GVW and motorhome driving licenses

Can I change my motorhome’s GVW to a heavy vehicle rating? What license do I need to drive my motorhome? For this new What the Pilote experts say, we spoke to Mr Jallot, our Standards and Certification Expert. He told us about the different steps involved and the consequences of changing your motorhome’s GVW.

What’s a private HGV?

HGVs have an MAM of more than 3.5 tonnes. For LDVs, it’s less than 3.5 tonnes. MAM means maximum authorised mass, or maximum technically permissible.

PTAC et permis de conduire camping-car

What licence do you need for HGV motorhomes?

You have 2 possibilities. First, get an HGV licence. Second, thanks to a Decree of July 2009 if you got French licence B before 20 January 1975,you can drive motorhomes of more than 3.5 tonnes, which are HGVs.

“Can I make my light-duty motorhome an HGV?


Be aware that MAM increases to HGV are adjudicated individually.It depends on a vehicle’s homologation. Whether your vehicle can become an HGV mainly depends on 3 things:

first, your chassis’ capacity and the approval obtained by the maker; the motorhome’s homologation – whether it’s a French RPT, a reception par type; or a European approval; and finally, regulatory modifications which may have been made. After analysis and approval, we can send you the documents for registering your individual vehicle at your local DREAL.Once you’ve got your papers for your particular case, you can go to the Préfecture to change your vehicle registration.

What are the consequences?

  • In terms of MOTs, HGV motorhomes must get one each year at a specialist HGV MOT centre, not a garage for lighter vehicles.
  • Second, you may not be able to drive in some towns, particularly in town centres where vehicles over 3.5 tonnes cannot enter.
  • Of course, there are special speed limits for HGVs.
  • HGV motorhomes also pay special motorway tolls.

    If you want to ask us any questions for a future episode, go to our Experts speach page.

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