Although most individuals drive a standard car in their day-to-day lives, it is also common practice for some auto drivers to operate a recreational vehicle (RV). For example, an RV is often the vehicle of choice for certain motorists who are frequent cross-country travelers. But an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) is also considered a recreational vehicle, and it is often operated by motorists who prefer to get behind the wheel of an off-road vehicle. In any case, if you would like to operate a recreational vehicle – whether it is on the road or at a camping site – you will need to first look at the requirements set forth by your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles. The basic requirements will vary and may encompass a number of different rules, depending on the state where you reside. However, some main steps you will need to adhere to include the following: obtaining the proper licensure or recreational vehicle endorsement on your license, registering your recreational vehicle (if necessary) and titling your recreational vehicle (if necessary). Most of these services can only be completed either at your local Department of Motor Vehicles branch or your county tax collector’s office. Most of the time, you will need to fill out the proper application, as well as pay any set fees, before you can be issued a registration decal and/or your official titling documentation. Keep in mind that certain vehicles are exempt from typical registration and titling procedures, such as mopeds or scooters.
What Constitutes a Recreational Vehicle
No matter where you live, most states have a defined list of what they consider to be RVs and off-highway vehicles. Generally speaking, the list includes the motor vehicles listed below:
- Conventional RVs
- Van campers
- Truck campers
- All-Terrain Vehicles (ATV)
- Recreational Off-Highway Vehicles (ROV)
- Off-Highway Motorcycles (OHM)
- Dune buggies
How to Get an RV License Endorsement
Some states require you to obtain a specific license to operate a recreational vehicle, while others do not. For example, in the state of Arkansas, you must have a Class D license, and the same applies in Minnesota. If you do need a license to operate your RV, a Class D endorsement is oftentimes sufficient. However, if you live in Kentucky, there are no special requirements that you must follow. In order to obtain your proper licensure, you will need to visit a local Department of Motor Vehicles with certain documents in hand. In addition to presenting proof of your identity, your residency in the state and your Social Security Number, you may also be asked to pass a set of tests. These tests may include any of the following:
- A vision test
- A written test
- A road skills test
If you already have a driving license in your possession, you may simply need to present the necessary documentation to convert it to a Class D license to drive. If you do need to take a vision test and a written test, you must be ready to complete these examinations in person. An official DMV representative will guide you through the process and explain to you what you can expect from each exam. However, you may still want to consider studying and prepping for your written exam ahead of time by reviewing practice material and study guides. The more you familiarize yourself with the content, the more confident you will feel at the DMV branch. In order to learn everything you need to know about driving an RV, make sure to pick up a copy of the driver’s manual in your state. You can get a hard copy in person, or if you prefer, a downloadable version may be available online, through the driver license department of your state.
How to Register Your RV
In order to get the proper registration for a recreational vehicle, it is important that you first make sure that you do, in fact, need to get it registered. For example, the state of Florida does not require registration of off-highway vehicles, but mopeds must be registered. Oftentimes, this process must be completed at a driver license agency with the correct paperwork in hand. Depending on the vehicle you intend to operate – such as a snowmobile in New York – you may also be required to follow a special set of instructions. Make sure to call your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles ahead of time, so that you are fully aware of what you must have with you for your registration appointment.
How to Title Your RV
Believe it or not, some states do not make it mandatory to register a recreational vehicle. However, you will still be required to complete the titling application. That is because a vehicle title certifies that you are the owner of the RV. Since certain recreational vehicles cannot be legally operated on public highways, registration in such instances is not required. To title your recreational vehicle, simply make your way to a driver license office or a county tax collector’s office to get started.