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Old 01-19-2016, 01:19 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Location: Sodus Point, NY
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Newbie from New York DMV experience

Skoolie Newbie from NY here,
Our DMV experience about a month ago; I did some research before hand, but there wasn't a whole lot I could find. I had all my paperwork ready and didn't say anything unless asked. I had read that with a title that says "BUS" in NY you can register it as a personal vehicle if no changes have been made to its original state, however, some online recommendations were to take the school bus sign off to avoid trouble. We were not asked about the sign at the DMV.

Questions we were asked;
how many seats does it have(people it could carry)
Had we made any modifications.
What did we plan to use it for.
How much did it weigh

Our answers;
We didn't know exactly how many seats. But the paperwork said 48 adults it 72 passengers
Personal use. Family outings.
18,600

They gave us a few funny looks and huffs and puffs before the attendant went to get her supervisor.

The supervisor began to tell us we would need a special license, a CDL, or at least a chauffeurs license.
I pleaded with the woman, telling her I had found on the DMV website that those licenses were not required if we were planning on only using it for personal use. She got the "rule book" out and scanned to the bus section. After running through about three pages of exceptions and qualifications she said "hmmm well you look to be right!"

We were required to sign a form stating we would not transfer any one on the bus for business use. No more than 15 people for personal use, and only personal property could be transported.

She approved the registration for our bus!! After some excitement on our end she did go on to tell us that if any modifications were made to the bus there were great steps to be taken.

Vehicle would have to be weighed and inspected through a highway department(we assume it has to do with DOT regulations).

*RV renovations she stated had to be done by certified business. With receipts to use during the paperwork process changing the title to say "RV" rather than "BUS"

She also warned that if authorities wanted to give us a hard time down the line we could look at tickets that were "driving out of class" and those were not good to get and pricey.

How much of this is a mean ol' DMV clerk talk and how much is exact is unknown to me, but it was some of the most informative stuff I had heard and figured I would share.
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Old 01-19-2016, 04:32 PM   #2
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Nod-uh huh-uh huh-yes ma'am. Thank you. Nod.
You're in the clear. The cop that pulls you over would be looking for more than average paperwork to bust your ass. "Liscense -reg. + Insurance card." Is all you'll ever hear.
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Old 01-19-2016, 04:34 PM   #3
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I... I can't believe how lucky you guys are down south.

A simple letter saying you swear you won't use it for other purpose than personnal use?!

I hate where I live more and more...

Oh and... pics please!
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Old 01-19-2016, 05:31 PM   #4
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Hey there,
Great to see someone out in western NY, I'm on lake Canadaguia and looking to start building a skoolie. Thank you for the information, I was worried about how difficult it could be.
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Old 01-19-2016, 08:40 PM   #5
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Curious to know, which office you went to? And if you remember any names!!

I have 2 different bus projects in my plans, and will need to deal with both.

I also find it interesting the comments about needing a business to convert it for you..... I have not found any reference to it in the DMV documentation and laws.


SR2K - I am just north of you (and just southwest of Bev....) Sounds like a meetup waiting to happen!
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Old 01-19-2016, 10:18 PM   #6
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So does that mean if you convert it yourself you have to leave the title as a bus?
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Old 01-19-2016, 11:23 PM   #7
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Call DMV in Albany and talk to someone there about flipping the title to RV from Bus
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Old 01-20-2016, 12:04 PM   #8
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whats the cost difference between having it registered as a BUS vs an RV. I am in NY too (southern tier) and just gonna go to the DMV now to get things figured out.

(to be honest i am a little scared to go now. ha)
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Old 01-20-2016, 12:15 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mangus580 View Post
Curious to know, which office you went to? And if you remember any names!!

I have 2 different bus projects in my plans, and will need to deal with both.

I also find it interesting the comments about needing a business to convert it for you..... I have not found any reference to it in the DMV documentation and laws.


SR2K - I am just north of you (and just southwest of Bev....) Sounds like a meetup waiting to happen!
I don't remember any names but we went to the one in the Greece ridge mall. I was told to go to the Batavia one from the guy I bought it from. He said they are older farm ladies who are as sweet as pie! Lol. As far as the "receipts from a certified business" I myself thought that sounded a little much. Probably just an old bitty trying to rain on our parade. Not sure about the cost for RV registration vs the way we did it. We are currently in Austin! We love it!
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Old 01-20-2016, 12:20 PM   #10
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JJay View Post
whats the cost difference between having it registered as a BUS vs an RV. I am in NY too (southern tier) and just gonna go to the DMV now to get things figured out.

(to be honest i am a little scared to go now. ha)
You can do it!!!! Your title would have to say RV to register it as such. Like one of the comments said above, your best bet might be to call Albany and inquire. We decided to go with Bus and ask for forgiveness not permission, haha. Especially because we knew we were going to hit the road right away and each state is a little different. We felt confident we could play dumb if we ran into problems. Lol. Good luck!!!
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Old 01-20-2016, 12:35 PM   #11
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Chassis: 3800
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PigPen View Post
So does that mean if you convert it yourself you have to leave the title as a bus?

I'm sure there are ways around it, honestly we haven't looked into the process to change our title because we were just happy to have it on the road. I guess getting it weighed is the main priority when trying to reclassify, because it's something like 26,000lbs or more required a CDL regardless of personal use or not with a bus. (So said the DMV lady with her giant rule book she tried throwing at me! Lol). I was also told that with an RV status a lot of cities have a 48hr or 72hr limit for street parking. With a BUS status we can follow parking signs as a car would unless specified otherwise. As all my Info, it's gathered from Internet searches and word of mouth so I can't say for 100% that's the case everywhere.
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Old 01-20-2016, 08:24 PM   #12
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I'm curious, since I'm looking at getting insurance for a similar situation, who are you insured through, and how much are you paying?
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Old 01-20-2016, 10:16 PM   #13
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Progressive commercial

Quote:
Originally Posted by SR2K View Post
I'm curious, since I'm looking at getting insurance for a similar situation, who are you insured through, and how much are you paying?
We went with progressive because gieco(which I use for my car) wouldn't insure the bus. It is very reasonable and actually less expensive than my car insurance(however that has collision, the bus just had liability) just over a $100 bucks a month, and they offered an even cheaper rate if you paid the premium in full in advance.
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Old 01-20-2016, 11:17 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeverlyTheBus View Post
I was also told that with an RV status a lot of cities have a 48hr or 72hr limit for street parking. With a BUS status we can follow parking signs as a car would unless specified otherwise.
Well that's an angle I hadn't considered before! Thus far I had only come up with seat belts as a reason why a bus title is better than an RV title: it seems many states require passengers wear seat belts in an RV. But buses, many lacking seat belts, seemingly get a free pass. I intend to install and use seat belts but it'd be nice to retain a little weasel room in case somebody wants to stand up and move without fear of being caught un-seat-belted at just that moment.
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Old 01-21-2016, 03:25 PM   #15
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Sodus Point, NY
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Quote:
Originally Posted by family wagon View Post
Well that's an angle I hadn't considered before! Thus far I had only come up with seat belts as a reason why a bus title is better than an RV title: it seems many states require passengers wear seat belts in an RV. But buses, many lacking seat belts, seemingly get a free pass. I intend to install and use seat belts but it'd be nice to retain a little weasel room in case somebody wants to stand up and move without fear of being caught un-seat-belted at just that moment.
Didn't know that about the seat belts! We left three seats in with seat belts just incase our friends with kids wanted to come along at some point. Makes sense that they aren't required, we never had to wear them while riding to and from school! 🚌👍🏼
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Old 07-13-2016, 05:55 PM   #16
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Sorry to post on an old thread.
I too live in Ny. Eastern Long Island to be more specific. Do you think I would run into problems registering a bus in my area. I haven't bought a bus yet but am currently searching but the registration and insurance are huge hurdles to overcome. Any advice is appreciated.
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Old 07-14-2016, 06:36 AM   #17
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Fingerlakes Region, NY
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Chassis: 3800
Engine: T444e
Rated Cap: 34
So obviously I'm quite a ways away from you, and in a very different area, but the laws should remain the same. My only interaction with a DMV was with the Hauppage DMV when I was registering a police interceptor down there. I'd say pick how you want your bus titled, and go in and see what happens.
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