, the court looks at how much my own actions contributed to my accident, and if I was drunk and hanging from the balcony by my toes, I probably won't collect much. (Personally I think that's the way it should be in all states)

A person who did $30,000 damage to your motorhome could claim you were partially at fault by not being legally qualified to drive it. Their lawyer might get your claim tossed out or damages severely reduced because you were breaking the law by driving the vehicle without a proper license, and had not demonstrated that you understood the traffic laws pertaining to your vehicle and could drive it safely. Either way, an accident could wipe you out financially.

Some people are confused by the statement in the Illinois Rules of the Road booklet that if you drive a recreational vehicle for personal use (as opposed to for hire) you do not need a CDL. That is true. What it does not say in that section is that, while you do not need a CDL, you DO need a class upgrade on your regular drivers license if the rig is over 16,000 pounds. That is found elsewhere, in the section that talks about what the various license classes mean.

So my wife and I had to upgrade from Class D to Class C. We had to take the motorhome down to the local Drivers License Examining Station and both had to take a road test in it, as well as take the Non-CDL written test for heavy trucks. It asked questions like where to place safety signs/flares in the event of a breakdown, what the maximum legal dimensions of a vehicle (height, length, width, and weight) are, what marker lights are required, etc..

I'm thinking in practice, most motorhome owners haven't taken the trouble to do this, because I had a really hard time finding what material was covered on the written test, even talking to the Secretary of State's office (who oversees licensing here). I think it was mainly because I didn't know what the test was called that I had to take. (Here it's called the Non-CDL written test).

I finally found it on the State of Illinois web site, but it's not in the main menu; it's a link in the automobile Rules of the Road page.

If you need to study for it, the booklet is here:
http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/publications/pdf_publications/dsd_x14210.pdf

You will need Adobe Acrobat reader to view it. If you don't already have it you can get the reader here:
http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html


I did stump the examiners though. In the section of the Rules of the Road talking about maximum weights, it states "all vehicles weighing 16,000 lbs. or more gross weight must stop at any official weighing station." No exceptions are listed, but I have never in my life seen a motorhome at an Illinois weigh station. After the test I asked if I was required to stop, and they said no, but when I showed them the section of the booklet, They didn't know what to think. They said to call the Illinois Department of Transportation which oversees the weigh stations. I haven't found that answer yet.

Anyway, it behooves you to check you local laws regarding the class of standard drivers license required to drive your particular vehicle.

* This post was edited 03/31/07 08:28am by phatgeezer *


Phatgeezer, Harristown, IL
-RVing since 2000, 15 states so far
-1993 Winnebago Adventurer 34' (Ford chassis)
-formerly owned 1986 Allegro 28' (Chevy chassis)

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SOMEONE BRING BACK RV TODAY!



Posted By: run4bear on 04/05/07 07:04pm

I have a CDL..hard earned. I do not want to lose it. I drive a truck and trailer well over 26,000. I cannot seem to find out what states require a medical card. Montana does, even if you are not driving commercially. I do not think Ohio does, but I am not sure. My CDL expires May first, so I need to renew it somewhere. So I also need to find a state that does not require proof of residency. Montana did not used to, but now they do. I have no "official" residence, so I suppose I am a problem, hey?


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