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Old 12-14-2015, 05:33 PM   #21
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when I went to the driver's licensing place to get the title switched I asked about CDL requirements and the guy told me that you only need one if you're being compensated to drive it financially, pretty cool. Looks like WA is pretty lenient the way he made it sound, he said getting it retitled as an RV is really easy too, just need to get it reweighed and bring in any receipts for the parts installed.
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Old 12-14-2015, 05:58 PM   #22
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when I went to the driver's licensing place to get the title switched I asked about CDL requirements and the guy told me that you only need one if you're being compensated to drive it financially, pretty cool. Looks like WA is pretty lenient the way he made it sound, he said getting it retitled as an RV is really easy too, just need to get it reweighed and bring in any receipts for the parts installed.
Texas is somewhat vague on the requirement for a Class B or A license.

The conversion process is straightforward, but requires documentation. It's based on vehicle weight so private bus vs RV has no fee savings. It may indeed have an insurance impact as it's legally an RV once it's titled that way. Insurance companies can avoid anything they want to.

My guess is that they are leery of roof raises and other major alterations that change the stability of the vehicle.
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Old 12-31-2015, 09:48 PM   #23
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Some states require power and holding tanks to be an "RV". We have insurance through Allstate and it is about $63 a month. I have a young driver (19yr old son) listed also.
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Old 01-01-2016, 10:59 PM   #24
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In most states and as of recent years, a CDL is only required to operate a vehicle that is used in the "furtherance of commerce". So basically... a commercial vehicle. If you can get your bus licensed and registered as a private vehicle, then you won't require a CDL.
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Old 01-02-2016, 12:38 AM   #25
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I think people are confusing the difference between an RV and a bus.

RV's do not need special licenses to drive them, no matter how large they happen to be--a 45' three axle motorcoach or a Kenworth Class 8 tandem axle tractor that is licensed as an RV does NOT need any sort of special license.

But as long as that motorcoach or truck is licensed as a bus or truck it will require a CDL to drive it. If the vehicle requires a CDL to drive it in order to get a license for it in the state of WA you would have to produce a current active USDOT number in order to get a license renewal for it.

Regardless of what anyone else has posted here about being paid or paying someone to drive the vehicle, being paid or paying someone to drive a vehicle has nothing to do with whether or not the vehicle is considered commercial or non-commercial. Commercial and non-commercial is determined by how the vehicle is licensed.

Now I am willing to say I am not an expert on how all fifty states administer the CDL/USDOT/FMSCA rules and regulations, but I do know the laws in WA, OR, and CA.

Out here on the left coast it does NOT matter how the vehicle is used but how the vehicle is licensed which determines which license is required to drive the vehicle.

Going back to the original post, the discussion was about a school bus that had been converted to a party bus that seated more than 15-passengers including the driver.

If I sold the original poster the bus I would have told him he could not legally drive the bus if he didn't have a CDL with a passenger endorsement.

But I also know that enforcement officers rarely ever will stop a bus for any reason. If that bus happened to be somewhere where a lot of other buses happened to be that bus would be subject to an FMSCA inspection that could include the driver. At that point not having a proper license could result in a major fine and a red flag put on the bus. If on the other hand the original poster drove the bus straight home and removed enough seating positions that it no longer seated more than 15-passengers plus the driver and the registration was changed from bus to RV the new owner would be able to drive that bus anywhere with nothing more than a regular driver's license.

RV's by definition are non-commercial. A bus by definition is commercial. And a bus by definition is any vehicle that seats more than 15-passengers plus the driver.
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Old 01-02-2016, 12:59 AM   #26
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Preach on, Cowlitz!
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Old 01-02-2016, 02:06 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cowlitzcoach View Post
RV's do not need special licenses to drive them, no matter how large they happen to be--a 45' three axle motorcoach or a Kenworth Class 8 tandem axle tractor that is licensed as an RV does NOT need any sort of special license.
Except for the weight class. Not a CDL but I still consider it a special license since where I'm from it's the same test anyway.
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Old 01-02-2016, 01:18 PM   #28
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California requires a Class B endorsement for RV's over 40ft, I believe it's mainly to educate people on air brakes, how they work & how to test them.
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Old 01-02-2016, 11:57 PM   #29
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No matter what the regs are, it is a great idea for every skoolie driver/owner to know and be familiar with the CDL manual and rules. It's too much rolling thunder to not know how to operate and inspect it. Might contribute to why they are so hard to insure--all the noobs driving like dummies cuz they dont know how air breaks work or what a damaged tie rod looks like. If you cant pretrp you cant take the trip ;)
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Old 01-03-2016, 04:38 PM   #30
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AMEN to that one, Charles. You just can't hop in behind the wheel and go. There's a lot more involved when you have S-cams on all four corners.
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