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Old 12-15-2004, 09:50 AM   #11
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Thanks for the detailed post Les!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Les Lampman
So, if Mass has no temp tags what happens there when you buy a new car? Do they have plates on hand so you can drive home immediately?
Mass RMV says:

"If you own a vehicle or trailer and purchase a new vehicle or trailer from a dealer or purchase a used vehicle or trailer from a private party, you may transfer your registration to the newly acquired vehicle. Massachusetts allows a grace period of seven (7) calendar days from the date you dispose of your previous vehicle to register your newly acquired vehicle.

Under this grace period, the following conditions must be met:

* You must be at least 18 years old.
* The newly acquired vehicle or trailer must be of the same type and have the same number of wheels as the previous vehicle or trailer.
* You must carry the transfer documents, which show the registration number to be transferred, in your vehicle.
* You must have lost possession of or disposed of your previous vehicle.
* The registration plates must be attached to the newly acquired vehicle.

Please note, there is no grace period if you do not currently have a registered vehicle or trailer. The RMV does not issue temporary registration plates. "

So, I could probably do it if I had "Auto home" plates to attach, it's a chicken/egg problem. The yard in Illinois just forwarded me the name of a ferry service that charges $1/mile. Not outragous - but more then I want to spend for a 900+ mile trip.

Thanks again,

Jake.
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Old 12-15-2004, 04:16 PM   #12
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I just drove my "new" bus 800 miles, all I had was a sticker from the seller in the back window, no plates, covered the school bus insignia with black paint. Picked up 5 gallons of transmission fluid and 4 gallons of oil. (had some leaks) I made it home with no major problems. (had fingers crossed) The way I understood it was my current insurance policy covered me in a new vehicle, not sure if that was true or not but I took the chance and didn't get into any accidents or get pulled over.
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Old 12-15-2004, 04:30 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glock17
The way I understood it was my current insurance policy covered me in a new vehicle, not sure if that was true or not but I took the chance and didn't get into any accidents or get pulled over.
I have heard that too.
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Old 12-15-2004, 06:12 PM   #14
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perhaps you could register the vehicle in the state where you are purchasing it from? Register it as a non-commercial bus. I have a friend in ohio that had a michigan drivers liscense with a michigan address and purchased ohio liscense plates for his truck while we was going to school there.

On the opposite extreme, you'll probably be just fine driving home without any plates. A guy from michigan drove a bus several years ago all the way to Alaska, including 2 international border crossings, with an expired temporary paper tag. His thought is that the bus is so big and out of the ordinary that nobody even noticed the lack of registration.

I was fortunate enough to have purchased my bus 10 miles from my house, so driving home without a plate wasn't such a big deal.

IF i bought a bus in another state, i think i woudl try to put plates on it before i drove it home. Why couldn't send a money order through the mail to the owner, and have him mail you the title.....then you could register it at the dmv before you left (as a non-commercial bus) and take the plates with you? The only downside would be if you are purchasing the bus sight unseen.
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Old 12-15-2004, 07:42 PM   #15
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Hi vonslatt,

Interesting concept on the registration in Mass. It still intrigues me that you could go to an RV dealer and buy a brand-new megabuck motorhome and have no way to drive it home until you go to the licensing department and get plates! The dealers out here want you in the driver's seat and on your way home with the "paper plate" in the back window before you realize what you just did!

Quote:
The way I understood it was my current insurance policy covered me in a new vehicle, not sure if that was true or not but I took the chance and didn't get into any accidents or get pulled over.
I understand this is true as well, except that most insurance policies specifically exclude a vehicle used for commercial purposes. My concern would be that if the bus you were driving was still licensed as a commercial vehicle and you did have a problem your insurance company (understanding folks that they are) would deny they ever heard of you. I drove my bus 1500 miles home under the assumption (how's that for faith?) that my insurance coverage *did* in fact cover me in the bus with a temporary private paper plate in the rear window.

I'd ask the folks at the bus sales place if the current license plates are removed from the vehicle (I know in a lot of States that would be the case); if so, you should be able to go the local DOT or licensing office and get a trip permit (here in Washington it's good for 3 days). Anything official looking in the rear window is probably going to let you run down the road without a hassle (do *not* pull into the scales (commercial weigh stations) though!).

Can you register in Mass as just a truck or something before you convert your bus to a motorhome?
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Old 12-15-2004, 10:52 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Les Lampman
Hi vonslatt,

Interesting concept on the registration in Mass. It still intrigues me that you could go to an RV dealer and buy a brand-new megabuck motorhome and have no way to drive it home until you go to the licensing department and get plates! The dealers out here want you in the driver's seat and on your way home with the "paper plate" in the back window before you realize what you just did!
. . .
Can you register in Mass as just a truck or something before you convert your bus to a motorhome?
Hah! well you see, dealers all have "runners" that will go to the registry and get your plates while the dealer arranges the financing.

We don't seem to have a "private bus" or "private truck" over 26,000 lbs class, there are non-profit buses - but insurance for those is probably not cheap and insurance is not optional.

In fact, if I recall correctly, only 15 or 20 years ago you had to get commercial plates for a private pickup truck. And you could get ticketed for commuting to work in your p/u on the "recreational" freeways that lead into Boston along the Charles river.

Now if I were a farmer I could drive anything "between fields" with no registration what so ever.

On the plus side, the conversion to motorhome process looks easy, the state police come to your house to do the inspection to determine that the vehicle has been converted to a motorhome, the officer then signs a form that you submit with your RMV1 registration/application for title.

There is a fairly big busyard in the next town - maybe I'll get lucky and they'll get some MVP-REs in.

Jake
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Old 12-16-2004, 09:52 AM   #17
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Well, they make it tough on us sometimes, that's for sure. My bus didn't hit the 26,000 pound mark so I was able to get just regular 'ol truck plates at first.

Sounds like if you could bring your bus home on a trip permit or temporary tag from out-of-state to your place, you could then get the conversion done and get your registration and titling done once you're "converted".

Best of luck at any rate!
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Old 12-22-2004, 09:51 AM   #18
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Thank you one and all for the suggestions. I made it back home yesterday; ~1900 miles in 3 days. Bus ran flawlessly, but now I have an appreciation for skoolie gearing -- lots of oomph below 45, after that....not much. I learned all about having your 4-way flashers on to warn the truckers on grades ("grades" being anything >1%).


I had the bill of sale and title (not yet transferred) and after explaining the situation, the folks at the New Mexico weigh station waved me through with a smile.

When I got home some neighbors came over to see the bus. They and my girlfriend piled in and we went for a "route" through the neighborhood. Lots of smiles and laughter, and some strange looks from bystanders.

But now it's time for the REAL fun!
Next step is to pull the seats, give her a washing, take lots of pics, then peek in the floor, walls & ceiling to see what I have, rust-wise and insulation-wise.

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