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Old 05-01-2007, 11:21 PM   #1
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anyone ever registered in VA?

I just talked to the DMV here and they are a little vague. I need to take photos and write a description of what I have done, have it notorised and send all that with a pile of money ($135 and sales tax also) to them and in a couple weeks they will send a guy by to inspect the vehicle to see I have done the work. The problem is, they dont seem to know (or wont tell me) what has to be done to qualify as a RV! My bus as many is a work in progress and I dont want to wait till I can totally finish to start using it. I have a generator(installing tommorrow, I hope), house batteries, inverter, TV, DVD, 2 bunks for the kids and a queen bed for us grown ups. I also have a self contained toilet that I am building a small bathroom to house it but no plumbing yet. Any input from someone who knows what VA requires would be greatly appreciated. I sense an impending trip . . .
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Old 05-02-2007, 11:06 PM   #2
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If I remember correctly, you have to have sleeping area, bathroom area, & a galley... I haven't tried to title mine yet, but watch a freind of mine who converted a Mack Race hauler into a Toter home and had it retitled as a MH...

I don't think they have anything set in stone, but it does need to have an obvious conversion done to it in order to qualify...
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You just might be a Redneck if...
...your motor home used to be a school bus!
...Your living room has a steering wheel!
...Your home has brake lights

1994 Jeep Grand Cherokee
1989 Thomas Diesel Pusher (Cat 3208/Freightliner)
Chesapeake, Virginia
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Old 05-21-2009, 11:51 PM   #3
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Re: anyone ever registered in VA?

Having made the decision to get my bus on the road legally, I peppered the lady (Francine) that owns the Razorback Grill who has a Skoolie parked outside the sandwitch shop. She said that she and her husband went round and round with DMV over this, and finally they found a way around things.

First of all, the proper way that DMV wants it done, is you send them $125 plus a $10 title fee, pictures, and information, and they will schedule a DMV officer to come out and look at your bus conversion and see if it's up to snuff. Of course doing it this way your totally at their whim, and it takes up to 3 weeks for them to schedule the officer to come out.

Francine told me the key to getting it done quickly and easily, is to register the thing as a "Bus for Personal Use" and NOT to mention RV at all. And if you do mention RV (which I did under DMV questioning), I told them it was not an RV yet and not ready for a title conversion, but I needed tags on it to move it around to different shops etc.

I went round and round with the lady at the DMV office, and that was after going round and round with insurance agents. So today I took the day off and here is how it went...

After being turned down at 4 different insurance agencies, 3 of them that handle GMAC. The last one I went to actually picked up the phone and called GMAC, and were told that GMAC would gladly write the policy, but I would have to call them direct. So that's what I did, so after all that running around, burning up gasoline, time & energy.... a 20 minute phone call from my living room, and $134 later it was a done deal. GMAC... (Francine says hers is insured through Good Sam)

Too bad V-DMV wasn't as easy, I pretty much had to stand there and dance a Jig for them... At first she told me the bill of sale (from 2005) was no good, they hand wrote my name and didn't contain a VIN on it... she went in back to confer with a superior, and after several minutes she returned and started entering info into the computer, then she told me she couldn't put regular tags on a bus, that I had to retitle it as a MH. So I argued that point with her and kind of lied a little telling her it wasn't done yet and needed tags to move it from place to place as it goes through the conversion. She wasn't happy with that, so back she went to check with superiors again.

This time she came out and asked if I had altered the suspension, doors, or body modifications (I knew where she was trying to go with this, so I told her all that hadn't been done yet), then asked me what the final weight will be... I told her I didn't have a clue, but guessed it wouldn't change much from what was on the original title, again she went to confer with her supervisor.

Then she came back out and said that since the bus has a GVW of 30,000# that I MUST have a CDL to drive it. I argued with her again. and I had just so happened to pick up the CDL manual for something to read while I was waiting, and I showed her there on page-2 it had a section titled "Who does NOT need a CDL" and a line that stated "Anyone operating the unit for personal use, such as a Motor Home or Rental Truck"... Again she went in back to talk to her boss. A few minutes later she came out of there and made a bee-line to a cabinet, pulled something out and sped back to the bosses office, but I could see she had the CDL manual and was opening it to page 2.

Again she came out, and there was no further discussion about a CDL, but she told me her computer would not let me tag it with personal tags and that I'd have to get Bus tags. She started typing again, and it did kick back on her as the weight was over 26,000# and the computer asked what type of use it was for, she entered "Personal Use" and then it gave her another menu and she clicked "RV" and after that it went through... Tags, Title, & Tax was $104.50....

After it was complete, the cratchety old DMV lady smiled at me, and said she learned something new today!!

So as of today, my bus is properly insured, tagged and titled, and ready to roll!!
__________________
*Cliff*

You just might be a Redneck if...
...your motor home used to be a school bus!
...Your living room has a steering wheel!
...Your home has brake lights

1994 Jeep Grand Cherokee
1989 Thomas Diesel Pusher (Cat 3208/Freightliner)
Chesapeake, Virginia
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Old 05-22-2009, 12:13 AM   #4
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Re: anyone ever registered in VA?

Wow, what an ordeal.

So yours is a personal bus of type rv?

Mine says it is a 1985 THOMAS MTR H. My old cobra RV says it is a 1989 OSHKOSH MTR H. Basically, the same type of vehicles.

Of course, I had the benefit that the bus was titled as a "HOUSE CAR" in the previous state.

Still, glad you found success!

jim
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Old 05-24-2009, 10:47 PM   #5
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Re: anyone ever registered in VA?

For what it's worth, this is what I have now...

My registration lists...
Make: Thomas
Model: Safety Liner
Body: Bus
Year: 1989
Color: Yel (actually it's white now)
Fuel: Diesel
Vehical Use: Private
EW: 19,000 lbs
__________________
*Cliff*

You just might be a Redneck if...
...your motor home used to be a school bus!
...Your living room has a steering wheel!
...Your home has brake lights

1994 Jeep Grand Cherokee
1989 Thomas Diesel Pusher (Cat 3208/Freightliner)
Chesapeake, Virginia
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Old 05-29-2009, 10:51 PM   #6
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Re: anyone ever registered in VA?

As an adendum, one week and one day later the fine City of Chesapeake sends me a tax bill on the bus. They wasted no time!! Total bill is for only $56 though.... I guess I can handle that...
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*Cliff*

You just might be a Redneck if...
...your motor home used to be a school bus!
...Your living room has a steering wheel!
...Your home has brake lights

1994 Jeep Grand Cherokee
1989 Thomas Diesel Pusher (Cat 3208/Freightliner)
Chesapeake, Virginia
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Old 06-27-2009, 10:08 PM   #7
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Re: anyone ever registered in VA?

I don't think you'll get anywhere with Progressive, you'd be better off saving your breath and just call GMAC and be done with it.

As for tags etc, I would suspect a short bus would be under 26,000 GVW and NOT have air brakes, you'll be good to go on a regular license without any issues. Actually, in Va as long as it's for personal use no CDL is required, but not sure yours (by definition) is going to fall into the personal use catagory... but that is the route I'd try with DMV... Since you are not going to put in the required stuff to make it into a motor home anyway, I doubt it would pass an inspection for such. Good luck, and when DMV tells you it can't be done (as they did to me), stand your ground...
__________________
*Cliff*

You just might be a Redneck if...
...your motor home used to be a school bus!
...Your living room has a steering wheel!
...Your home has brake lights

1994 Jeep Grand Cherokee
1989 Thomas Diesel Pusher (Cat 3208/Freightliner)
Chesapeake, Virginia
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Old 07-19-2009, 10:51 PM   #8
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Re: anyone ever registered in VA?

That is very interesting, and it's NOT limited to Virginia either. I book marked the site so I can reference it later if need be.

As for GMAC, sometimes you get a rep that not up to speed on everything, and at times it's best to thank them and hang up, then wait a few minutes and call back, you'll get a different rep and hopefully that one will know what to do. When I called, it actually took me 2 calls to get it all started, and then I had to call back and talk to a third person before it was complete...

Others have stated they just went to the website and did it online... Glad you got it done.. curious, what kind of cost did you come out of it with? I'm paying $45 per month for mine...
__________________
*Cliff*

You just might be a Redneck if...
...your motor home used to be a school bus!
...Your living room has a steering wheel!
...Your home has brake lights

1994 Jeep Grand Cherokee
1989 Thomas Diesel Pusher (Cat 3208/Freightliner)
Chesapeake, Virginia
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Old 11-05-2009, 08:54 PM   #9
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Re: anyone ever registered in VA?

The guys that bought my bus yesterday, showed up with tags and an insurance folder today. Seems they hit a short snag at DMV when they tried to title the bus as my title still showed it as yellow in color. They insisted the bus had been painted white, and the lady at DMV then tagged the bus as a "Church Bus" and they got insurance through Allstate...
__________________
*Cliff*

You just might be a Redneck if...
...your motor home used to be a school bus!
...Your living room has a steering wheel!
...Your home has brake lights

1994 Jeep Grand Cherokee
1989 Thomas Diesel Pusher (Cat 3208/Freightliner)
Chesapeake, Virginia
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Old 12-30-2013, 12:10 PM   #10
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Re: anyone ever registered in VA?

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