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Old 08-26-2015, 01:39 PM   #1
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Registration in ca help!

Hello there! Newbie in ca needing advice. I don't trust the dmv! I have a 1992 Thomas 37 foot diesel bus.it was a church bus. The church who sold it to us told us that it has to be converted over to rv that is why they cannot use it anymore. When I went down to the dmv to register it in my name and find out what I need to do, they said I don't need to do anything that it is registered already as a automobile not commercial. They said I don't need to worry about the emissions ect ????? I just have a bad feeling they are giving me bad info and I don't want to embark on a big conversion if there are going to be major problems (like it can't be driven in this state) before I put a lot of time and money into it. Please anyone know anything??? Thanks Neeley
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Old 08-26-2015, 01:45 PM   #2
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Where in Ca are you,I'm in Vacaville, If you bought the bus in Ca and it's already registered as a RV just pay the fees and your done, if you brought it in from out of state the a CHP needs to verify the Vin. The CARB specifically Exempts RV from the new diesel emission standards, they apply to Commercial vehicles only,,

Stuart
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Old 08-26-2015, 01:52 PM   #3
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I am in Atascadero and we bought the bus here in ca .
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Old 08-26-2015, 01:55 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Neeleysometimes View Post
I am in Atascadero and we bought the bus here in ca .
If it's already been reg. in Ca then your golden.
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Old 08-26-2015, 02:16 PM   #5
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Enjoy the bus, and POST PICS!!!!
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Old 08-26-2015, 02:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neeleysometimes View Post
Hello there! Newbie in ca needing advice. I don't trust the dmv! I have a 1992 Thomas 37 foot diesel bus.it was a church bus. The church who sold it to us told us that it has to be converted over to rv that is why they cannot use it anymore. When I went down to the dmv to register it in my name and find out what I need to do, they said I don't need to do anything that it is registered already as a automobile not commercial. They said I don't need to worry about the emissions ect ????? I just have a bad feeling they are giving me bad info and I don't want to embark on a big conversion if there are going to be major problems (like it can't be driven in this state) before I put a lot of time and money into it. Please anyone know anything??? Thanks Neeley
You said its registered as "Automobile" not RV or MH as my, does it make any difference?, there is a reason why the church said it has to be converted to RV.

J
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Old 09-22-2015, 11:53 AM   #7
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Ca registration is either commercial or auto. No MH registration. That would fall under auto, but what I was told it had to have a bed,toilet and kitchen all attached to be a MH. Otherwise it has commercial plates. I live in southern Ca. Anyone know where I can park my short bus. City ordinance says Commercial plates and rvs can only park on street for few hours. Need a place to park.
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Old 09-26-2015, 07:41 PM   #8
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I just completed a bus conversion here in Ca. Like you, my original title said automobile, BUT under body type it said BU for bus and that does not exempt you from the smog requirements now being placed on diesel vehicles. To get that exemption, the body type needs to be changed to MH for motorized home. This change requires that the bus be permanently modified for living purposes as spelled out in CVC 362. I made the necessary mods and then hired a licensed vehicle verifier to verify the changes (avoided CHP and DMV inspection that way) and armed with that I went to DMV and had no problem with the body type change.

Another issue is that unless you have the MH (sometimes they use HC-- house car-- but both end up with the same definition), if you only have a class C drivers license you may be driving "out of class" unless your bus is registered as a MH. I'll bet that if you had an accident under those conditions your insurance would be void and you WOULD be cited for driving out of class. Take a look at the DMV recreational vehicle and trailer handbook https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/wcm/co...df?MOD=AJPERES and study page 3 very carefully as it is a little tricky to follow.

Back to the smog stuff again. Is your bus a two stroke diesel? eg Detroit Diesel 8v92 0r DD 6v71. These engines are almost impossible to retrofit with the particulate trap etc that is now required on commercial diesels (including buses) and is the main reason these buses are being sold off. The smog retrofit costs between $10,000 and $20,000 and effectively precludes the commercial use of 2 stroke engines in Ca. Thanks CARB! So far, once these diesel vehicles are converted to motor homes, they do not require smog cert.

I hope this has been helpful. Let me know if I need to clarify any part of it and good luck. Jack

P.S. The verification is done on form 31:
https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/wcm/co...7-3d970b8ea1a4

P.S., P.S. When you hunt for insurance, ALWAYS call your bus a MOTOR HOME because that is what it is. If you say bus, the insurance company will throw you to the wolves.
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Old 09-29-2015, 01:30 AM   #9
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Jack,
Thanks for your reply. When I looked closer you are right the title does say bu. For bus. But when I registered it they said it was exempt for having to be smogged. It did not have commercial plates because it was a church bus and not one that was for hire? I don't know i kept going round and round with guy at the dmv about getting the motor home classification and he just kept saying it didn't matter. It just seemed to easy . It is a Cummins engine
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Old 09-29-2015, 12:07 PM   #10
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With the BU classification you will need an endorsement on your "C" drivers license to drive that rig. Also, if the GVW is over 26000# and/or it has 3 axles, you will need the endorsement. All the auto/bus title is doing is keeping you from having to pay commercial weight fees and doing a smog (I'll bet CARB will be telling you that you need all the smog stuff). You can put all that to bed simply by obtaining the MH body type status. Good luck and we'd all like to see some pictures. Jack
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