RV license requirements vary widely. For example, for Cruise America, the RVs you’ll be renting will be C Class or Truck Campers. To drive a Cruise C Class RV, you must possess a valid driver’s license — temporary licenses are not valid — and a major credit card. In addition, all drivers must be at least 21 years old and sign a Rental Agreement before the RV is rented. 

There are plenty of other RV license requirements to know about, such as the type of RV you’re driving and what state you’re traveling in. 

So, to answer the question, “Do I need a CDL to drive an RV?” we broke down the requirements for certain classes of RVs and various state requirements below. 

What are the RV class types?

Before we dive into the different types of special licenses you may need to operate your RV, let’s quickly review the types of RV class types. The primary types we’ll cover today include: 

  • Class A. These vehicles can be anywhere from 30-40 feet long and are often equipped with all the amenities you’ll need to camp in style. Class A RVs are best suited for those planning a longer road trip. 
  • Class B. Class B RVs are a bit smaller and more closely resemble a van. The smaller size makes them easier to operate, but they also provide slightly fewer amenities compared to Class A. 
  • Class C. A Class C RV is a slightly shorter version of Class A. These vehicles are a bit easier to drive but offer just slightly fewer amenities. However, you’ll still receive many of the same luxuries found in Class A. 

What types of special licenses are available?

Before we dive into what type of special license you may need to operate your RV, let’s first cover what types of licenses are even available. 

  • R Registration. You won’t see this type of license required in many states aside from New York. This license is required for recreational vehicles that weigh over 26,000 pounds. Check with the state’s DMV to determine whether this license is needed. 
  • Commercial. CDLs are not often required to operate an RV, but it’s best to verify this information with the state’s DMV. If you are renting an RV from Cruise America, you won’t need to worry about obtaining this type of license!
  • Non-Commercial. There are different types of non-commercial licenses that may be required in some states. For example, a Class B license is a non-commercial license needed in California to operate certain types of RVs. Before you begin your Cali road trip, make sure you have the proper license for your chosen RV. 

Do I need a special license?

At Cruise America, we don't require special licenses to drive our RVs, but it's good to be aware of other license requirements. 

Most states have two types of special licenses (commercial or non-commercial) for RVs over specific lengths or weights. Here are states that require special licenses for driving an RV:

  • Arkansas: Depending on the vehicle class, weight, and contents inside the vehicle, Arkansas requires a commercial driver’s license or CDL. 
  • California: California has various non-commercial licenses depending on the vehicle class, as well as how much you’re towing. 
  • Hawaii: Hawaii has class A, B, and C CDL requirements that vary depending on the gross vehicle weight rating.
  • Kansas: If you plan on driving a vehicle with a gross vehicle weight above 26,001 pounds, then Kansas requires you to get a CDL. 
  • Maryland: In Maryland, a non-commercial class C license is required for motor vehicles that weigh under 26,001 pounds. 
  • New Mexico: New Mexico has class A, B, and C CDL requirements depending on the gross vehicle weight and how much is being towed. 
  • Nevada: The state of Nevada requires a CDL for a driver of any vehicle weighing more than 26,001 pounds and/or is designed to carry 16 passengers, including the driver. 

Some states may have certain CDL requirements, and others don't. An important thing to remember is that these requirements can change from year to year. So, the requirements that were valid for one year may be changed the next year.


Plan your RV adventure in style!

You can rest assured that your trip will be amazing when renting an RV with Cruise America. You don’t have to worry about a special RV driver’s license. All you need with Cruise America is a valid license from the country you’re from, a major credit card, and to be present when signing the rental agreement.

Need more resources? We've got you covered.