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Old 11-03-2009, 02:12 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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driving bus without plates?

hello everyone.

ive posted before, here's my situation.

i am from new zealand and i am buying a bus in upstate new york and registering it etc in maine using a friends address. i have already confirmed that this can be done but getting there is the problem.. the bus is on an open title which i believe means it has no plates? would i be ok driving it to maine without plates if i had something proving id just bought it and was heading to maine to register it? is there any other other way around it? i dont know alot about the laws in the us so advice from a local would be great!

thanks in advance.
adam.
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Old 11-03-2009, 07:08 PM   #2
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Re: driving bus without plates?

the guy says its on an open title because he was planning on converting it but wasnt sure when and wouldnt be using it beforehand. makes sense i guess.. would i be able to get insurance for the trip to maine without plates?
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Old 11-03-2009, 09:24 PM   #3
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Re: driving bus without plates?

Any other ideas? I have the same problem right now. Bought a bus 300 miles from home (same state) and need to bring it back. Florida wont issue a temp tag (but they do), cant convert it until I get it home and dont want to register it at all let alone as a commercial vehicle. I'll get insurance on it but what is the worst thing that will happen driving without plates considering it is a CMV and I have a CDL.
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Old 11-03-2009, 09:42 PM   #4
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Re: driving bus without plates?

1. I believe "open title" means the previous owner did not register it. When you purchase a vehicle, normally the owner of record signs over the title that is in the seller's name to the purchaser. The way it is supposed to work, the purchaser pays sales tax plus title fee, and surrenders the old title to the State, later receiving a new title in the mail bearing the purchaser's name. This is usually all done at the DMV office or County Clerk who acts as the DMV's agent, at the same time as getting permanent license plates for yet another fee.

With "open title," it probably means money changed hands privately, and the title was signed over with the name of the purchaser left blank. I have signed titles over like this when bringing cars to the junkyard, so they can legally dispose of them any way they see fit.

When you give money to the person holding the vehicle and signed 'open' title, he gives them to you, and you register the vehicle as if it was purchased from the last registrant, cutting the state out of one or more rounds of sales tax. If you are removing a vehicle to another state, you give the title to that state instead to show where the vehicle came from, and usually pay any taxes at the destination.

2. You cannot drive anywhere without registration plates. There are temporary tags, or "paper plates" which are issued for the purpose of relocating vehicles. I think they may be 30 days, some might be as few as 10 days. These are sheets of cardboard the size of license plates that usually get taped inside the rear window. The expiration date is usually written in big letters with a marking pen. When you get where you are going, you throw them in the trash. You can probably get them in the state where you buy the vehicle, or you might be able to send your paperwork ahead and get them from your destination. Time permitting, you can also send your paperwork ahead and have your permanent plates in hand when you go to take possession, if you trust exchanging money and taking ownership of the bus sight unseen.

3. There are few, if any, places where you can drive without carrying proof of insurance with you. You can get insurance without plates, but almost everywhere you cannot get plates without insurance. For example, if people have a valuable car that comes off the road in the winter, they still want their policy in force to insure against fire or maybe tree limbs falling where it is parked. In the few states that didn't require liability to protect others, you wouldn't be able to cross state lines. (One state didn't require liability insurance to get plates 30 years ago, but it was against the law to have an uninsured accident there!) With New York insurance, once you put your money down with an agent, they issue a temporary insurance card which does not have a policy number, but indicates that the company has officially accepted liability for any damage or injury you might cause. Your contact will have to check on Maine procedures.

4. In addition to the proof of insurance you get for the US, make sure the agent also gets you a Canadian proof of insurance card. It will be a second document on the same policy, but without it you may not be able to cross the border. (Disclaimer: It's been 11 years since I last drove into Canada, so it could be different now, but BE SURE TO ASK!)
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Old 11-04-2009, 04:08 PM   #5
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Re: driving bus without plates?

thanks for the help everyone!

have enquired about temporary plates and the maine dmv will print them and send them to new york so i can pick the bus up on the way through! they need proof of insurance though which is my next hurdle.. i was first planning to just have the bus registered as a standard van but all the places i have rung so far will only insure an e-450 as a commercial vehicle which i assume will be $$$? so onto plan b, register/insure it as an rv.. but my question is.. will i be able to insure it as an rv for the trip to maine before i have converted it and before i have changed the title over to rv? or would they run the vin and see it is a bus?( currently has 14 seats) any particular insurance companies who are rv and foreigner friendly? wouldnt dream of buying it sight unseen have just paid a small deposit which i believe is worth doing to not have to land in ny and start searching for a bus!

thanks for all the help it makes getting my head round everything much easier!

Adam.

p.s its an e450 shuttle bus, not a skoolie if that makes any difference
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Old 12-22-2009, 07:17 PM   #6
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Re: driving bus without plates?

Have you make the trip yet? If not avoid passing through Ma. on your way from NY to Me, Ma. does not recognize temp tags from other states and will stop, ticket and fine you for it
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Old 12-22-2009, 09:38 PM   #7
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Re: driving bus without plates?

Interesting. We bought our bus in NC, drove it down the back road to where we were staying at in NC. Loaded the bus with all our stuff and then drove it 1500+ miles to NM without a tag (just a open signed over title and bill of sale)... and it was towing a TN tagged jeep. Wasn't stopped anywhere and we were on Interstates from Dalton Ga to Odessa TX. For almost 2 weeks, we parked every night (except 3) in parking lots and the cops cruised right past us. We tried to get an NC temp tag but we were told NC didn't have temp tags (not true but it was the DMV and they are idiots there). So now it sits in NM still untagged. I guess when we go to pick it up, we will bring it back to TX without tags.
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Old 12-25-2009, 11:03 PM   #8
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Re: driving bus without plates?

Different states have different ways of doing things. Mass officials CAN NOT give you a ticket if the temp tags are legal, there are rules in place called reciprocity laws that require one state to recognize the legalities from another state. I'm from Mass and have NEVER known that to happen unless there was something illegal about them. I do know for a fact that ALL 50 states are required to comply with Federal reciprocity laws... I used to watch Va State Troopers try and bust NC residents riding through for having window tint that was too dark under Va. law...they had to stop doing that as they could not convict due to reciprocity...as the tint was perfectly legal in NC (or what ever state the vehicle is registered in).

Reciprocity Agreement (read the whole thing, but specifically go about 1/4 way down the page and read what it says under "License" it states and I quote "The authority for a vehicle to operate on a highway as evidenced by the issuance of an
identifying document and plate or plates. The term includes temporary credentials for use
pending issuance of a permanent license."


Quote:
B. The following types of vehicles shall be granted temporary full reciprocity-.

1. Vehicles with hunter permits as provided in the International Registration Plan for
facilitating the movement of the vehicle from one lessee to another for the period of
time such permits are valid.
2. Charter buses transporting chartered parties properly licensed in a reciprocating
jurisdiction for a period not to exceed 30 days.
3. Passenger and non-commercial vehicles with temporary license tags for the period of
time such tags are valid.
When I bought my bus I went through a similar problem over how to tag it so I could move it. I wound up getting insurance through State Farm that was later dropped by them, and at Virginia DMV I was able to purchase a 3 day trip permit for $5...taped to the rear windshield.

As for your insurance hurdle, the answer is simple... you probably will have to call them by phone or perhaps do this right over the internet, but GMAC Insurance is about the only company out there that will insure school buses without question, you should have little or no problem getting insurance through them. And though I have recommended an insurance agent in the past, for the school bus through GMAC the agents can't do it, you have to handle it directly with GMAC yourself.
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Old 12-27-2009, 12:05 AM   #9
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Re: driving bus without plates?

When I went to Ohio to get my bus from Kansas, I got a "bill of sale" from the seller (he faxed it to me), although we both understood I didn't buy it until I inspected it. It just simply has a $$ amount, the VIN, and our names on it. I got insurance using the VIN...I expect to get dropped any day now. But with those two documents I was able to get a 30 day temp tag from Kansas. I carried it with me on the flight out there...and put it on when I drove off. I made the 1150 mile maiden voyage without a problem. It was really pretty painless.
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Old 12-27-2009, 10:53 PM   #10
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Re: driving bus without plates?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoneCamping
Different states have different ways of doing things. Mass officials CAN NOT give you a ticket if the temp tags are legal, there are rules in place called reciprocity laws that require one state to recognize the legalities from another state. I'm from Mass and have NEVER known that to happen unless there was something illegal about them. I do know for a fact that ALL 50 states are required to comply with Federal reciprocity laws... I used to watch Va State Troopers try and bust NC residents riding through for having window tint that was too dark under Va. law...they had to stop doing that as they could not convict due to reciprocity...as the tint was perfectly legal in NC (or what ever state the vehicle is registered in).

Reciprocity Agreement (read the whole thing, but specifically go about 1/4 way down the page and read what it says under "License" it states and I quote "The authority for a vehicle to operate on a highway as evidenced by the issuance of an
identifying document and plate or plates. The term includes temporary credentials for use
pending issuance of a permanent license."


Quote:
B. The following types of vehicles shall be granted temporary full reciprocity-.

1. Vehicles with hunter permits as provided in the International Registration Plan for
facilitating the movement of the vehicle from one lessee to another for the period of
time such permits are valid.
2. Charter buses transporting chartered parties properly licensed in a reciprocating
jurisdiction for a period not to exceed 30 days.
3. Passenger and non-commercial vehicles with temporary license tags for the period of
time such tags are valid.
From the NYS department of motor vehicles web site http://www.nydmv.state.ny.us/register.htm

Important information for Massachusetts residents: Massachusetts (MA) does not recognize the NYS in-transit permit. According to the MA Registry of Motor Vehicles, you can receive a ticket for no registration if you use an NYS in-transit permit in MA. This also makes the insurance on the vehicle not valid. MA authorities can impound the vehicle for no valid insurance. For more information, contact the MA Registry of Motor Vehicles.

i know they will also ticket you if you enter the state on a New Hampshire issued transit permit
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