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Old 03-29-2004, 03:33 PM   #1
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Do u need a CDL

I am new to bus coverting and i was wondering if there is a way to covert a bus and drive it with out a CDL.
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Old 03-29-2004, 03:52 PM   #2
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I'm not sure about every state, but in the majority of states once you register your bus as an RV you don't need a CDL to drive it.

Here is a good topic for the typical requirements:

http://www.skoolie.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=135
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Old 03-29-2004, 06:06 PM   #3
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ok thanks
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Old 03-31-2004, 01:27 AM   #4
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Another previous topic on this, I'll just do this so they are easy to find.

http://www.skoolie.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=19
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Old 04-14-2004, 03:14 PM   #5
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Called Colorado State Patrol this morning to find your answer. They told me a CDL-B is required if the vehicle has air brakes. This may vary state to state.

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Old 04-15-2004, 11:01 AM   #6
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Hi Harvey,

Call your state's licensing entity (or State Patrol) and ask them what license is necessary to drive a motorhome. Once they tell you ask them if there are special endorsements for air brakes on a motorhome. I've found that if you don't confuse the issue by mentioning a school bus that it's much easier for them to answer the question; you're not hiding a darn thing as when converted your rig will be a motorhome. It's just that if you mention "school bus" they automatically jump to conclusions about its use and give you answers on the commercial side.

So far (and I'm not a nationwide expert) I've not heard of a motorhome requiring a CDL; that's a Commercial Driver's License and you're not driving a commercial (for hire) rig. I have heard of some states that require an "air brake" endorsement on your regular (private) driver's license if your rig does indeed have air brakes. Staggerlee917 may have gotten 'right on' info for Colorado but it sounds more likely that they gave him info required to drive a "School Bus" with air brakes.

To the best of my knowledge as long as your bus is still a "School Bus" (and licensed as such), regardless of private ownership or intent to convert, you are required to have a CDL-B license with an air brake endorsement (if it has air brakes).

My bus isn't a motorhome in Washington yet because it hasn't been converted (and inspected); it is licensed as a private vehicle (I carry the same tags as an automobile) and I do not have to have a CDL. In general, unless you drive a vehicle over 26,000# (that is not a Recreational Vehicle (or farm or fire-fighting equipment in some locales)) or carry more than 15 passengers you should not be required to have a Commercial Driver's License...but...YMMV.

It's a confusing issue; the basic requirements for CDL's are set at the Federal level and every State must comply and license the same. But States can (and do) add "endorsement" or "waiver" regulations; those are the ones you'll have to research for your particular State.

Good luck!
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Old 04-15-2004, 11:25 AM   #7
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Here's an example of Colorado's rules:

FMCSR * 383.91 & 42-2-402 (4)(a) list the vehicles that require the operator to have a CDL. The definition of "commercial motor vehicle" as given in FMCSR* - Part 383.91 will be used for CDL licensing purposes. The definition given in CRS 42-2-402 also applies. FHWA refers to these vehicles as Agroups,@ Colorado refers to these vehicles as a Aclass,@ either is appropriate.

(1) CDL A: Any combination of vehicles with a gross combination weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 pounds or more; provided the GVWR of the vehicle(s) being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds. Holders of a CDL class A license, may with the appropriate endorsements, operate vehicles within the CDL B, CDL C, basic driver's license and motorcycle classes.

(2) CDL B: Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, which may tow another vehicle that is not in excess of 10,000 pounds GVWR. This group includes vehicles designed to transport 16 or more passengers including the driver. Holders of a CDL class B license may, with the appropriate endorsements, operate vehicles within the CDL C, basic driver's license and motorcycle classes.

(3) CDL C: Any single vehicle, or combination of vehicles with a GVWR or a GCWR of 26,000 or less pounds that:

(a) Is designed to transport 16 or more passengers including the driver; or

(b) Transports hazardous materials in quantities sufficient to require placards under DOT regulations.

(c) Holders of a CDL Class C license may, with appropriate endorsements, operate vehicles within the basic driver's license and motorcycle classes.

* See Federal regulation incorporation statement at end of rules.


This is the Federal regulation:

Commercial motor vehicle (CMV) means a motor vehicle or combination of motor vehicles used in commerce (bold added) to transport passengers or property if the motor vehicle --

(a) Has a gross combination weight rating of 11,794 kilograms or more (26,001 pounds or more) inclusive of a towed unit(s) with a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 4,536 kilograms (10,000 pounds); or

(b) Has a gross vehicle weight rating of 11,794 or more kilograms (26,001 pounds or more); or

(c) Is designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver; or

(d) Is of any size and is used in the transportation of hazardous materials as defined in this section.


------

Non-CMV means a motor vehicle or combination of motor vehicles not defined by the term "commercial motor vehicle (CMV)" in this section.

------

And this should just about sum it up:

CDL Exemptions

The law exempts three groups of drivers from the CDL:

Farmers transporting farm equipment, supplies, or products to or from a farm in a farm vehicle are exempted provided the vehicle is operated by a farmer or a farm employee. (Products include Christmas trees or wood products transported by vehicles 40,000 pounds GVW or less.)

Fire-fighters/Law Enforcement Personnel operating emergency equipment are exempted provided they have completed the Emergency Vehicle Accident Prevention Program (EVAP) and they carry a card certifying completion.

Recreational Vehicle Operators are exempted when driving RV's for non-commercial purposes. This includes two axle rental trucks, and horse trailers for non-commercial purposes. (bold added)
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Old 04-15-2004, 09:56 PM   #8
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Just as Les said, you don't need a class "B" license for a private motorhome. My dad works for the state of Colorado in the licensening division so I called him and asked. He said as long as it is not used for any commercial purposes or carrying more than 15 people you don't need anything special. Just get that title changed over and you will be just fine.
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