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Author Topic: Driver's License and GVWR??????  (Read 7105 times)

taoshum

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Driver's License and GVWR??????
« on: June 08, 2009, 09:14:17 PM »
Yes, I'm a newbie here...  I just looked at my DL which is issued in NM and it says I'm ok for vehicles up to 26,000 lb GVWR.  Out of curiosity, I looked up the Itasca GVWR and it's over 27,000 lb.  So, I called the MVD office and they said "don't worry about it as long as you are not doing something that requires a Commercial Driver's Lic, like driving an 18 wheeler I guess.  Some of the larger MHs have GVWRs over 30,000 lb so I'm wondering what other people do.  Is this an issue?

thanks, Gary :o
07 Itasca Meridian 34SH.  '08 Jeep Sahara.
Taos, NM.

seilerbird

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Re: Driver's License and GVWR??????
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2009, 09:37:46 PM »
15 states require a Class B license if you drive a vehicle with over 26,000 gvwr. If you live in one of those states and drive one and don't have a class B you could get into a lot of trouble. If you have an accident and you do not have the proper license for the vehicle you are driving the insurance company can deny the claim. You are also in violation of the law and could either get fined, go to jail or get sued. The commercial aspect has nothing to do with it. You need to carefully check the laws of your state and get the proper license if that is what is required.

Jeff

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Re: Driver's License and GVWR??????
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2009, 11:36:31 PM »
Gary:

NM makes it pretty clear that if you are not required to have a CDL and operate a vehicle over 26,000 pounds you need to have a Class E license. As Tom points out you are in trouble if you are stopped or involved in an accident.

RetiredLE

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Re: Driver's License and GVWR??????
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2009, 12:07:48 AM »
A list of the 15 states would be useful here.
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Chet18013

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Re: Driver's License and GVWR??????
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2009, 08:00:06 AM »
Seilerbird is quite correct. Here in PA, not only do you need a "non-commercial" class B  license, but you must pass the same test as truckers have to if your RV has air brakes.

Chet18013
« Last Edit: June 09, 2009, 10:20:40 AM by Chet18013 »
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Gary RV Roamer

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Re: Driver's License and GVWR??????
« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2009, 08:55:30 AM »
Florida specifically exempts RV s from their general requirement to have a higher class license for non-commercial vehicles over 26,000 lbs. Perhaps New Mexico does something similar?

I'd call a different New Mexico DMV office and get another opinion. It is not all that uncommon for a clerk to be wrong on subtle questions.
Gary
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Mike (ex-f-221)

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Re: Driver's License and GVWR??????
« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2009, 08:59:07 AM »
A few official words of the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles:
 
Commercial Driver Licenses (CDL)
CLASS A: Trucks or truck combinations weighing with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of 26,001 lbs. or more, provided towed vehicle is more than 10,000 lbs.
CLASS B: Straight trucks weighing 26,001 lbs. Gross Vehicle Weight Rating or more.
CLASS C: Vehicles transporting placardable amounts of hazardous materials, or vehicles designed to transport more than 15 persons including the driver with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of less than 26,001 lbs.
 
NonCommercial Driver Licenses
CLASS E: Any non-commercial motor vehicles with Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) less than 26,001 pounds, including passenger cars, 15 passenger vans including the driver, trucks or recreational vehicles and two or three wheel motor vehicles 50 cc or less, such as mopeds or small scooters. (see below). Farmers and drivers of authorized emergency vehicles who are exempt from obtaining a commercial driver license must obtain a Class E license.
A resident who holds a valid Florida operator license may continue to operate vehicles for which a CLASS E driver license is required, until the operator license expires.
16 year olds […]
17 year olds […]
 
CLASS E-Learner […]
 
Motorcycles […]
 
CDL Exemptions:
The following persons are exempt from the requirements to obtain a commercial driver license:
[…] or Drivers of recreational vehicles used for recreational purposes; or  […]
Mike Muellner
Bremerhaven, Germany
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Jeff

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Re: Driver's License and GVWR??????
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2009, 09:23:36 AM »
Florida specifically exempts RV s from their general requirement to have a higher class license for non-commercial vehicles over 26,000 lbs. Perhaps New Mexico does something similar?

I'd call a different New Mexico DMV office and get another opinion. It is not all that uncommon for a clerk to be wrong on subtle questions.

Gary:

The University of New Mexico has a good breakdown of the NM requirements. RV's are exempted from CDL's but are covered by Class E (Over 26,000 GVW).
« Last Edit: June 09, 2009, 04:26:16 PM by Jeff »

Ned

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Re: Driver's License and GVWR??????
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2009, 09:27:45 AM »
Quote
CDL Exemptions:
The following persons are exempt from the requirements to obtain a commercial driver license:
[…] or Drivers of recreational vehicles used for recreational purposes; or  […]

A common exemption, but the quoted text doesn't address what class of license is needed for an RV of over 26,000 lbs.  The class E only applies to RVs less than 26,001.
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Pierat

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Re: Driver's License and GVWR??????
« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2009, 09:53:10 AM »
AFAIK, South Dakota does not require a special license for heavy RVs.
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Mike (ex-f-221)

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Re: Driver's License and GVWR??????
« Reply #10 on: June 09, 2009, 09:54:19 AM »
Ned,
I read it as follows:
You don't need a CDL when you drive a recreational vehicle. --- So I cancel the CDL Classes A, B and C.
Only a NonCommercial DL is left. And that's a Class E DL.
Class E has that 26,000 lbs restriction. But RV-Drivers are exempted from this restriction.
Hope, I'm right...
Mike Muellner
Bremerhaven, Germany
(Skype: michael.f221)

RLSharp

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Re: Driver's License and GVWR??????
« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2009, 10:18:24 AM »
If I had a NM DL and a motor home weighing over 26,001 lbs, I would write a letter to the DMV and ask what DL I needed. Hopefully, the written response would state what is needed and you would have written "proof" of what is required, just in case there is ever a question. Relying on a verbal response by some clerk won't hold much water (especially if they are not right), if you ever have to go to court because of an infraction or law suit. JMO
Richard & Linda
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Ned

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Re: Driver's License and GVWR??????
« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2009, 10:48:48 AM »
Mike, that statement only excludes the requirement for a CDL, but does not address what license is required for an RV over 26,000 lbs.  How you interpret is irrelevant, it's how the law and your insurance company interprets it in the event of an accident.
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
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RLSharp

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Re: Driver's License and GVWR??????
« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2009, 11:06:17 AM »
Mike, that statement only excludes the requirement for a CDL, but does not address what license is required for an RV over 26,000 lbs.  How you interpret is irrelevant, it's how the law and your insurance company interprets it in the event of an accident.

That's why I recommend a written response from the DMV. That should eliminate any question of what is required and the insurance company would have a hard time disputing what the DMV has "officially" stated in writing. Again, my opinion and I do not claim to be an attorney. ;D
Richard & Linda
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Ned

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Re: Driver's License and GVWR??????
« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2009, 11:20:58 AM »
I agree completely that when in doubt, get it in writing.  A letter may save you from lots of aggravation in the future if your license is ever in question.
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
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mfolsom

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Re: Driver's License and GVWR??????
« Reply #15 on: June 09, 2009, 11:41:33 AM »
I began to wonder also and a quick search produced this http://changingears.com/rv-sec-state-rv-license.shtml useful information.
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Phil

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Re: Driver's License and GVWR??????
« Reply #16 on: June 09, 2009, 11:57:09 AM »
Yes, I'm a newbie here...  I just looked at my DL which is issued in NM and it says I'm ok for vehicles up to 26,000 lb GVWR.  Out of curiosity, I looked up the Itasca GVWR and it's over 27,000 lb.  So, I called the MVD office and they said "don't worry about it as long as you are not doing something that requires a Commercial Driver's Lic, like driving an 18 wheeler I guess.  Some of the larger MHs have GVWRs over 30,000 lb so I'm wondering what other people do.  Is this an issue?

In Utah it says:

Not all large vehicles require a commercial license. Generally, RVs driven for personal or family recreation, military vehicles driven by the military, farm vehicles driven by farmers, and emergency vehicles driven by emergency personnel are exempt

PhilB

seilerbird

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Re: Driver's License and GVWR??????
« Reply #17 on: June 09, 2009, 01:12:15 PM »
I would like to add that you only need to comply with the license requirements for the state you live in, every other state will honor you license, no matter what that states licensing requirements are. In another words, if you live in South Dakota that does not require a Class B over 26K and you drive your over 26k vehicle into a state that does, then you are exempt and your class C will be honored.

Ned

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Re: Driver's License and GVWR??????
« Reply #18 on: June 09, 2009, 01:20:52 PM »
Phil, that's true in all states that I know of.  A CDL isn't required for any RV used for recreational use.  However, some states (15?) require a different class of license for vehicles over 26,000 lbs.  There is a written test and usually a road test as well, similar to but not as stringent as a CDL exam.  The CDL is only required for the commercial use of any vehicle.
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Phil

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Re: Driver's License and GVWR??????
« Reply #19 on: June 09, 2009, 02:32:09 PM »
Phil, that's true in all states that I know of.  A CDL isn't required for any RV used for recreational use.  However, some states (15?) require a different class of license for vehicles over 26,000 lbs.  There is a written test and usually a road test as well, similar to but not as stringent as a CDL exam.  The CDL is only required for the commercial use of any vehicle.

Ned,

I should have added a line that says the regular Utah drivers license is good for non-commercial use of an RV.  :)

There is a requirement for an extra license endorsment if you want to ride a motorcycle.

PhilB

Ned

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Re: Driver's License and GVWR??????
« Reply #20 on: June 09, 2009, 02:59:05 PM »
So Utah doesn't have a weight limit for the regular license?
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE
2007 GMC Canyon

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FEman

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Re: Driver's License and GVWR??????
« Reply #21 on: June 09, 2009, 03:27:16 PM »
So far, this discussion covers driving large motorhomes.  The other often overlooked issue is towing.  Here in NC, and no doubt many other states, your standard license allows towing up to 10,000 pounds.  Many 5th wheel trailers are heavier than that and a commercial endorsement is required.

I would assume if you were involved in an accident and did not have the proper license you would be in big trouble.  I suspect they would tell you you were driving without a license, which would be true.
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Gary RV Roamer

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Re: Driver's License and GVWR??????
« Reply #22 on: June 09, 2009, 03:51:06 PM »
I've had the discussion with the main Florida DMV office in Tallahassee and there is no requirement for any special license for any private recreational vehicle, regardless of weight. Got an answer in writing via email too.

New Mexico apparently is not as kind.
Gary
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Phil

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Re: Driver's License and GVWR??????
« Reply #23 on: June 09, 2009, 07:41:29 PM »
So Utah doesn't have a weight limit for the regular license?

That is correct if it's non-commercial.  You can also tow triple.  MH-toad-boat.

taoshum

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Re: Driver's License and GVWR??????
« Reply #24 on: June 09, 2009, 08:35:29 PM »
I did a search on the NM statutes for "Class E" and there used to be a Class E, it seems that there is no more.  I just sent an email to the DMV Bureau Chief so maybe he will clarify the situation?  The postings that say that NM has a class E license do not seem to be current.
07 Itasca Meridian 34SH.  '08 Jeep Sahara.
Taos, NM.

kevin

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Re: Driver's License and GVWR??????
« Reply #25 on: June 09, 2009, 11:01:18 PM »
might call the state toopers station. the DMV people didn't know(another example of someone not knowing their job) so I called the state police, In arkansas they don't care about air brakes, size or weight. ya just gotta have a valid license...Gotta love Arkansas ;D
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taoshum

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Re: Driver's License and GVWR??????
« Reply #26 on: June 11, 2009, 10:51:35 PM »
well, I finally got the scoop for NM and a new DL:

This is from the state office:

"In response to you email asking about a Class E license and driving a motorhome with a GVWR of 27,000+ lbs.

If you currently hold a Class D all you need to do is go into one of the Motor Vehicle Field Offices, complete the self certification form and let them know you want to change for a Class D to a Class E.  You will need to pay the fee of a new license and the Class E will allow you to drive you motorhome.  Below is the rule/regulation allowing this.  Please let me know if you have any questions.

Chapter 5, Section G:
Class E (CDL Exempt) License

Revised February 28, 2008
 
Federal regulation allows states to exempt three groups of drivers from the general rule that a CDL is required to drive vehicles over 26,000 pounds.
 
New Mexico Class E (CDL exempt) license
 
By rule (18.19.5.112 NMAC) drivers with a Class E license may operate certain vehicles that are over 26,000 pounds on the public roads and highways of New Mexico without a commercial driver's license. The Class E exempt license is available to drivers of:
a.      Recreational Vehicles – vehicles that are registered and used as a recreational vehicles.
b.      Farm and Ranch Vehicles – vehicles that are: • controlled and operated by a farmer or rancher or an employee of a farmer or rancher; • used to transport agricultural products, agricultural machinery or agricultural supplies to or from a farm or ranch; • used within 150 miles of the ranch or farm; and • not used in the operations of a motor carrier or otherwise used “for hire.”
c.      Fire Fighting Vehicles – vehicles manufactured for and equipped to fight fires and equipped with audible and visual signals and operated by a person who is a member of a volunteer or paid fire organization.
d.      Military Vehicles - all vehicles owned or operated by the department of defense and operated by non-civilian operators. [Note: Military drivers are, however, typically licensed by the military, so would not normally need a New Mexico Class E license.]
Vehicle Certification
 
All applicants for a Class E license must provide a Vehicle Certification - MVD form #10414. THIS IS YOUR DOCUMENTATION FOR WHY YOU ISSUED THE EXEMPTION. MAKE SURE THAT THE APPLICANT IS QUALIFIED TO RECEIVE IT.
a.      RV driver – may sign for himself, both first time and upon renewal.
b.      Farm or Ranch – owner may sign for himself, both first time and upon renewal; however, the farmer/rancher must sign, both first time and upon renewal, for employee-applicant.
c.      Fire Fighters – Fire Chief must sign, both first time and upon renewal.

Connie Torres
Manager
Driver Services Bureau"

[edit]Fixed font & white space.[/edit]
« Last Edit: June 11, 2009, 11:48:41 PM by Tom »
07 Itasca Meridian 34SH.  '08 Jeep Sahara.
Taos, NM.

Ned

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Re: Driver's License and GVWR??????
« Reply #27 on: June 12, 2009, 07:11:08 AM »
So you just show that you need a class E license and they give it to you.  No written or road test?
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE
2007 GMC Canyon

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taoshum

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Re: Driver's License and GVWR??????
« Reply #28 on: June 13, 2009, 10:03:37 PM »
Yeah, no test, no questions, nothing but a fee and a lot of work just to find out...  but, if I got in a wreck, it wouldn't take a  genius to discover that I had no license to drive the vehicle and therefore no matter what the circumstances I'd be liable.  Plus I bet 90% of the MH drivers in NM don't even know about this little quirk.  My insurance agent has a MH and didn't know about it.  Maybe the judge would be nice and throw it out??????  Good Luck.
07 Itasca Meridian 34SH.  '08 Jeep Sahara.
Taos, NM.

Alaskansnowbirds

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Re: Driver's License and GVWR??????
« Reply #29 on: June 13, 2009, 10:10:45 PM »
What upsets me is that DMV will register a motorhome over the 26,000 lbs and not ask to see your license that authorizes you to drive it.
Don & Peg
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Currently located here.
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