Congrats on considering your first RV! But before you purchase one, you should know if the size and type of your chosen RV will require any kind of special driver’s license where you live.
In most cases in the United States, a special license is not needed to drive a standard recreational vehicle (RV) as long as it’s under a certain weight and length. Most states will allow you to drive an RV using your regular class D driver’s license.
However, some states do require a special license for larger RVs that exceed a certain weight or length. For example, in California, if the vehicle is over 40 feet in length, or the gross vehicle weight is over 26,000 pounds, you will need a non-commercial Class B license. New York requires a recreational vehicle endorsement for motorhomes over 26,000 pounds. And Texas requires a Class B license for vehicles over 26,000 lbs.
In some cases, a commercial driver’s license (CDL) may be required, particularly for very large or commercial vehicles. This is more common for people driving bus conversions or other large commercial vehicles that have been converted to RVs. If the RV has air brakes, which many at this size do, you may be required to have a special certification for air brakes.
Please note that the requirements can vary state by state, so it’s best to check with your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) for the most accurate information. If you’re planning on driving an RV outside of the United States, you should check the local laws in the countries you’ll be visiting.
Also, if you are renting a vehicle, there may be additional requirements needed, such as a minimum age (commonly 25).
And no matter what kind of license you need, it’s important to feel comfortable driving the RV. They handle very differently than typical passenger cars or trucks, and it can be helpful to get some practice or training before heading out on a long trip.