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Old 08-30-2018, 12:03 PM   #1
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Importing to California questions

Hello all - got a compound question here:

Situation is that I am looking to purchase a bus that is >26,000 and I currently have a Class C license.

There are a couple of things here that need figuring out:

I am in
  • California - which has stricter emissions laws - bring in an out of state diesel engine is an unknown process
  • How to get a "bus" with seats home on a class C license before it's reclassified as a MH
  • what are the registration requirements in CA for a BU to MH reclassification - ambiguous
at the DMV and definitions in state vehicle code.

So here's what I came up with:
Registe
  • r bus in VT following the process in another thread here to get the bus converted to a MH on the registration and title (this takes a minimum of two weeks)
  • Remove seats from bus prior to trip home
  • Once the bus is back in CA (and after 90 days to avoid double tax) register it here - since it's already registered in a MH in VT, then it -should- be exempt from FED and CARB emissions requirements as it's already a MH and they are exempt at th
e federal level.

So... looking for anyone who has done this (California specific) and can tell me if this plan will or will not work.

Thanks...
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Old 08-30-2018, 12:37 PM   #2
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Definitive info regarding CA has been difficult for me to pin down. I did find the following on the DMV website:

Does my vehicle qualify for a smog exemption?
Smog inspections are required unless your vehicle is:

Gasoline powered 1975 year model or older
Diesel powered 1997 year model and older or with a Gross Vehicle Weight rating (GVWR) of more than 14,000 lbs
Electric
Natural gas powered with a GVWR rating of more than 14,000 lbs.
Motorcycle

I did also find (and lose) a mention of exemption from DPF retrofit on RV's. If it is 1998 or newer, it would appear that you will have to go through emissions testing.


We have plenty of CA skoolies. Speak up. What has your experience been?
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Old 08-30-2018, 01:58 PM   #3
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Thanks Steve - this is the exact same info that I have found out.
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Old 08-30-2018, 04:37 PM   #4
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A class C license in Ca. is only good at or below 26000 pounds.

Here is the Ca DMV link:

https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/de..._htm/lic_chart.

Jack
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Old 08-30-2018, 05:00 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ol trunt View Post
A class C license in Ca. is only good at or below 26000 pounds.

Here is the Ca DMV link:

https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/de..._htm/lic_chart.

Jack
Here again I read this as no special license is needed for a "house car", regardless of weight. (why does spell check want to change house car to house boat?)

When they bring up weight I will ask them their definition of "any".
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Old 08-30-2018, 05:18 PM   #6
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It's pretty clear that California requires an upgraded license (class A or B non-commercial) if your RV is over 40' or 26000 lbs.

Good news is that they don't require a CDL.
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Old 08-30-2018, 05:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ol trunt View Post
A class C license in Ca. is only good at or below 26000 pounds.

Here is the Ca DMV link:

https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/de..._htm/lic_chart.

Jack
Here's the full text of the DMV has on Class C licenses:

With a Basic Class C license:
A 2-axle vehicle with a GVWR of 26,000 lbs. or less.
A 3-axle vehicle weighing 6,000 lbs. gross or less.
A motorized scooter.
Any housecar 40'or less.
A farmer or employee of a farmer may also drive:
Any combination of vehicles with a Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR) of 26,000 lbs. or less if used exclusively in agricultural operations and it is not for hire.

Note the "Any housecar 40'or less.

If it's registered as a BU, then a Class C can't legally drive >26,000lbs. If it's registered as an MH (Motorhome/housecar) then you can drive any weight vehicle as long as it's 40' or less.
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Old 08-30-2018, 05:23 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PNW_Steve View Post
It's pretty clear that California requires an upgraded license (class A or B non-commercial) if your RV is over 40' or 26000 lbs.

Good news is that they don't require a CDL.
Well most school buses are not over 40" and the law there says I can drive "ANY housecar".

Here in Ga, it says "All RV's". I questioned the people at DMV if this meant regardless of weight or brakes, she said "what does ALL mean to you?"
I'm waiting for Ca.DMV to call me back to get their definition of "house car"

I realize this doesn't help you get it in the state, but it's nice to know when it's converted, even in Cal. you don't need a CDL.
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Old 08-30-2018, 05:27 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pizote View Post
Here's the full text of the DMV has on Class C licenses:

With a Basic Class C license:
A 2-axle vehicle with a GVWR of 26,000 lbs. or less.
A 3-axle vehicle weighing 6,000 lbs. gross or less.
A motorized scooter.
Any housecar 40'or less.
A farmer or employee of a farmer may also drive:
Any combination of vehicles with a Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR) of 26,000 lbs. or less if used exclusively in agricultural operations and it is not for hire.

Note the "Any housecar 40'or less.

If it's registered as a BU, then a Class C can't legally drive >26,000lbs. If it's registered as an MH (Motorhome/housecar) then you can drive any weight vehicle as long as it's 40' or less.
Pizote,

Can you share with us where you found that? When I searched CA DMV i came up with the same info that Ol Trunt did. I wonder if there may be contradicting info on the DMV site?
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Old 08-30-2018, 05:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PNW_Steve View Post
Pizote,

Can you share with us where you found that? When I searched CA DMV i came up with the same info that Ol Trunt did. I wonder if there may be contradicting info on the DMV site?
Look at the third post of this thread - it's a link to the CA DMV License requirements.

Here it is again for good measure:

CA DMV DL Restrictions: https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/de...dl648/dl648pt2
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