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Old 11-02-2018, 04:53 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: Unity, NH
Posts: 299
Year: 2003
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DT466E (195hp, 520tq)
Rated Cap: 29,000
Our NH saga

We just completed a nearly 2-week process of getting our bus titled and registered in NH. For a handful of reasons we opted not to go the VT route. I'll have to say, the process was very informative, but kind of like how watching a video of your colonoscopy is informative, just not very pleasant.

We started off with a 20 day temp plate when we bought it so we could drive it home from NC. It was yellow and that process was simple.

Then I tried to register it for real. Our town clerk entered the data from the VA title, but since it was over the 26,001 lb GVW (29,000) I had to go to the local State DMV to get the plates. That's where I ran into a roadblock. It was still yellow so I could not register it. I explained we wanted to convert it to an RV, but that didn't help. They told me we had to complete the RV conversion then get it inspected by the DMV (not a normal state inspection station) to get the classification changed to an RV. Unfortunately the temp plate was running out and we had planned to spend longer than a week doing the conversion process!

I made a few phone calls to the state. Turns out I could get it classified as a 'truck' which is an intermediate step between a School Bus and the RV. Sounded like a plan. We had to paint it 'not-yellow', remove the seats, remove the 8-way flashers and cover up all the school bus markings. Then we could drive it to the DMV inspection station and get it re-titled as a 'truck'.

We accomplished the changes over the weekend and I drove it 70 miles to get it inspected, with 1 day left on the 20-day plate. There were two State Police officers doing the inspection and it quickly became obvious that they didn't think this was a 'truck'. They appreciated the work we did to make it not a School Bus, but they were not going to sign off on the title change. They made a few calls and after about 30 minutes of being polite and hoping for the best they came up with another option. We noticed that the VA title had the body style listed as 'Bus'. Nothing on it said 'School'. They agreed that it was no longer a School Bus, but that it was a Bus.

Without anything in writing I left the inspection station and hoped for the best. One of the officers did suggest I try to get the GVW on the registration reduced to the curb weight listed on the title (15,600) but the longer I thought about that, the more I decided to stick with the actual GVW of 29,000. The next day I went to our town clerk and we started the process over again. Everything was fine until the registration still had the model listed as 'School' while the body was simply 'Bus'. For some reason she could not change the model. I was trying to use 3800 as the model which is the chassis designation from International. On to the next step, back to the state office, but still with the nasty word 'School' on the registration. Fortunately the state office was able to change the model to 3800 so all was good. The only odd thing was that she had to give me Commercial plates since the GVW was over 26,000. I do have my CDL/Pass/Bus/School Bus and med card so I'm cleared to drive it.

So, the bus now has 'hard plates', as the staties called them, on it and I'm happy. We can continue the RV conversion. Once that is done we will get another DMV inspection to change the title to RV/Motorhome, then re-register it. At that point the GVW won't matter and we will be able to get Passenger plates and no CDL will be required to drive it.

Would the VT process have been simpler? Yes. But we made it through the NH red tape. Looking back, if the GVW was 26,000 or under, our town clerk would have been able to do the whole process and it probably would have worked the first time. Anyway, that's our saga....

Dave
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Old 11-02-2018, 08:10 PM   #2
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
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Getting the phrase

New Hampshire

into the thread for SEO, of value for those Googling for NH-specific registration info.
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Old 11-02-2018, 08:11 PM   #3
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For testing, will take a while for spiders to index

https://goo.gl/AktJPa
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Old 11-06-2018, 04:08 PM   #4
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Location: SW New Hampshire
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Thanks! I'm in Keene, and this saga will come in very useful when my time arrives.
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Old 11-10-2018, 06:38 PM   #5
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Virginia
Posts: 527
The key word in CDL is Commercial. It is a private vehicle so you shouldn’t need a CDL.
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Old 07-31-2019, 03:25 PM   #6
Bus Nut
 
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Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: Unity, NH
Posts: 299
Year: 2003
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DT466E (195hp, 520tq)
Rated Cap: 29,000
The Final Chapter (we hope). The bus was inspected by the state troopers so it's now an RV/Motorhome which means it has passenger plates, not commercial anymore. The last piece in the puzzle was our desire to change the GVW on the title from 29,000 to 25,900 to help with any states we might pass through in the future. This also allows our town clerk to handle renewals since she can't do anything over 26,000 lbs. Well, in order to accomplish this seemingly simple task we had to get the bus weighed, which we intended to do anyway. It tips the scales at 19,600 right now, basically fully converted with 40 gallons of water and a full fuel tank.

The state said we needed some 'documentation' that the GVW has been reduced. We had the local International dealer write up a letter to that effect and the state accepted it! So now, the new title will show it as a Motorhome with a 25,900 GVW.
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Old 07-31-2019, 04:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ermracing View Post
The Final Chapter (we hope). The bus was inspected by the state troopers so it's now an RV/Motorhome which means it has passenger plates, not commercial anymore. The last piece in the puzzle was our desire to change the GVW on the title from 29,000 to 25,900 to help with any states we might pass through in the future. This also allows our town clerk to handle renewals since she can't do anything over 26,000 lbs. Well, in order to accomplish this seemingly simple task we had to get the bus weighed, which we intended to do anyway. It tips the scales at 19,600 right now, basically fully converted with 40 gallons of water and a full fuel tank.

The state said we needed some 'documentation' that the GVW has been reduced. We had the local International dealer write up a letter to that effect and the state accepted it! So now, the new title will show it as a Motorhome with a 25,900 GVW.
Wow, thatís awesome. Iím surprised the International dealer agreed to write the letter, since itís not a vehicle you bought from them and they have no incentive to do so. Was it a hassle to get them to agree to write the letter?
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Old 08-01-2019, 08:28 AM   #8
Bus Nut
 
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Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: Unity, NH
Posts: 299
Year: 2003
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DT466E (195hp, 520tq)
Rated Cap: 29,000
Quote:
Originally Posted by dgorila1 View Post
Wow, thatís awesome. Iím surprised the International dealer agreed to write the letter, since itís not a vehicle you bought from them and they have no incentive to do so. Was it a hassle to get them to agree to write the letter?
Sometimes it's nice when you are friends with the owner.....
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