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Old 09-21-2012, 02:06 AM   #1
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Driving a bus home after purchase.

When you buy a bus on Craigslist, Ebay, or wherever else, how do you get the bus home legally? I understand buses might or might not need specialty insurance, or the insurance companies want the bus to have a stove, toilet, and bed to be classified as an RV. All that stuff can be done, but obviously not when you first purchase it. There is also the issue of a CDL. Is a CDL required? And what about plates? Converting a bus can take a long time, and I'm sure no one wants it to just sit there the whole time waiting on an official conversion for insurance purposes, it will be driven during the conversion.
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Old 09-21-2012, 04:04 AM   #2
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Re: Driving a bus home after purchase.

Depends where you live and your ins. Company

I live in TN and have farm bureau,so I just got in the bus using the dealers tag (5000# :rolleye: )
And had a statement from the ins company stating that they have a 72 hr grace period for all vehicles purchased which included school buses and dump trucks.
I then just drove it home about 50 miles.

I emailed 2 different tn gov tag officeses asking for a specific detailed list to go by for conversion to MH,both offices responded the same....nothing existed....so easy I took email with me to get tags

Next morning I walked into clerks office said I need tags and handed her my packet,said I needed MH tags,easy done ended up with 26,000# tags

Good luck
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Old 09-21-2012, 08:41 AM   #3
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Re: Driving a bus home after purchase.

I bought mine from a dealer so used their 30 day temp tag. My insurance co(State farm) wrote a temp liability policy.
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Old 09-21-2012, 12:26 PM   #4
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Re: Driving a bus home after purchase.

I drove my bus the 50 miles home without plates or insurance immediately after paying for it. I had a bill of sale from the company I purchased it from as well as the title with me. Ideally, IMO, it is not such a big deal to have everything "in order" to simply move a vehicle to ones home if it is close by. Many states allow that as well. Going from state to state is another deal all together. I would have made sure I had the bus registered or at least temporary plates issued to move the vehicle without problems.

In Montana where I purchased the bus and reside (as with most other states), as long as the bus is not used for commercial use and is privately owned it can be driven with a "run of the mill" license. However, I would recommend having the other necessary items ( insurance, plates, etc) done according to state laws if you feel it would be safer or easier for you. I frankly don't care much about that and took my own risk driving the bus without that all taken care of. It was an hour drive and that was that.

Many people will complain about the "legality" of not having all my ducks in a row, but I have this notion that property laws protect everyone more than having a state forced insurance coverage ever will. Overall, it is just as easy to purchase a bus as it is to purchase any other vehicle. Usually the same laws and conditions apply when one is sold to a private party like us all.
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Old 09-21-2012, 04:48 PM   #5
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Re: Driving a bus home after purchase.

We drove the bus "home" on back country roads. It was about 25 to 30 miles. Then we loaded everything we owned into the bus, hooked the Jeep to the bus (flat towed 4 down) and made a 1700+ mile trip on major interstates and primary highways. After that, it sat for a year or so until we moved the bus 150 miles to it's current location. All with out a title/tag or insurance of any sort. We do have a title filled out and a hand written bill of sale (2009). It should be loads of fun getting a NM tag for this thing after all this time.

Please note, I do not advocate anyone do what we have done. I'm just stating what we did.
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Old 09-21-2012, 09:46 PM   #6
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Re: Driving a bus home after purchase.

Quote:
We drove the bus "home" on back country roads. It was about 25 to 30 miles. Then we loaded everything we owned into the bus, hooked the Jeep to the bus (flat towed 4 down) and made a 1700+ mile trip on major interstates and primary highways. After that, it sat for a year or so until we moved the bus 150 miles to it's current location. All with out a title/tag or insurance of any sort. We do have a title filled out and a hand written bill of sale (2009). It should be loads of fun getting a NM tag for this thing after all this time.
My wife and I are moving to the Arizona desert for the winter to convert our bus. The Montana snow and winter chill won't suit us as good as the sunshine will. Although, I don't know if I would drive the 1200+ miles without plates and registration. That's quite a drive without "proper" papers and all.

It is far cheaper here for all that legal stuff than it is in AZ. Although, I don't like dealing with the DMV. We lost the title to our Saturn during our move to Montana, and it was hell trying to get it re-issued from AZ... and then we went thru hoops and loops for weeks to get the car registered here after our tags expired... only to find out we did not "necessarily" need a title and ended up getting a one year registration after talking to another woman at the DMV office. It then turns out our title was still "digitally held" in a lien at a company from when got a small title loan (and had paid off several months before). Now we are going through the same garbage trying to get any kind of registration on the bus.... Pfffft. The states do not have a clue about a thing... except how to take ones cash.
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Old 09-21-2012, 11:08 PM   #7
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Re: Driving a bus home after purchase.

We got an AZ 30 day temp tag from the 3rd party MVD office and a gmac policy. Drove the bus back from the Oregon/Washington border to Arizona. 1500 miles, all on the blue highways. I never could get a clear answer on whether or not we needed a cdl, so we chanced it a bit but overall we had zero issues.
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Old 09-22-2012, 08:19 PM   #8
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Re: Driving a bus home after purchase.

It totally depends on where you live. In TX where I bought mine from an individual he kept the insurance active a few more days to get me home. The bus was licensed as a private bus so no CDL was required. I didnt do it legally cause the registration and inspection was out but I drove it any way. I am not sure if its still this way but here you use to be able to purchase a 3 day tag to get it home.

Mine was painted purple like Banry the dinosaur so it doesnt draw a lot of attention to it like a normal safety yellow bus might.

Best advice I can tell you is do your homework and soften the blows as best you can.
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Old 09-23-2012, 12:05 PM   #9
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Re: Driving a bus home after purchase.

i bought a transit permit. but then i do have my 1A licence (semi & air brakes) so i wasnt worried. in Sk you only need the bus license for hire and with passengers. same with cop cars, tow trucks etc here.
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Old 10-15-2012, 05:10 AM   #10
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Re: Driving a bus home after purchase.

what we did was after purchase from a school, i put a home printed sign in the back window saying "just purchased in transit" and we drove it home the 60 miles and it has been sitting in the end of our driveway without tags or ins since. cops around here said as long as you have the signed over title and bill of sale there really isn't an issue here as long as it is close to the date on the bill of sale. this might not be the case anywhere else, but here in wisconsin that's what we did.
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