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Old 11-28-2003, 06:03 PM   #1
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Texas
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When is a CDL needed?

I was on my way back to Huntsville, Texas from Duchesne, Utah with my new 1986 GMC 6000 Skoolie, when a little old lady ran a Stop Sign in front of me in Dennison, Texas and wrecked the front of my new bus. She received the blame for causing the accident but I was cited for not having a Commercial Driver's License (CDL). The lights on the bus had been disabled by the School District before I picked up the bus, my buddy and I had unbolted seats already (but they were still in place for the return trip home), and I was not in the act of transporting anyone for hire. The bus is a 60-passenger capacity, has air brakes, and a two-speed rear axle. I was doing about 25 mph when the lady came through the Stop Sign at about 40.

How come the police say I have to have a CDL to operate this bus? Is there anything I can say to the Judge or show to The Court to beat this wrap?

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Old 11-28-2003, 06:07 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Central Iowa
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It varies for each state and how you have your bus registered. It may also depend on if you bus has air brakes or hydraulic brakes.

I have my bus registered with the state of Iowa as a Class-A motorhome. In Iowa you are not required to have a CDL no matter what size of motorhome you are driving.

Sorry to hear about what happened.
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Old 11-29-2003, 07:49 AM   #3
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Pettytown, Texas, US of A
Posts: 101

Unfortunately in Texas, until you retitle your bus as a Motorhome, it's still a private bus or commercial vehicle and you are legally required to have a CDL.

The title conversion process has some requirements to convert to motorhome:

You have to take the existing title to the TxDOT.

You have to have a certified weight certificate.

You have to have pictures showing the bus AFTER the conversion.

The pictures will have to show some of the following(at least three, I think):

Working kitchen or place to cook

Working bathroom - can be a portapotie

Bedroom or place to sleep

Electrical system - 12V and/or genset/shore power plug system

Less than 15 seats

Oh, don't forget insurance papers!

There are some other things too, but I can't remember off the top of my head.
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