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Old 07-04-2019, 12:42 PM   #1
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Post Legally Transporting Bus Back Home

Okay, so I found some threads here on the subject so I have a jist of what I'm supposed to do. From my understanding if I were to transport my bus from Kansas (the state I'm buying the bus in) to Tennessee, (home) then I would need to get a temp tag in Kansas to drive the bus 9 hours back into Tennessee.

So for insurance and title, I don't know how fast I can get those two done. I'm assuming I would need the title before buying insurance. I haven't bought a car out of state before so I don't know if I'll need to drive up there and physically get my title or if I should try to get it mailed and wait for that to come through.

So I guess what I'm asking for is advice on this whole process and what my plan of action should be. I haven't actually won the bid yet, so if it's too much trouble I can back out. But if I do buy it, I know I'll have to work fast because I'm buying from a school district. They usually have policies that say the bus has to be off of their lot within 2 weeks.
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Old 07-04-2019, 12:54 PM   #2
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You'll only need the VIN number to get it insured. Check with your current insurer, State Farm covers me for 7 days in anything I buy under my existing policy. State of Ga. allows 30 days to register, BOS is all that's needed. Check your locals laws. I have found as long as you have proper insurance and a current BOS, you are not likely to be stopped for no tag.
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Old 07-04-2019, 01:00 PM   #3
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When I picked up my Bluebird, out of state, I purchased a trip permit here in WA online.

Many insurance companies offer automatic extension of coverage on purchases. Mine gives me two weeks. So, I emailed my insurance agent and asked "I have purchased a vehicle vin#123456789. Can you please confirm that my coverage extends to that vehicle? ". She replied "yes, you are covered ".

I took my temp tag, proof of insurance from my truck and printed copies of the emails with me and hit the road.
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Old 07-05-2019, 12:06 PM   #4
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We recently had to figure out the same to transport our bus from TX back home. If you want to do everything 'by-the-book', 100% up & up legal...


1) Contact the DMV in the state you'll be picking up the bus from. Find out what the requirements are for a temporary permit (essentially temporary registration) to transport the vehicle out of their state. Depending on the vehicle's current registration status, classification, and use, different types of permits could apply, and different requirements for those permits could exist. Let them know it's a school bus, but being driven in a non-commercial (ie no passengers) capacity. Each state is different, so you really should contact the state directly to find out what you need and how to get it. The one thing that is likely a necessity regardless of the state (though this is conjecture) is the need to show proof of insurance to receive the permit. Note what their mandatory minimums are, as you'll need to meet these with whatever insurance policy you choose.


2) Contact your insurance co with the VIN (you don't need the title) & tell them what you're doing, and what minimums you'll need. Maybe you only want insurance for the trip back, or maybe you want to use it as-is before your conversion is finished, or maybe you want to figure out a way to insure it as an RV straight-off to save problems & money. These are all what-ifs you'll have to figure out. Just tell your insurance co what you need and see if they can provide it. In many cases they won't. In our case, our insurance company didn't & wouldn't, so we went with a commercial policy. It was more expensive, but it was quick & easy, and took care of our immediate need. Lots of info here on this forum concerning insurance.


3) Contact each state you're traveling through on your way back home, including your home destination, and make sure they'll honor the temp permit of the issuing state. I don't think many people do this - it's apparently assumed that states will honor each others temp permits and in practice this is most likely true - but as far as I'm aware, there's no federal mandate that they have to, so if you want to be 100% on this, a phone call or two is cheap insurance, and if nothing else, a worry-eliminator. The Texas DMV official we spoke with said we should do this as well.



4) When you get back, you can transfer the title. Make sure when you pick up the bus that you receive a properly signed off title and bill of sale. If you're purchasing from a school district they should have their stuff squared away, but it never hurts to read up on the requirements for properly signing over a title in the issuing state and making sure they've done it correctly.
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Old 07-05-2019, 02:02 PM   #5
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Many states don't/won't issue temp tags at all. I would assume the temp registration is the same as a regular registration that is reciprocal in every state as long as it hasn't expired..
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Old 07-05-2019, 02:07 PM   #6
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4) When you get back, you can transfer the title. Make sure when you pick up the bus that you receive a properly signed off title and bill of sale. If you're purchasing from a school district they should have their stuff squared away, but it never hurts to read up on the requirements for properly signing over a title in the issuing state and making sure they've done it correctly.
Quick additional note you may be required to have your bus emission tested before they'll title it. We did here in Hotzona
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Old 07-05-2019, 02:29 PM   #7
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Quick additional note you may be required to have your bus emission tested before they'll title it. We did here in Hotzona
That's surprising, no diesel vehicles need testing here, nor older than 95 models, or antique, historic, classic rods.
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Old 07-05-2019, 03:39 PM   #8
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Many states don't/won't issue temp tags at all. I would assume the temp registration is the same as a regular registration that is reciprocal in every state as long as it hasn't expired..
That's good to know, and surprising as well. So I guess if you want to be 100% legal in such states driving out it has to be registered normally? That could end up being an immense pain for an auction vehicle.

As for reciprocity with temp tags, from what we gathered, no... there's no guarantee of reciprocity. One state can't legally issue tags that are valid in another. In practice there's likely a good deal of reciprocity extended, but there doesn't have to be. So again - as recommended by Texas - I'd think you'd best served by checking with the states you'll be traveling through to make sure. At least if you want to be absolutely positive you're legal.
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Old 07-05-2019, 04:15 PM   #9
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We may be getting into rather deep water with the whole temp tag reciprocity topic. I think based on my other posts regarding safe and legal transport home I'm rather conservative leaning, meaning that where the law speaks there is guidance but where the law is silent so shall we also be. I think temp tag reciprocity for travel from purchase state A through state B to home state C is an issue where no state is going to have specific language to that effect and therefore in the absence of guidance it is reasonably assumed to be permissible. The same would apply if it was an out of state auto purchase. I am a stickler about proper licensing for the class of vehicle but there are laws pertaining to that matter, not this one.

I am willing to be proven wrong if someone can cite/link to specific state regulation which addressed interstate transit reciprocity but I cannot find any. The states only care if you transfer into their state the timeframe to register the vehicle in the new home state.
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Old 07-05-2019, 04:54 PM   #10
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We may be getting into rather deep water with the whole temp tag reciprocity topic. I think based on my other posts regarding safe and legal transport home I'm rather conservative leaning, meaning that where the law speaks there is guidance but where the law is silent so shall we also be. I think temp tag reciprocity for travel from purchase state A through state B to home state C is an issue where no state is going to have specific language to that effect and therefore in the absence of guidance it is reasonably assumed to be permissible. The same would apply if it was an out of state auto purchase. I am a stickler about proper licensing for the class of vehicle but there are laws pertaining to that matter, not this one.

I am willing to be proven wrong if someone can cite/link to specific state regulation which addressed interstate transit reciprocity but I cannot find any. The states only care if you transfer into their state the timeframe to register the vehicle in the new home state.
With all due respect, you should prove yourself right before asking that others do their homework to prove you wrong.

There's a lot of "I thinks" and assumptions you appear to be basing your opinion on. Do you know for certain that every state in the nation doesn't have language that addresses out-of-state unregistered vehicles? Is it legal to drive an unregistered vehicle in any and every state based solely on the owners assertion it won't be there long?

I don't know the legal ins & outs of every state. Who does? But we were told by Texas DMV that we needed to - not that it was 'a good idea' but that we needed to - check with the states we were passing through to make sure their permit would be honored. And when we checked with both our destination state, as well as an intermediate state, both of them asked what state it was coming from before saying yet they did.

For the price of a phone call, I'm having a hard time seeing why anyone wouldn't cover their butt by asking this very simple question. But hey - to each their own.
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