Here’s What Kind of License You Need to Drive an RV

updated Nov 16, 2022
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The ever-popular living small, ethical travel and tiny home movements have made it a bucket list-worthy adventure to drive an RV, or recreational vehicle. Whether you’re taking one on a spin for vacation or are looking to downsize into an RV, it’s important to know exactly what type of documentation you’ll need to do so.

Can you drive a motorhome with just a car license? Or do you need a special license to hit the road in your RV? Here’s what you need to know.

What is a special license?

A special driver’s license is pretty much any license that isn’t your typical passenger car license. That includes commercial licenses, motorcycle licenses, chauffeur licenses, restricted licenses, and more. Every state has its own set guidelines for which types of licenses residents can use—check with your local DMV to determine what your state offers.

As you’ll see below, some states have different rules regarding vehicles over 26,000 pounds. Many RVs don’t come close to the weight limit, so a special license might not be necessary.

States that require a commercial driver’s license

Arkansas – Need Class B Commercial License if vehicle is more than 26,000 pounds.

Connecticut – Need Class B Commercial License if vehicle is more than 26,000 pounds.

Hawaii – Need Class 4 Non-Commercial License if vehicle is less than 26,000 pounds; need Class B Commercial License if vehicle is more than 26,000 pounds.

Minnesota – Need Class B Commercial License if vehicle is more than 26,000 pounds.

Washington, D.C. – Need Class A or B Commercial License if vehicle is more than 26,000 pounds.

Wisconsin – Need Class B Commercial License if vehicle is longer than 45 feet.

Wyoming – Need Class A or B Commercial License if vehicle is more than 26,000 pounds.

States that require a special (non-commercial) driver’s license

California – Need Class B Non-Commercial License if vehicle is between 40 and 45 feet long.

Kansas – Need Class B Non-Commercial License if vehicle is more than 26,000 pounds.

Maryland – Need Class C Non-Commercial License if less than 26,000 pounds; need Class B Non-Commercial License if more than 26,000 pounds.

Massachusetts – Need Class B Non-Commercial License if vehicle is more than 26,000 pounds.

New Mexico – Need Class E Non-Commercial License.

North Carolina – Need Class A Non-Commercial License if vehicle is less than 26,000 pounds; need Class B Non-Commercial License if vehicle is more than 26,000 pounds.

Nevada – Need Class B Non-Commercial License if vehicle is more than 26,000 pounds.

New York – Need Class B Non-Commercial License if vehicle is more than 26,000 pounds; requires an “R” recreational vehicle endorsement.

Pennsylvania – Need Class B Non-Commercial License if vehicle is more than 26,000 pounds.

South Carolina – Need Class E Non-Commercial License if vehicle is more than 26,000 pounds; need Class F Non-Commercial License if vehicle is more than 26,000 pounds and is towing another vehicle.

Texas – Need Class A or B Non-Commercial License if vehicle is more than 26,000 pounds.

States that do not require a special driver’s license