I'm very close to taking the plunge into building an RV from a school bus. Before I get started, I'm covering the basics: can I afford it, where will I work on it, how can it be insured, can it be insured, how is it titled and registered in my home state of Virginia, where will I park it once it is completed... and the list is growing.
The pieces are starting to fall together. I currently hold State Farm insurance. My agent's representative says that their underwriters will insure an RV with documentation. I haven't nailed down what documentation they need, but it is promising to hear.
I wrote the Virginia DMV a letter using their online submission form. It seems like I can register it as a specially constructed vehicle. I will call the number they sent me to speak with a representative to find out what the email response really means in non-legalese. Below is the text I received in reply:
Dear Mr Smith,
I have included some information on this below. If you have further questions that are not answered there, you will need to contact our vehicle branding department directly at (804) 367-1179.
Any vehicle that is materially altered from its original construction by the removal, addition, or substitution of essential parts, new or used is to be considered a reconstructed vehicle. Every person who owns a reconstructed or specially constructed motor vehicle must obtain a certificate of title and registration for the vehicle, before it is operated on any highway. All security interests (liens) held against the vehicle must be recorded on the Virginia title.
Virginia Code, section 46.2-625 requires any customer, who applies for a title for a reconstructed or specially constructed vehicle, to state on the application that the vehicle is either reconstructed or specially constructed. In order to title a reconstructed or specially constructed vehicle, the customer must establish ownership of the vehicle by submitting all titles or other ownership documents for any parts acquired for use in constructing the vehicle. Each type of vehicle has certain components that must be accounted for with a bill of sale, title, certificate of origin and/or a notarized affidavit. These documents must show any identification numbers, sales prices, and be properly assigned to the applicant.
In addition, before a reconstructed or specially constructed vehicle may be titled, the owner must apply for and receive a vehicle identification number (VIN) from DMV, if one has not already been assigned. The Title & Registration Work Center determines the VIN of the reconstructed or specially constructed vehicle and makes a VIN plate. If the vehicle being titled has been reconstructed using a cab or glider kit, an assignment of VIN is not required because a VIN is provided on the Manufacturer's Certificate (or Statement) of Origin (MCO or MSO) for the cab or glider kit.
All reconstructed and specially constructed vehicles must be inspected by Law Enforcement Services prior to titling.
The following must be supplied in order to title and register a reconstructed vehicle:
-Apply for an assignment of VIN, if required, by completing "Application for Assigned Vehicle Identification Number" form (VSA 22) and apply for a vehicle inspection. You may download the VSA 22 by clicking on the link provided below:
-A completed "Application for Certificate of Title and Registration," form (VSA-17A) which you may download from our website using the following link:
-Properly assigned ownership documents or bills of sale for the following parts:
Engine and drive train
Cab or glider kit, if applicable
--For motorcycles, submit ownership documents and bills of sale for the following parts:
-A notarized statement stating how the vehicle was constructed
-Multiple pictures of completed vehicle once vehicle is road ready. Pictures must show at least the front and sides.
Submit the following fees:
--$5 VIN Plate Fee, if applicable
--$125 Inspection Fee
--$10 Title Fee
--4.05% (minimum of $75.00) Motor Vehicle Sales and Use Tax
If the vehicle weighs 26,001 pounds or more, you are exempt from paying sales and use tax. If you paid retail sales tax on any parts at the time of purchase and you are providing proof of payment, no motor vehicle sales and use tax is required.
--Registration Fee, if applicable
In order to operate your vehicle on Virginia highways, the vehicle must pass a state motor vehicle safety inspection. You must pay the local vehicle registration fee to the locality and display the local sticker or decal on the windshield, if applicable.
Thank you for visiting Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles.