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Old 11-14-2015, 02:06 AM   #1
Almost There
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 85

so i found THE perfect bus a few months earlier than when i was expecting to buy the bus and now have a situation. I dont have my cdl yet and i would have to travel from los angeles to salt lake city utah, pick up the bus and drive home. without a cdl. my question to you guys, have you guys done this, what are the chances of getting caught, what happens if you get caught. contemplating paying someone to drive it over with me. good idea or naw.
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Old 11-14-2015, 04:17 AM   #2
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 5,864
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Ward/AmTran
Chassis: International
Engine: dt466
Rated Cap: 78
Depends, I guess. I don't have a CDL or any plans on getting one. I don't have to have one.
I drove from KY 800 miles home to FL with no CDL and no tag! I'm not saying this is a good thing for everyone else to try. Just saying what I did.
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Old 11-14-2015, 07:02 AM   #3
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Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: EHT New Jersey
Posts: 974
Year: 2003
Coachwork: AmTran
Chassis: International 3000RE
Engine: T444E/AT545
Rated Cap: 75
I have no plans for a CDL either, and I drove my bus back from Maine without it on Wisconsin apportioned tags (that had been left on the bus by the company I'd bought it from)
Hey! That's not an RV, that's a school bus.
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Old 11-14-2015, 08:51 AM   #4
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Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Montana/Texas
Posts: 139
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Crown by Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DT 466e
Rated Cap: 16
I drove my bus from Florida to Texas without a CDL. Granted, some seats were already out, so I could argue the point that I was converting to an RV *if* I got pulled over, but luckily I didn't.- Like CB, I don't plan on getting one either. Fortunately, in Texas, we don't need one - as long as there is not seating for 15 and the GVW is under 26,000 lbs. I had to have mine weighed for registration, and she's a svelt 15,800 lbs!
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Old 11-14-2015, 09:22 AM   #5
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Richmond, Va
Posts: 30
Year: 2000
Coachwork: Amtran
Engine: dt466e
Rated Cap: 84
I drove my bus from Alabama to Virginia with no cdl, 84 seater with no passengers. I did have plates and registration so mostly legal . But as long as you are not doing anything crazy, or have an accident, the highway troopers shouldn't mess with you. i am no lawyer or a cop so....
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Old 11-14-2015, 10:17 AM   #6
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Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: The Lovely PNW
Posts: 137
Year: 1986
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Saf-T-Liner
Engine: Cat 3208
Rated Cap: 84 px
First trip was a short one, but I hired a friend of a friend school bus driver to move it and rode with him while he checked me out on the bus controls (I would have never guessed the turn signals were foot activated!).
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Old 11-14-2015, 11:58 AM   #7
Almost There
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 85
do i need to get tags?(what are tags?) and should i get temp insurance or something if that even exists? when i put my second hand car earlier this year i think i had a few days of coverage so that i could drive it home and still be insured, does tht apply to buses or naw?
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Old 11-14-2015, 06:03 PM   #8
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Join Date: May 2015
Location: Washington
Posts: 25
Year: 1993
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466
We drove about 550 miles from southern Oregon to the Seattle area. Neither of us has a CDL. Stopped at the Oregon DMV to buy a temporary trip permit, it was around $30 and was good for a week, so we did have tags. We put up signs in the windows saying "IN TRANSIT" and "NOT FOR HIRE". Our car insurance covers ANY new vehicle for 2 weeks, I believe this is a WA state law but other states may have similar provisions.

Neither the DMV nor the school district asked about a CDL. We passed many cops on the way home and none of them gave us a second glance. We did everything we could to indicate that the vehicle wasn't being used as a school bus anymore, so I honestly don't know if we would have been in any trouble even if we had been stopped. Many folks on here have had a similar experience.
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Old 11-14-2015, 07:29 PM   #9
Bus Nut
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 305
For starters its a bus so probably not going to be speeding. It is going to be new so you are going to be hyperaware of the size and looking for gaps, well big enough to drive a bus through. If its a school bus they won't be watching for you at the scales. As long as you don't get into an accident you should be golden, That is the key in driving any car really. Cops usually only pull you over if they are looking for something (kid in a rice rocket) or if you are being a pest on the roadways.

Clearly mark it as a private car not for hire and you should be fine. The worst that can happen is probably a fine and it hurting your ability to get a cdl in the future. I am guessing as long as you are not a dick explaining what you are doing will probably get you a warning anyways.

TL;DR Be aware, Be cautious, DONT be a dick and you should be fine. Get it converted and retitled and you shouldn't ever worry again.
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Old 11-14-2015, 10:28 PM   #10
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Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Gonvick MN
Posts: 191
Year: 1975
Chassis: Gillig
Engine: Cat 3208t
Just go.
It will be fine.
Drive carefully.
Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
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