A bill to allow motorhomes up to 45 feet long on California highways appears to be headed toward passage in the state legislature following approval by the Senate Transportation Committee in late June.

The bill currently calls for a special driver’s license endorsement that will require written and practical driving tests and a medical statement from the applicant.

Motorhomes over 40 feet would be restricted to what basically is the California truck-route system. However, individual owners, dealers or campground operators could appeal to local jurisdictions for permission to drive on roads under their authority, said Craig Kirby, vice president and general counsel of the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA).

“If an owner wants to get legally from his residence to one of the CalTrans (California Department of Transportation) roads, he can go to local authorities and see if they can establish a route to go to-and-from,” Kirby said. “It’s not the best solution, but it was the best we could get.”

“I think the compromises that we have agreed to are ones that we can live with,” said Jim Sheldon, assistant to the chairman of Monaco Coach Corp., who lobbied for months to alter California’s law.

The bill has to go before the full California Senate, and if it passes by a two-thirds majority, it could become law upon signing by the governor. If it passes by a simple majority, it would become law next Jan. 1.