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Old 09-07-2012, 10:40 PM   #11
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Re: Certified weight slip, insurance

I asked the dealer I got my bus from where there are any private certified weigh stations, and he suggested one in Vineland, NJ (Major Petroleum on Main Road). I drove it there today and paid $9. The bus (formerly a 54-seater) currently (with bunks, sink, stove, dinette, etc) weighs 17,000 lbs.

The 'foreign title' department in Trenton is the only place that deals with title alterations, and they said they don't let people come in (sounds like desk jobs in an office). I took pictures of everything done (and the VIN number), included my original title, a $60 check, the weight slip, and a brief letter explaining my intentions, and certified mailed it today.

Even at a point where the title says 'Class A motorhome', I still have the struggle with insurance. Progressive (my auto insurance) has motorhome insurance but on their website specifically say they DO NOT insure school bus conversions whether professionally done or not (apparently a transit/coach bus conversion is okay). They are also a bit extensive with the requirements, ie demanding electrical AND propane AND heat AND a toilet, etc. Which I'm nowhere near. Basically, it needs to be year-round livable. The DMV is less stringent on requirements. I wouldn't mind just not telling them except where there's a point that an accident happens and they see pictures of the vehicle and then don't pay for repairs or drop the policy and dump me with bills because it's a vehicle they don't normally insure. Sigh. I would just prefer a single policy for my car and motorhome. I think I'm going to put this aside until I get my new title.

Anybody in NJ have both their car and skoolie motorhome insured? Who are some of the companies that offer it? Any ones with full coverage (ie interior possessions from damage, etc)? Anyone who has gone through the actual accident process where they haven't bailed out once realizing it's an old school bus?
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Old 04-26-2016, 07:34 PM   #12
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Hey everyone!
So I'm in the exact situation as tomas_maly was in a few years ago, also in New Jersey lol

I just got back from the mvc and they said they could give me passenger plates as long as I have pictures showing that it doesn't look like a school bus (change yellow paint, remove stop sign, warning lights, stop arm, etc.)

If my bus gets passenger plates, does that mean technically I wont need a cdl?
Under cdl exemptions it says "Operators of recreational vehicles, provided the vehicle is being operated only for personal use".

Im planning on only using my bus for personal use, like road trips so I don't need it to be full rv, with a bathroom and kitchen. So Im pretty sure once I get the passenger plates I'll be fine and won't even have to actually switch it over to an rv.
The only mention of a bus on the title is under body type.

As for registration, when I get the passenger plates will that mean the bus will be registered?

If I have the passenger plates and I don't need a cdl, will I even need to actually get the title switched to rv?
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Old 04-26-2016, 07:52 PM   #13
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passenger plates? how many passengers? if your leaving it like a bus, then its a bus and you are transporting people. that's commercial. in colorado that would require a class B cdl with a passenger endorsement.

if you convert it to an rv, then you can register and insure it as an rv. that is non commercial or personal use.
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Old 04-26-2016, 08:03 PM   #14
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RockerBus, again, check with YOUR state's MVD/DMV/State Police concerning the necessity or not of a CDL.
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Old 04-26-2016, 09:32 PM   #15
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Rito again Cap. It's getting kind of confusing about which state has what and who does or doesn't need an endorsement. I need an endorsement to drive this bus in Oregon because specifically of the air brakes, and more importantly to travel in Canada with air brakes an air endorsement is required, here also called a class B license. It's likely the same issues would come up with travel down south, way down south.
Luckily I've been told many times by DMV clerks that they don't care how I get it there to be tested. If I can't get it there without getting stopped I shouldn't be asking for the license.

Side note; I finally acquired insurance again. The third policy in the four months since I've had this bus. I'm thinking I should be taking some kind of anti-rejection drugs so this policy will finally stick.
This was none other than the "Progressive Commercial policy for private use." Even the phone people will tell you that it doesn't exist, but it is on their menu. Day before yesterday I was turned down on the phone while trying to get a commercial policy. I had to go to an independent insurance agent that put it together. They took a couple pics of the outside of the bus, a little signing and blood letting and it was done. Now, back to your regular programming.
Anybody in Oregon, Washington or Idaho can utilize this same office to acquire insurance if they are having problems. I don't like that kind of stress.
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Old 04-26-2016, 10:52 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomas_maly View Post
I asked the dealer I got my bus from where there are any private certified weigh stations, and he suggested one in Vineland, NJ (Major Petroleum on Main Road). I drove it there today and paid $9. The bus (formerly a 54-seater) currently (with bunks, sink, stove, dinette, etc) weighs 17,000 lbs.

The 'foreign title' department in Trenton is the only place that deals with title alterations, and they said they don't let people come in (sounds like desk jobs in an office). I took pictures of everything done (and the VIN number), included my original title, a $60 check, the weight slip, and a brief letter explaining my intentions, and certified mailed it today.

Even at a point where the title says 'Class A motorhome', I still have the struggle with insurance. Progressive (my auto insurance) has motorhome insurance but on their website specifically say they DO NOT insure school bus conversions whether professionally done or not (apparently a transit/coach bus conversion is okay). They are also a bit extensive with the requirements, ie demanding electrical AND propane AND heat AND a toilet, etc. Which I'm nowhere near. Basically, it needs to be year-round livable. The DMV is less stringent on requirements. I wouldn't mind just not telling them except where there's a point that an accident happens and they see pictures of the vehicle and then don't pay for repairs or drop the policy and dump me with bills because it's a vehicle they don't normally insure. Sigh. I would just prefer a single policy for my car and motorhome. I think I'm going to put this aside until I get my new title.

Anybody in NJ have both their car and skoolie motorhome insured? Who are some of the companies that offer it? Any ones with full coverage (ie interior possessions from damage, etc)? Anyone who has gone through the actual accident process where they haven't bailed out once realizing it's an old school bus?
OOOPPSS!! I quoted the wrong user and dont know how to change it.. meant to quote rockerbus..


every state is different.. i wil ltell you that in OHIO.. I did exactly as you did with my LAST bus.. it was set up for under 15 passengers and had a GVWR sticker of less than 26000 lbs.. I simply registered it as a passengr vehicle.. no different than the guy down the street with a 15 passenger club wagon... and I needed NO CDL or anything other than my regular driver license.. I insured it as a Chevrolet TopKick (which is what the chassis was)...

once I did that I could not haul anyone for pay, or for a sanctioned event like for a school or church.. however could haul my friends around as much as I wanted...

it may very well be that NJ will do you the same thing...
in OHIO they go off of the RATED weight not what the bus actually weighs.. so the placard inside the bus.. NJ may be different.. sounds like it is..

NOW my New bus is OVER 26,000 GVWR so if I wanted to register it .. then it would be a bus and id have to get a CDL with NO medical cert needed.. + an air brake endorsement.. HOWEVER in OHIO titling and registering as an RV / Motorhome requires NO CDL and NO endorsements to operate.. OHIO requires a place to eat , sleep, a frig or icebox, and a way to cook food.. from what everyone says, no one gets checked, inspected or dinged as long as you mind your own business and have less than 15 passenger seats in it..

other states are MUCH tougher.. but the point of my post is YES in NJ it may be possible to reigster as a passenger car. . thats how I did my last one...

technically I "COULD" get my current bus reclassified likely lower than 26,000 lbs but there is a LOT of headache and paperwork and inspection into reclassifying a vehicle to a different GVWR...

it sounds like you are doing more like i am.. Not making a tiny home or camper but simply want a bus to use for various personal use tasks.. in my case an electronic "lab" of sorts.. roadtrips, taking my friends to amusement parks, carrying christmas trees at christmas time, etc..

-Christopher
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Old 04-26-2016, 11:13 PM   #17
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it sounds like you are doing more like i am.. Not making a tiny home or camper but simply want a bus to use for various personal use tasks.. in my case an electronic "lab" of sorts.. roadtrips, taking my friends to amusement parks, carrying christmas trees at christmas time, etc..

-Christopher
Thats exactly what I would be using it for.

I have no problem with taking all the necessary steps to make it a rv in NJ which is to change the color, remove all school bus related equipment, and install a sink, bed/sofa bed, and stove/microwave and then switch the title. They also want a certified weight slip which is what the original post was about.
In his case, it sounds like he was able to drive the bus with the passenger plates to the weigh station without a cdl, so I figure why even go through installing a sink, bed, and microwave when I would technically not have to as I don't need them for my uses. Again, if it must be done, then I have no problem doing installing those things.

As for the title, under GVW/WC/LGTH, it just says 54 which is the number of passengers, so Im not sure of the GVW.
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Old 04-27-2016, 05:55 AM   #18
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Under cdl exemptions it says "Operators of recreational vehicles, provided the vehicle is being operated only for personal use".

If I have the passenger plates and I don't need a cdl, will I even need to actually get the title switched to rv?
That's a very grey area, one in which an overly zealous LEO could cause you a world of problems. If you've no problem moving to the next level, and going through the RV conversion, by all means, do it. Considering what the Special Vehicle/Foreign Title Unit requires to be considered an RV conversion is not as onerous as some states.

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As for registration, when I get the passenger plates will that mean the bus will be registered?
In a word, yes.

And thanks for the heads up about a scale closer to where I am than Carney's Point Pilot
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Old 04-27-2016, 07:22 AM   #19
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That's a very grey area, one in which an overly zealous LEO could cause you a world of problems. If you've no problem moving to the next level, and going through the RV conversion, by all means, do it. Considering what the Special Vehicle/Foreign Title Unit requires to be considered an RV conversion is not as onerous as some states.



In a word, yes.

And thanks for the heads up about a scale closer to where I am than Carney's Point Pilot
its a tough one, however the LEO is supposed to honor the registration if its valid and blank (no warrants).. if it will register as a passenger vehicle then thats how I'd do it...

in Ohio taking out seats qualifies for reduction in passenger capacity.. registration goes off of ADULT capacity when it comes to private use.. most school busses have a rated passenger capacity of adults / children.. My bus is actually rated as a 12 + 2 or 14 passenger + driver. . 5 passenger.. but since its GVWR is over the 26,000 limit (I thought that was a federal statute), it has to be registered commercially.. or you can title/ register as an RV as stated..

its darn near impossible to re-classify your GVWR.. as its the manufacturer DESIGN of what weight the vehicle CAN carry... even though you only plan to carry a small amount of weight, the DMV goes on what it coud conceivably carry... and thats stamped on the metal Tag and tied to the VIN...

there are plenty of conventional school busses with less than 26000 lbs GVWR (I looked at a few).. which make it easy if you want to be a passenger car... and in NJ maybe they dont care, but i thought the feds did..

my last bus was under 26k and had 15 or less passenger capacity and the DMV gladly registered it as a passenger car.. I had researched it quite a bit at the time and even higher-ups said they looked at it no differently than a "ford club wagon 15 passenger".. I know ofothers on here that have their busses registered as Vans..

as an RV its kind of like a legal loophole that pretty much in MOST states, obsolves the owner / driver from needing special licenses and training... and also much less expensive registration fees than if you registered as a full commercial vehicle and got a CDL..

every state also has different requirements for an RV.. and as such many police officers have no clue what the RV requirements are... and there are the gray areas that make thigns tougher for police..

example: "sir this is registered as an RV but you have no sink..", 'im sorry officer but I temporarily removed it so i can repair and replace and update and remodel and restore..'.. would it work? maybe and maybe not..

in my experience ive never been bothered by police when im in a bus.. I got told my last bus "sounded great" but "you are leaking water".. by a police officer referring to my somewhat-built 454 Chevy in it... who was surprised when I told him the water was from A/C.. "in a school bus? nice!" was his response...

but I never had people yelling and screaming and hanging out of windows on my bus either.. and I wasnt running down the highway at 85 MPH...

maybe ohio and the states I happen to travel are lenient and dont care? or maybe police just dont care as long as you mind your own business..

admittedly i wasnt in a "border state" either.. I supposed things are scrutinized more near the "southern" borders...

-Christopher
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Old 04-27-2016, 08:42 AM   #20
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is your dmv calling the passenger plates "omnibus" passenger plates that start with "O"? its the option of no longer registering as a school bus.

thats flat out commercial. commercial plates, commercial insurance, commercial driver's license.


looks like they are changing the type of commercial registraion from school bus to passenger carrier. a code (17) to a code (54) per the commercial license options.

State of New Jersey - Motor Vehicle Commission

again, How many passengers do you plan on carrying? if you are leaving the bus seats in place, its a commercial vehicle.
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