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Old 12-29-2017, 06:29 AM   #1
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Conneaut, Ohio
Posts: 171
Year: 2004
Chassis: International CE 300
Engine: DT466E
Rated Cap: 71 passenger / 12 window
OHIO - it's a real PITA, so beware!

Got the bus yesterday. (Pictures coming soon.) Here's what I discovered, as a WARNING for all of you who live in OHIO and want to get a bus! (Understand that I mean a BUS, not a "skoolie". If you buy a bus that has already been converted into what Ohio deems a motorhome, this doesn't apply. It's only if you buy a bus that is still a bus, even if your intention is to turn it into a motorhome.)

1) DO NOT, and I repeat DO NOT, get the title transferred into your name until you have obtained for yourself a temporary license plate. The moment you get the title transferred into your name, you cannot get a "temp tag". (It ain't that way with most states. It IS that way with Ohio.)

2) If you fail to get a "temp tag", you WILL NOT be able to get plates. I was on the phone for hours yesterday, I dealt with five BMV people in person and many more on the phone, and this is what they said. The most you can do is schedule a bus inspection (by calling a phone number which, when I called it, yielded nothing but one of those infernal computerized voice mail systems despite it being squarely within "business hours") and then buy one at a cost of over $103. Then they'll give you a temporary license plate, but you WILL NOT be able to drive the bus anywhere, legally, except the inspection station.

3) Yes, you read that correctly. You must SCHEDULE the inspection before you BUY the inspection. And it costs $103... why? Who knows. Who knows anything about how governments work.

4) Not one of the people at the BMV could answer a very simple question for me - "How can I drive this bus home, 10 minutes from the yard to my house, LEGALLY?". So, I called the state police. The officer with whom I spoke said that I couldn't drive it home legally - I would have to get it towed, to be fully within the letter of the law.

So, in the end, I drove it home without plates. I took all of the documentation I had, including a blank "church bus inspection" form that I got from the BMV, and had my wife drive behind me as a "cop shield". I got it home and now can begin the conversion, after which point I can get the title changed to a motorhome title (all of this mess was because the title I had showed the vehicle as a bus) and then I won't need an inspection.

Only a government agency could turn something that's supposed to be simple into this much of a mess. Have any of the Ohioans in here had this much trouble registering a bus? (Heck - getting the title transferred was as easy as it has ever been for any other vehicle!)
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Old 12-29-2017, 06:46 AM   #2
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I live in Ohio, so I am used to this, my title office (Hamilton county) has a sign warning you about the temp tag thing. What are you getting an inspection for?
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Old 12-29-2017, 07:40 AM   #3
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I went through the same thing but it was not a bad experience. The license branch did a VIN check since it was an out of state vehicle. I then went to the title branch next door and got the bus titles in my name as a bus. I went back next door to the license branch and the lady explained that I could not plate it unless I had the bus inspection done by the highway patrol.

She simply told me that since I lived in the township I was at nobody should worry about no plates on the bus. She told me to get the conversion done (at least the minimal requirements) and re-title the bus as a motorhome and then plate it. She also told me to wait until spring to do it because this is a seasonal vehicle and it would be cheaper that way.

I understand that if you need to get it plated right away, this would suck. You could always meet the minimal requirements and go back in a week to change the title.
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Old 12-29-2017, 09:39 AM   #4
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i got it titled as a bus. Easy at the title office. Then went to the BMV. The lady there would told me there were no options other than registering as a commercial vehicle (bus) since, as she put it, "it's a bus". There is an affidavit that I got online, then threw in an inflatable mattress, small fridge, small power inverter, and camp toilet. signed the affidavit that it was a motorhome. Took that to a different BMV office and got it registered as an RV.
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Old 12-29-2017, 10:25 AM   #5
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my ohio experience was totally different.. the temp tag thing i knew about.. get the title in your name and then get regular plates.

my red bus is titled and registered as a bus.. the only inspection they did was match the VIN to the title, put the title in my name and I went next door and bought regular plates, at renewal time, walked in and bought new sticker.. no inspection or such.. I was registering as a bus but not as a school bus.. sounds like you were attempting to register it as a school or church bus which requires full on inspections...

or the DMV i go to are just nice people...
-Christopher
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Old 12-29-2017, 10:48 AM   #6
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Just bought a unimog / freight liner flu419 as christmas present in Ohio. Not sure how my wife feels about such toys.
Thought about driving it home to PA then I noticed that temp tag thing. Sounded like a real pain and decided to ship it instead. Got it it titled as a SME and antique in PA.

Later J
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Old 12-29-2017, 10:54 AM   #7
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I live in GA but did much the same thing Christopher did. My bus was not going to be used for commerce in any way, so none of the commercial tags applied. In the end, they simply registered it as a private passenger vehicle at the same rate as any other car.
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Old 12-29-2017, 11:36 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad_SwiftFur View Post
I live in GA but did much the same thing Christopher did. My bus was not going to be used for commerce in any way, so none of the commercial tags applied. In the end, they simply registered it as a private passenger vehicle at the same rate as any other car.
my first bus was registered as a car.. I couldnt quite get them to do that for this one, but it registered out as a non CDL bus.. maybe because its fitted for 14 people and is less than 26,000 lbs GVWR is why I didnt need a bus inspection.. the registration and title say bus..

Ohio goes by fitted seats and not rated seats.. plus when registering as a regular bus and Not as a school bus you can use adult seating capacity and not child.. so that reduced my long seats to 2 per and my narrow seats to 1 adult.

the DEV bus was titled as a motorhome already when i brought it to ohio so it was easy I kept it that way and they never asked about it fitting the requirements. (which are easy here.. bed, frig (or icebox), and any cooking method. hot-plate ,microwave, etc.. no requirements for plumbing or 120 volt electric of any kind,, )..

-Christopher
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Old 12-29-2017, 12:34 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RomaniGypsy View Post
and had my wife drive behind me as a "cop shield".
So....what does she charge for a service like that...does she have a black Trans Am w/ T-tops?

77pont73381-1.jpg

Congrats on getting your pride-n-joy home.
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Old 12-29-2017, 01:42 PM   #10
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Conneaut, Ohio
Posts: 171
Year: 2004
Chassis: International CE 300
Engine: DT466E
Rated Cap: 71 passenger / 12 window
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubla View Post
I live in Ohio, so I am used to this, my title office (Hamilton county) has a sign warning you about the temp tag thing. What are you getting an inspection for?
They wanted a full bus safety inspection at the state patrol office. I don't have any idea why it was necessary when I told them that it was a private vehicle that would not be used to haul anyone other than my wife and son, and that all I needed to do was get it home so I could begin the work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mullet View Post
She simply told me that since I lived in the township I was at nobody should worry about no plates on the bus.
In essence, "just drive it home - you shouldn't get hassled" (even though per the letter of the law it is illegal)?

That's sort of the attitude I got from some DMV people and the one state cop with whom I talked. Okay, great, but suppose I get pulled over by a cop who isn't that cool about that stuff, ya know?

Quote:
Originally Posted by oredigger View Post
There is an affidavit that I got online, then threw in an inflatable mattress, small fridge, small power inverter, and camp toilet. signed the affidavit that it was a motorhome. Took that to a different BMV office and got it registered as an RV.
How did you pull that off? The affidavit says that those facilities have to be PERMANENTLY INSTALLED. The one person at the BMV said that they have to see pictures of the interior in order to accept the conversion and issue the changed title.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
my ohio experience was totally different.. the temp tag thing i knew about.. get the title in your name and then get regular plates.

my red bus is titled and registered as a bus.. the only inspection they did was match the VIN to the title, put the title in my name and I went next door and bought regular plates, at renewal time, walked in and bought new sticker.. no inspection or such.. I was registering as a bus but not as a school bus.. sounds like you were attempting to register it as a school or church bus which requires full on inspections...
I have no idea. I told them it was "a bus". I did say it was a retired school bus, but that I was not going to be using it as a school bus nor any other type of passenger transport bus. Maybe their problem was that all of the seats were still in it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad_SwiftFur View Post
I live in GA but did much the same thing Christopher did. My bus was not going to be used for commerce in any way, so none of the commercial tags applied. In the end, they simply registered it as a private passenger vehicle at the same rate as any other car.
Maybe I should move to Georgia...

Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
Ohio goes by fitted seats and not rated seats.. plus when registering as a regular bus and Not as a school bus you can use adult seating capacity and not child.. so that reduced my long seats to 2 per and my narrow seats to 1 adult.
So really - all I have to do is remove seats?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty View Post
So....what does she charge for a service like that...does she have a black Trans Am w/ T-tops?

Congrats on getting your pride-n-joy home.
Nope - she was driving a 4Runner. And a guy got stuck at the side of the road trying to get around my bus as I was about to pull into my driveway. I share one half of my U-shaped driveway with a collision shop, and the ONE TIME I need to use that half so as to slip the bus into the spot I had snowblown for it, the neighbor had parked his car at the top to help the guy one more house over free his car from snow!
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