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Old 09-12-2012, 11:56 AM   #1
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Montana Tile & Registration

I am looking for personal experiences dealing with Montana and getting the title and registration squared away.

I walked in and spoke with a woman at the DMV on Monday morning concerning titling my bus. I was told that I cannot register my bus as a motor home until it is inspected after its conversion. Understood, but I recently purchased this vehicle and it will be a few months away until that is done to satisfy the state requirements.

Yet as of now... I have no plates and need to register it until then. I do believe I have a time frame in which I need to get this vehicle tilted into my name (AZ is like 10 days... same with CO where I have purchased vehicles previously). She was not even able to answer me about how soon a person needs to switch a title over into their name when they purchase a new vehicle... that was very odd to me. I have had the bus for two weeks now in my possession.

This is where it gets weirder. I had a difficult time explaining and communicating to the woman at the DMV office where I went. Therefore, I called the main title and registration office (in Deer Lodge ???) and the woman I spoke with there was far more friendly and willing to help... but gave me the same basic info. She tells me I cannot register it as a bus, because it's been shelled out and it is without seats and a stop sign and what have ya. I was told that I cannot register it as a truck either... as Montana goes by the body style of the vehicle rather than the chassis. She did her best to find out what I can do... but she could not tell me what I needed to do other than to explain the next time I go in that the vehicle no longer transports people. She could not tell me anything concerning warning light removal.. stop sign removal... bus color.. etc, etc.

I did however get an application for a motor home title and it explains all I need is to have is 4 of the following type facilities:

1) Cooking, refrigerator or icebox
2) Self-contained toilet
3) Potable water supply system, including a faucet and sink.
4) Heating or air conditioning, or both
5) Separate 110V or 125V electrical power supply or an LP supply or both.

So... my hands are in the air for a while until I can figure this out and get more information. I thought perhaps someone from this site could pass along some info my way that may help me out... and perhaps give me their experience in dealing with the state.

Cheers,
Beau
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Old 09-13-2012, 12:55 AM   #2
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Re: Montana Tile & Registration

those items are common for conversion in all states.
what they do not say at the dmv is that it is YOU that decides what is a cooking facility, frig, bed, toilet, etc... so, very basic portable stuff placed in the bus, along with a small 110v heater and electric cord should be acceptable if it has to be inspected. most states dont even check. prob not idaho which u are close to...
and a sink, can be one of those $25 ones, that has a self contained water supply in it with a hand pump..
shouldnt take more than an hour or so to make a conversion...
i havent looked up to see if montana has rv conversion regs online, most states do, but if they do all you gotta do is make a copy, do the minimum for the conversion, and take that copy to the local dmv person...
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Old 09-13-2012, 01:08 AM   #3
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Re: Montana Tile & Registration

Thanks for the advise. In this case, I can have a conversion done in a day going this route, and it gets my foot in the door. I have also been told by others that the local Sheriff can also inspect my rig, instead of driving the 50 miles to the state agency. I would prefer the relaxed, local Sheriff over some cranky state worker any day.

I also learned (albeit it sounds strange) that there is no time limit for me to put the title in my name. Most other states have laws concerning how long a person has to do so.

I have time to get things squared away... but was considering some feedback from others who may have dealt with similar issues in Montana. I see a ton of Skoolies around here so it can't be that rough of a road...
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Old 09-13-2012, 12:03 PM   #4
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Re: Montana Tile & Registration

I called the sheriff [whom I know]. He came by, looked inside, checked VIN#, came inside and we drank coffee for 30 mins.

I would go to the local sheriff. Ask someone to stop by while they are tooling around the county and tell them why. You have the seats all out, its obvious you arent going to use it to transport passengers. Legally you have to have a sink, fridge and a bed I think. I wouldnt worry about it though. It should be a breeze for you.

Dont worry about the lights or the color. I would pull the stop sign off, just because its easy.

Dont involve the DMV but for the form you need.
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Old 09-13-2012, 05:36 PM   #5
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Re: Montana Tile & Registration

I think the DMV is only good for causing headaches and taking monies.

I am headed to Habit for Humanity tomorrow and checking out what they may have available to do a (quickie) conversion so I can get the registration part buttoned up. I also think having the Sheriff stop by to do a check will be my best bet. I've dealt with him twice previously in the last two months (concerning other things), and he is quite laid back dude.

Thanks for your advise, guys. I wasn't "in the know" on how lax I could do things within the bus... so now this makes it easy breezy and toilet flush simple. My RV Title application says "Cooking, refrigerator or icebox" which I am sure I can get away with a plastic cooler. A "separate 110V or 125V electrical power supply or an LP supply or both" as noted can most likely be a typical extension cord I assume. I was sure thinking along different lines originally.

Thank again.
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Old 09-13-2012, 05:42 PM   #6
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Re: Montana Tile & Registration

This is what mine looked like for inspection:

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Old 09-13-2012, 06:14 PM   #7
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Re: Montana Tile & Registration

mine had all the seats in..
no inspection.
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Old 09-13-2012, 06:15 PM   #8
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Re: Montana Tile & Registration

Quote:
Originally Posted by opus
This is what mine looked like for inspection:

why did you paint a target on the floor?
.
.
.
dang it was funny when I thought of posting it
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Old 09-13-2012, 06:30 PM   #9
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Re: Montana Tile & Registration

Quote:
Originally Posted by bansil

why did you paint a target on the floor?
So I could find it in the dark. ;)
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Old 09-13-2012, 06:56 PM   #10
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Re: Montana Tile & Registration

Good deal. That looks very doable.
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