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Old 02-23-2004, 02:56 PM   #1
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Typical RV License Requirements

Here is what you will typically encounter when you go to register your bus as an RV at the DMV.



Must be a self-propelled vehicle and must have at least four of the following facilities:



1) A cooking appliance with on-board power source.



2) A Gas or electric refrigerator.



3) A toilet with exterior evacuation.



4) Heating or air conditioner or both from an on-board power source separate from the vehicle engine.



5) A potable water supply system.



6) A 110-125 volt power supply separate from the vehicle engine.



7) A bed or sleeping area.





These will change depending on what state you are in.
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Old 02-23-2004, 06:11 PM   #2
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in michigan you only need two of the three. Toilet, Cooking facilities, sleeping quarters
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Old 02-23-2004, 07:23 PM   #3
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Some SC information

Researching this as I type...



From the SC Code of Laws



TITLE 56. MOTOR VEHICLES





CHAPTER 5. UNIFORM ACT REGULATING TRAFFIC ON HIGHWAYS



From the part regulating window-tinting.



SECTION 56-5-5015. Sunscreen devices. [SC ST SEC 56-5-5015]





(I) The light transmittance requirement of this section applies to windows behind the driver on pickup trucks, but does not apply to windows behind the driver on other trucks, buses, trailers, mobile homes, multipurpose passenger vehicles, and recreational vehicles.





(J) (6) "Motor home" means a vehicular unit designed to provide temporary living quarters built into and an integral part of or permanently attached to a self-propelled motor vehicle chassis.





(J) (10) "Recreational vehicle" means a self-propelled or towed vehicle that is equipped to serve as temporary living quarters for recreational, camping, or travel purposes, and is used solely as a family/personal conveyance.



That's all I could find in the state code about what defines a motor home / recreational vehicle.



Did find this about taxation, though:



SECTION 12-37-224. Motor homes; primary or secondary residence; real property. [SC ST SEC 12-37-224]



A motor home on which the interest portion of indebtedness is deductible pursuant to the Internal Revenue Code as an interest expense on a qualified primary or second residence is also a primary or second residence for purposes of ad valorem property taxation in this State and is considered real property rather than personal property for property tax purposes.





That might mean a tax break for people living in one full time...or not...what kind of property tax are y'all paying on a used bus? How do they value it for tax purposes?
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Old 02-26-2004, 01:27 PM   #4
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Greetings,

Basically the same for Texas, but a couple of added requirements:

It must have seating for less than 15.

If you have more than 15, it is still a private bus and not a motorhome and you need a minimum chaufeurs license or CDL.

They rent 15 passenger vans to take places, and I wondered why they only allowed that many, now I know.



You must have a certified weight certificate and pictures of your conversion when you apply for a motorhome title change.



Oh yeah, you must have liability insurance!!!
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Old 05-13-2004, 06:35 AM   #5
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Greetings,
OK, I just went thru the whole process here in Texas.
To get the title changed from a Private Bus to Motorhome in Texas, you need to take the following to the TXDOT title office:
1. Your insurance card for the bus.
2. Your old license plates from the bus.
3. Pictures of your conversion - I took 2 outside and 3 inside, they kept 1 inside and 1 outside.
4. A certified weight certificate showing empty weight.
5. Your old title so they can change it to Motorhome.
6. Money.........ALWAYS MONEY!!!!
When you get thru, you get regular passenger car plates and a new title.
Mine says "MH" in the type category.

To drive a Motorhome in Texas, the TXDOT office told me:
1. If it weighs less than 26000 gross, you can drive it with a regular drivers license - EVEN IF IT HAS AIR BRAKES.
2. If it weighs more than 26000 gross you need a CDL-B. I don't know what the "B" stands for, but will look it up.

They inspect the vehicle basically to the same as a passenger car with added requirements for marker lights, reflectors, etc. due to length. When I got mine inspected, the inspector "rode shotgun" while I drove around the block and back to the inspection station.

Start with your insurance, it's required all the way thru the process and seems to make things work smoother if you already have the card in hand.

Hope this helps!
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Old 05-14-2004, 08:01 AM   #6
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Hi Vern,

The following is acccording to Federal Regulations (under whose control all CDL reqirements and implmentation fall). Essentially a State cannot require that you get a a CDL unless you are driving a "Commercial" vehicle as defined in the regulations; and they specifically (as you'll read below) exempt Recreational Vehicles when used privately. A State can (and some do) require an endorsement to your "normal" license for air brakes and over size vehicles.

This is important stuff because if you have a CDL then you're considered a "Commercial" driver and you operate under a different set of requirements then you would with a general drivers' license. You also become subject to D.O.T. requirements (both Federal and State) and by definition if you're driving the vehicle for which you were required to get the CDL it's then a "Commercial Vehicle" and subject to D.O.T. inspection, weigh stations stops, etc. It could play havoc with your insurance if you're deemed a "Commcercail Vehicle". In short CDL literally means "Commercial Driver's License" and should only be required if that's what you drive (not every person I've talked to in the licensing department "gets" this; once they understand it's a "Motorhome" the problem has always gone away).

Here's the Federal Regulations:

Commercial motor vehicle (CMV) means a motor vehicle or combination of motor vehicles used in commerce (bold added) to transport passengers or property if the motor vehicle --

(a) Has a gross combination weight rating of 11,794 kilograms or more (26,001 pounds or more) inclusive of a towed unit(s) with a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 4,536 kilograms (10,000 pounds); or

(b) Has a gross vehicle weight rating of 11,794 or more kilograms (26,001 pounds or more); or

(c) Is designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver; or

(d) Is of any size and is used in the transportation of hazardous materials as defined in this section.

------

Non-CMV means a motor vehicle or combination of motor vehicles not defined by the term "commercial motor vehicle (CMV)" in this section.

------

CDL Exemptions

The law exempts three groups of drivers from the CDL:

Farmers transporting farm equipment, supplies, or products to or from a farm in a farm vehicle are exempted provided the vehicle is operated by a farmer or a farm employee. (Products include Christmas trees or wood products transported by vehicles 40,000 pounds GVW or less.)

Fire-fighters/Law Enforcement Personnel operating emergency equipment are exempted provided they have completed the Emergency Vehicle Accident Prevention Program (EVAP) and they carry a card certifying completion.

Recreational Vehicle Operators are exempted when driving RV's for non-commercial purposes. This includes two axle rental trucks, and horse trailers for non-commercial purposes. (bold added)
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Old 05-14-2004, 08:27 AM   #7
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I should hasten to add that in the previous message I was making my arguments and stating my opinions! I am NOT an authority on the subject and only mean to provide what information I have; I have had a CDL (drove over-the-road semis in the past), which is I why I'm familair with what new requirements one is subject to and I have been through the process where I live; I've tried to reseach the situation pretty thoroughly. It all hinges on your rig being plated as a Motorhome (Recreational Vehicle) because, as far as I can tell, that grants you the Federal Expemption to the CDL requirements.

As they say...YMMV
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Old 05-14-2004, 08:34 AM   #8
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Bingo! Here's what I wanted...I searched Google for "Texas CDL Exemptions"...

Are there any exemptions to being required to have Texas CDL?
Yes, a few . . .
1. Active Duty Military . . . with military licenses operating military vehicles.
2. Firefighters . . . meeting approved training standards and operating authorized emergency vehicles.
3. Farmers . . . in certain cases.
4. Individuals ....operating motor homes or other vehicles used exclusively to transport personal possessions or family members, for nonbusiness purposes (bold added by me)

And from the Texas Department of Public Safety:

The law does provide provisions for some exemptions, using the CDL 2, Exemption form required. If the driver meets one or more of the criteria listed on the following page, he/she will not be required to have a CDL. However, the driver will be required to have a Class A, B, or C Non-CDL License.

Exemptions:

A vehicle that is controlled and operated by a farmer; and used to transport agricultural products, farm machinery, or farm supplies to or from a farm; and not used in the operations of a common or contract motor carrier; and used within 150 air miles of the person’s farm.

A Fire-fighting or emergency vehicle necessary to the preservation of life or property or the execution of emergency governmental functions, whether operated by an employee of a political subdivision or by a volunteer fire-fighter.

A recreational vehicle that is driven for personal use.

A military vehicle, when operated for military purposes by military personnel.

A vehicle that is owned, leased, or controlled by an air carrier, as defined by Texas Trans. Code (TRC) section 21.155.

A vehicle used exclusively to transport cotton modules or cotton burrs.

NOTE: You will need to complete the CDL-2 form, take and pass the A&B rules written exam, and pass a driving test in a representative vehicle of that class.
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Old 05-14-2004, 08:24 PM   #9
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CDL information

Hi Les , Nice to hear from you again. I haven't heard from you on the board for quite awhile. Good info on the CDL portion. The correct info is good to know. Sometimes the law enforment personnel do not know all the laws. knowledge regarding your legal rights could mean the difference between a ticket and a friendly "be on your way". What about us individuals with a Class A CDL? does this effect us in any way driving a Motor Home?

Later, J.B.
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Old 05-15-2004, 10:10 AM   #10
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Hi J.B.

Yeah, it's been awfully nuts at works here and it isn't giving up much "fun" time.

If you have a CDL and are driving a personal verhicle (like a private motorhome) it doesn't cause any grief from a D.O.T., licensing, etc standpoint. Of course, if you get a ticket, even when driving a private rig, it can affect your CDL. My point is, that just like the "big boys", if you're driving the rig that required you to have a CDL (say a bus over 26,000# that isn't licensed as a motohome(RV)) then you're operating under CDL regulations, so things like non-signaled lane changes and following too closely (not that you should do that anyway) become the major violations they are when driving a commercial vehicle with a CDL, rather than the the typical wrist-slappers. And if you're over the weight specified on the signs at the scales you'd have to pull in.

In other words, if a CDL were required that would hand you all the same responsiblity that a Commercial driver has but with none of the benefits (like getting paid for the hassle). It also places you in a position where you must know many more regulations and obey them; you shouldn't have to do that in a non-commercial vehicle.

The Feds now dictate what the CDL is and isn't and all States must comply (for many years now); they specifically exempted Recreational Vehicles (at any weight) so as far as I can tell no State can require a Commercial license (CDL) for an RV. That doesn't mean they can't have State requirements for non-CDL higher class licenses (like Texas) or for an endoresment for an air brake equipped vehicle.

The exemption is what makes it perfectly legal to buy a big ol' Peterbuilt, stretch the chassis and build a home on the back of it; it's going to go way over 26,000# (heck my long-nose Freightliner Condo truck tipped the scales at 22,000#; tractor only), but licensed (plated) as a motorhome you're good to go. (Not for me...I've had enough of 13-speed Road Rangers; I like my automatic )
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