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Old 02-27-2016, 11:19 PM   #1
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Need a cdl to drive a skoolie...

If you don't retitle the skoolie as a housecar, do you legally need a cdl to drive it? One auction I am looking at said that if I won, I would need a cdl in hand to drive the bus. This was in Oregon btw.
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Old 02-27-2016, 11:28 PM   #2
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CDL's are for people who are driving for commercial purposes, IE to make money.

So you only need a NONE commercial class endorsement or permit depending on the GVWR of the bus.
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Old 02-28-2016, 08:03 AM   #3
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....And the state! There are different requirements depending on the state.
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Old 02-28-2016, 08:07 AM   #4
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Here in FL, we don't have to worry about having any cdl.
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Old 02-28-2016, 10:06 AM   #5
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This is an endless gray area, and in some states it's worse than in others. Federal law on the matter changed in 2009 or so, and many states haven't caught up yet.

USDOT, which issues DOT numbers for commercial vehicles nation-wide, WILL NOT issue a DOT number for a vehicle that is not used commercially. If it isn't a commercial vehicle (that is, it is not used for commercial purposes), USDOT does not require that the operator have a CDL. Some states still do, others do not. In Alaska, the law just changed in 2014, and many people at the state DMV don't know about the change - I found all this out by talking to the Legislative Liason for the DMV - that is, the person who interfaces between the state department and the state legislature.

So regardless of which state you're in, chances are that whoever you talk to at DMV won't know if the law was recently changed. Most states are in process of catching their rules up to the federal rules on this if they haven't done it already.
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Old 02-28-2016, 10:06 AM   #6
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Thanks! That means one more thing to look into when I buy the bus. It is likely going to be a bus bought in another state-I would like to buy a bus from a mild weather state so that the body will be in better condition.
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Old 03-03-2016, 08:20 AM   #7
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Commercial drivers are subject to no less than six different regulatory agencies so while one agency may say 'no' to the question another may say 'yes' regarding the question. Part of the question is the vehicle but the biggest part is the driver of said vehicle. Furthermore, school buses inevitably fall into a further gray area because they aren't operated commercially (for-profit) but they do satisfy the federal standard for a cdl license in that they seat more than 15 passengers.

My two cents: technically you should have a passenger endorsement on your license to get the bus home. If your state has a chauffeur endorsement that is more than 15 passengers but less than 26k pounds then it may not technically be a cdl but should be valid to any other state's law enforcement. One other sticking point may be if it is air-brake equipped because this is a further endorsement but ironically only if the vehicle is actually commercial... Class A RVs can be over 26k pounds AND have air brakes so long as they don't seat more than 15! Bizarre, right?!
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Old 03-03-2016, 03:31 PM   #8
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pengyou, check with the DMV of YOUR state regarding the necessity of either a CDL or a P endorsement. NO ONE on this site is an authority on individual state requirements.
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Old 03-03-2016, 07:42 PM   #9
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In New York, unless the vehicle is explicitly an RV, if its over 26K you need a CDL, no ifs ands or butts about it. My bus was 25,500lbs, so I was able to drive it home with my livery licence without any fuss.
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Old 03-07-2016, 11:51 AM   #10
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I'm new to he forum and wanted to ask a question about this issue .

Can I Tag the school bus as a RV prior to the conversion ?

thank you in advance .
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