Originally Posted by family wagon
I respectfully disagree with turf's summary. It may be that there are some jurisdictions where what's written is all true, but there are jurisdictions where some of it isn't.
The mere fact that the federal vehicle ID tag says "bus" doesn't automatically invoke all those headaches. For example my "other car," a Nissan NV3500 passenger van, is clearly marked "BUS" on that tag yet there's no need for a DOT number, log books, etc. This is because my family uses it privately. If I were operating a shuttle service then those things could come into play.
Some US states (I'm intentionally avoiding words on the spectrum of "a few" to "most" because I don't have data to support such a choice) allow drivers with a normal passenger car type license, called class D in my state, to drive pretty much anything so long as it's for their private use. As soon as a person starts using the vehicle in commerce by carrying objects or people for hire then commercial driver and vehicle licensing, logging, and other requirements are activated.
A notable exception is carrying people: whether for hire or not, a passenger endorsement may be required simply because a private bus is capable of containing more than 16 people. No big deal; a passenger endorsement is easy to add on a driver license and costs only a dollar or two per year.
I was told by OHIO DMV... note OHIO, not Georgia.. that if I register a Bus as a bus, and dont engage in any 'Commerce' with it then no DOT number, nor logs, weight tickets, inspections, etc are necessary...
HOWEVER CDL REQUIREMENTS APPLY if the FITTED seating of the bus is Over 15 (including the driver) adults.. (children seating only applies to school busses registered as school busses in ohio)..
OR. my GVWR is tagged as 26,001 lbs or Higher..
then I would need a CDL to drive it. and a medical Certificate on file if I was going to drive the bus outside of the ohio state lines.. (this is a federal Regulation).
if my bus has air brakes i would need to obtain an air brake endorsement to my CDL.
the CDL is a DRIVER requirement and not a REGISTRATION requirement.
this is OHIO regulations on it..
I have One of my busses titiled and registeredd as a Motorhome, the other of my busses is titled and registered as a Bus.. the ione thats registered as a bus is GVWR of 17,500 and is Seated for 14 , so no CDL is required.