California 5th wheel owners may need special license

Are you licensed to drive in California and tow a fifth-wheel trailer? If so, you may need a special license. Here’s the scoop from the California Department of Motor Vehicles:
A driver must have a fifth-wheel recreational trailer endorsement added to his/her Class C driver license to pull a fifth-wheel trailer over 10,000 lbs., but not over 15,000 pounds GVWR which is not used for hire. The endorsement is not required if the driver has a commercial or noncommercial Class A driver license.
To obtain an original fifth-wheel recreational trailer endorsement, adults must:
•Complete an application for a driver license (DL 44).
•There is no fee unless your license expires within six months.
•Pass the Recreational Vehicles and Noncommercial Class A Trailers law test.
•Pass the basic Class C law test, unless you renewed your Class C license within the last 12 months.
•Pass a vision test.
•You are not required to submit a Health Questionnaire or Physician’s Health Report.
•You are not required to take a pre-trip, skills, or driving test to add a Recreational Trailer endorsement to your current license.
Minors must complete all the steps above and meet additional requirements listed in the California Driver Handbook.

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Dude, I just read the hand book, it clearly says a basic class C CAN TOW a 5th wheel 10-15k. This is straight miss information. I hate Calie for a lot fo reasons, but people tend to bash it over crap thats not even real.

Go check yourself:

Al Florida

You are using the words “you may need a special license” which makes it unclear if you are saying CA requires or is proposing a special license. You do seem to quote the state handbook, but you don’t put the info in quotes or specifically state this is the state law.

It would be much clearer if you were to state that CA is requiring a special license for trailers between 10,000 and 15,000 pounds and here is the quote from the handbook.

Also it would be much more helpful if you gave info about trailers over 15,000 pounds. Is a different license required for those trailers?

Dick Danger

Really pleased to see people staying out of California! Most of them are not wanted.
Let us enjoy our state and you stay in yours!!

Tommy Molnar

We just stay OUT of California every chance we get – which is always. It’s a shame because the state has some beautiful country, but it is SO screwed up in SO many ways it’s just better to stay out.


And by the way, our speed limit in California for anybody towing a trailer is 55 mph.


California has been off my RVing List for a Long Time. It’s California!
That;s all that needs to be said!

Bob Godfrey

Knowing CA officials it will only be a matter of time before fees will be attached to these licenses. Wait and see.

Dave J

Well I’m told that they ticket 5th wheel rigs pulling a ATV trailer behind the 5er even if it perfectly legal in the state where all three are licensed. That said nothing Cali does surprises me anymore.

Tom Anderson

I wonder if they will try to reach out and ticket other state licensed drivers passing through Cali that are pulling fivers that exceed the 10,000 pounds restriction.