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Old 09-30-2013, 11:00 AM   #1
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Re-Weighing and Licensing

Hey all,

So I picked up my bus at a dealer which solved any registration issues, they gave me a paper tag with proof of insurance. I used GMAC (now known as national general) and they are insuring me for MD minimum liability for $1300 / yr (I am a 19 year old guy with a 20 mph over speeding ticket, and "unlawful use of license" charge under my belt, is why the cost is so high). MD minimum liability is higher than most states too. Anyway, they know exactly what I am doing with the bus, I just told them I was doing a school bus to RV conversion, and they had no issue with that.

I do not know what the GVW of the vehicle is currently, it doesn't say on the title and I haven't found a plate that says it yet, but I assume it is over 26k by a fair amount. However, I wanted to get some opinions...I assume, with the seats out, the bus will weigh between 17-19k lbs, and I most certainly won't be adding 7,000 lbs worth of people and gear to it. So does anyone know if it is possible to get the bus "reclassified" for a lower GVW of under 26k (25,999?) and if that's a feasible way of bypassing the need for a class B license? Air brakes are a non-issue, anyone with a class C can use air brakes if the vehicle is under 26k.

The other option is, while this still could be considered a "bus," to go and get my class B noncommercial license. That involves going to the MVA, taking a written test, and getting a learners permit, waiting 2 weeks, and then taking the bus (converted from school use but still classifiable as a bus) and then taking a drivers test with the bus. I would need to take it up there with someone who is licensed to drive it. This would eliminate the need for me to reclassify the weight and I wouldn't have to worry about what materials to build with or the size of tanks or number of people on board, and it would probably look better if I got pulled over. But it is a hassle to get the license.

Thoughts? Thanks in advance.
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Old 09-30-2013, 11:19 AM   #2
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Re: Re-Weighing and Licensing

Every state is different but in California you don't need a CDL if the bus is reclassified as a motorhome.
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Old 09-30-2013, 11:56 AM   #3
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Re: Re-Weighing and Licensing

I was so exited about getting all the seats out that I forgot to weight a seat to see how much weight I took off, does anyone know on an average how much weight?
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Old 09-30-2013, 01:38 PM   #4
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Re: Re-Weighing and Licensing

Our bus is rated 33,000 lbs. In Maryland you have to be both an RV and 26,000 lbs or under. You can get it reclassified when you change the title to RV. I plan to get mine re-weighed. I have been told we should be around 20,000 - 22,000 lbs when done.

Oh, we need to take the air break test. I'm waiting because you need to supply your own vehicle.
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Old 09-30-2013, 03:43 PM   #5
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Re: Re-Weighing and Licensing

Quote:
Originally Posted by wmkbailey
Our bus is rated 33,000 lbs. In Maryland you have to be both an RV and 26,000 lbs or under. You can get it reclassified when you change the title to RV. I plan to get mine re-weighed. I have been told we should be around 20,000 - 22,000 lbs when done.

Oh, we need to take the air break test. I'm waiting because you need to supply your own vehicle.

The gvwr has nothing to do with how much the vehicle weighs.
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Old 09-30-2013, 04:45 PM   #6
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Re: Re-Weighing and Licensing

Quote:
Originally Posted by crazycal
Quote:
Originally Posted by wmkbailey
Our bus is rated 33,000 lbs. In Maryland you have to be both an RV and 26,000 lbs or under. You can get it reclassified when you change the title to RV. I plan to get mine re-weighed. I have been told we should be around 20,000 - 22,000 lbs when done.

Oh, we need to take the air break test. I'm waiting because you need to supply your own vehicle.

The gvwr has nothing to do with how much the vehicle weighs.
Right, but you can reclassify the rating. I have mine "rated" at 21k, even though the GVW on it is 29k. If I got pulled over and was over 21k, I would technically be in trouble, but I'm not too worried about it. I'm planning to get it weighed shortly, and I'll change it if I need to.
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Old 10-01-2013, 06:23 AM   #7
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Re: Re-Weighing and Licensing

I had a choice of 16K or 26K plates (normal "car" plates are only 5k in TN) so I went with 26K plates for like $20 a year more...that's insurance because I know I'm over 16k
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Old 10-01-2013, 11:35 AM   #8
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Re: Re-Weighing and Licensing

Quote:
Originally Posted by crazycal
Quote:
Originally Posted by wmkbailey
Our bus is rated 33,000 lbs. In Maryland you have to be both an RV and 26,000 lbs or under. You can get it reclassified when you change the title to RV. I plan to get mine re-weighed. I have been told we should be around 20,000 - 22,000 lbs when done.

Oh, we need to take the air break test. I'm waiting because you need to supply your own vehicle.

The gvwr has nothing to do with how much the vehicle weighs.
I was told by those smart people at the DMV/MVA that I would have to get the bus weighed to get it reclassified. Then they use some formula to come up with the GVWR
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Old 10-01-2013, 08:30 PM   #9
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Re: Re-Weighing and Licensing

In California personal vehicles don't get weighed with the exception of pickup trucks. They are still considered commercial regardless of the use and must be weighed empty. That's what you weight fee is based on. Over 10k pounds, you declare a gross weight and that's what you pay for. Every state has their own rules and it gets confusing on a forum like this with members from 50 states(58 states if you're Obama) and multiple countries.
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Old 10-02-2013, 10:30 AM   #10
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Re: Re-Weighing and Licensing

Quote:
Originally Posted by wmkbailey
Our bus is rated 33,000 lbs. In Maryland you have to be both an RV and 26,000 lbs or under. You can get it reclassified when you change the title to RV. I plan to get mine re-weighed. I have been told we should be around 20,000 - 22,000 lbs when done.

Oh, we need to take the air break test. I'm waiting because you need to supply your own vehicle.
It was my understanding that if it was under 26k then we don't need any additional testing? Class C licenses have no air brake restriction. I believe any vehicle under 26k with air brakes is operable by anyone with a class C. Hence why you see those big Penske trucks being driven by idiots all the time, and I believe they have air brakes.

Does anyone know who / what place would be able to do the weighing AND doing the math to see what the gross weight would be? I have no idea how that is done. I have tried searching for this info on the MVA page and have found nothing.

Thanks!
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