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Old 07-12-2016, 12:07 AM   #1
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Party Bus regristration

I'm looking to convert a school bus into a party bus/coffee bus. I want to have on board seating and a kitchen. We would serve coffee and pastry, nothing more than that. Anyone know what the requirements would be. The bus would never be transporting passengers. In fact, it would probably always stay at the same location. Insurance? Licensing? DMV? Health codes? What issues would I encounter?
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Old 07-12-2016, 12:48 AM   #2
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If you want it road legal, it will have to be registered and insured. I'd have it re-titled and insure it as a commercial truck (and probably require a CDL). As for the rest of your questions, you'll have to do some research. Other licenses and health codes will vary by state and, indeed, municipality.
Sounds like a great idea. Good luck!
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Old 07-12-2016, 02:14 AM   #3
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look up 'build your own hot dog cart'; hot water, three sinks, etc...
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Old 07-12-2016, 07:24 AM   #4
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this will be used for business so you will have to set it up as a registered kitchen... at l;east here in the city of columbus ohio anything that serves food has to be registered with the board of health as a food-cart.. None of the food trucks here have indoor seating or provide any type of seating for patrons as then it would have to become a licensed restaraunt.. and that would likely apply to any city you wanted to travel making it an expensive nightmare.. most cities have a strict food-prep code of conduct for a kitchen... but that is not nearly as streingent as when you provide seating.. you get a "food peddler" license..

the bus itself will be a commercial vehicle, if it has more than 15 seating positions or is over 26000 lbs GVWR it will require a CDL to drive and a DOT tag and annual inspections.. insurance0wse you will insure it as a commercial food-truck / bus..

cobining the party bus and kitchen is likely to create nightmares as mentioned above.. having indoor seating and preparing food is a tough one...

if it simply has searting in it and you are not actually preparing or heating food (in columbus ohio.. the preparation for consumption is defined by heating / and or plating of food.... theres a special regulation spelled out for ice cream trucks but i cant remember the statute....

if your bus simply sold pre-packaged sealed food you May be able to skirt it and have a "limousine".. as drinks are typically provided in limousines..

its a lot of research to do.. hopefully this poiints you in some direction.. its likely to vary city by city .
-Christopher
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Old 07-13-2016, 05:30 AM   #5
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I think you'll find that if it is used for ANY kind of business you will need a CDL and will be governed by DOT including log books, hours of service, etc.
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Old 07-13-2016, 07:34 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by somewhereinusa View Post
I think you'll find that if it is used for ANY kind of business you will need a CDL and will be governed by DOT including log books, hours of service, etc.
if its used strictly for Livery and is under 16 passengers it falls under a limousine which doesnt require Log-books and such but still does require CDL in most states.. but minimal..

-Christopher
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Old 07-13-2016, 12:08 PM   #7
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I'm trying to connect the dots here... Is this a food truck with interior seating or a party bus with coffee and snacks? If you're never going to be transporting passengers then I'm concluding it's the food truck concept and while coffee and pastries don't take up a lot of room by themselves unless you're planning on this being a mobile Starbucks where it's all being made fresh on-site then you're talking about espresso machine and ovens which begins eating up your limited space. It also puts you into the food service requirements like cadillackid described. It's also a commercial use and over 26k# GVWR even if it seats less than 15 so I'd say that meets CDL requirements without a passenger endorsement. Just thinking this may be more complicated and expensive than you can hope to recoup from just coffee and pastry sales.

You may also find that if you intend to park it permanently you can run up against building codes and zoning statutes.
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Old 07-13-2016, 12:44 PM   #8
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youd be surprised the markup on coffee and pastries... after-all brick and mortar shops make it on those sales alone... and that includes rent in the 1000s per month when you are talking urban coffee shops like Io hang out in daily.. they too have to maintain licensing and periodic health-board visits / tests, etc.. food trucks have a different set of regulations like mentioned... if it were me, id locate somewhere with "unofficial" seating like near a park or such.. of course it would need to follow the nice weather to be effective.. im really hoping the OP pursues this and to see what regulations do apply...
-Christopher
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Old 07-13-2016, 08:47 PM   #9
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Bus coffee shop would be the coolest. "Folks this is your captain speaking..."

I'd just announce that over a PA eveyy time i felt insecure.
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