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Old 02-09-2024, 04:24 PM   #1
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Philadelphia Project

I'm in a unique situation where I need to park a school bus to maintain a property line anywhere from a day to a year. I need to find the easiest way to register the school bus so that I can drive it when the property line dispute is settled.
Philadelphia/Pennsylvania has a tricky process for converting a bus into an RV. Does anyone have Pennsylvania experience?
I've read that I could remove some seats and register it as a station wagon with a MV41 form.

Thank you

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Old 02-10-2024, 08:04 AM   #2
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From what I'm told, just do the mail in process with pics showing it's converted to the DMV. If you go into one they won't know the process and state it cannot be done, but people on here have stated in the past that if they just do the mail in process someone there knows the process and can do it. Has to be the main DMV of the state you mail it into. Every state has a single DMV HQ. I'm in South Carolina and for us you have to mail it to Blythewood DMV as it's the HQ of SC.

You might want to research online though the forms required.
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Old 02-10-2024, 10:29 AM   #3
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Thank you.
I'm getting some good help.
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Old 02-10-2024, 06:07 PM   #4
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just do the mail in process with pics showing it's converted to the DMV.
You definitely do not want to include pics with your submission of form MV-41, which is available here:

https://www.dot.state.pa.us/public/d...orms/mv-41.pdf

In section D, correct "Body Type" to "Motorhome" and mail it in (along with any other information required on the form). You should then get back a corrected title with the body type listed as motorhome, which you can use to register the vehicle - as a motorhome (this assumes your bus already has a PA title).

You'll notice at the top of form MV-41 there's a checkbox that says this:

Quote:
(If the vehicle has been modified, such as the addition or removal of axles, or you are requesting a change to the manufacturer weight specifications, Form MV-426B must be completed.)
There has been much debate (on this forum and elsewhere) as to whether a skoolie counts as a "modified" vehicle in this way. My local tag & title clerk told me that skoolies absolutely are modified vehicles and thus have to go through the MV-426B process - and in fact she has helped to guide three other skoolie owners through it. The inspection is very involved and you also have to get a certified mechanic to sign off on the vehicle and essentially say that they did the conversion. The local guy who signed off on these three vehicles also happened to be the mechanic for my car, but he has since passed away and it's not clear that the folks who took over his shop would be willing to do the same thing. There is also the issue that you can't retitle/register your skoolie via MV-426B as a motorhome until the conversion is completed, so you couldn't drive it (or insure it) right away, but that is maybe not a problem in your case.

However, a number of PA residents have retitled their buses as motorhomes just by mailing in the MV-41 change request form (and not doing the MV-426B thing), apparently without any complications. If MV-426B is in fact required by PennDOT for skoolies, there is nothing in the system that actually checks for this when an MV-41 is submitted. I told my tag & title clerk about this apparent workaround and she was surprised, but she thought it was likely that if you did this and ever ran afoul of the law (like in an accident or being pulled over) you would be in trouble because of the missing MV-426B.

I dunno. I skipped the whole mess by registering my skoolie in Vermont and I've kept it that way for going on five years now. The Vermont thing is apparently no longer an option for new skoolie-builders, however.
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Old 02-14-2024, 05:43 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by PhillyBus View Post
I'm in a unique situation where I need to park a school bus to maintain a property line anywhere from a day to a year. I need to find the easiest way to register the school bus so that I can drive it when the property line dispute is settled.
Philadelphia/Pennsylvania has a tricky process for converting a bus into an RV. Does anyone have Pennsylvania experience?
I've read that I could remove some seats and register it as a station wagon with a MV41 form.

Thank you
musigenesis gave good info.

We registered our bus around 2020 as a motorhome.


Here's what we did:
- Filled out and submitted the MV41 form
- MAKE SURE YOU SPECIFY THE UNLADEN WEIGHT. Do not leave it blank or you'll have to refile.
- Commercial passenger vehicles, like buses, have the seat count on the title while personal passenger/recreation vehicles in PA are required to have the gross and unladen weights on the title. If you don't have the vehicle's unladen weight on your new title, Penndot will reject your registration request when you go to submit one. Penndot told me to use the rear axle weight rating as the unladen weight for the new motorhome title.

- After submitting the MV41, we received the new Motorhome title after a few weeks. At this point you can get the bus legally insured as an RV. We went with Statefarm through a local agent. Their requirement was that the bus had to have been converted and titled as an RV in order to insure it and the insurance company did want pictures.

We then submitted the MV140 for the initial vehicle registration. You can also do this part at a license and tags place(we did). Because we were already insured by this point, we walked out of the license and tag place with a temp-registration tag and a motorhome license plate same day; ready to legally drive immediately. You of course have 7 days from the initial vehicle registration to drive around before you are required to have current vehicle state inspection stickers. Also to note, diesel motorhomes are emissions exempt in PA.

- Also, reference the MV-70S to see the cost schedule of registering a motorhome based on its weight:
https://www.dot.state.pa.us/public/d...rms/MV-70S.pdf


As for the modified vehicle MV-426B form, per my conversation with Penndot, as long as you are NOT altering the underlying vehicle(altering the stock drive train, changing the fuel type between diesel/gasoline, altering the frame,altering the suspension, add/removing axles, altering other structural components), you do not need to file the vehicle modification form. This part is tricky and can be a grey area left up to interpretation, hence why I called Penndot when we went through our titling journey.
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Old 02-14-2024, 06:15 PM   #6
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As for the modified vehicle MV-426B form, per my conversation with Penndot, as long as you are NOT altering the underlying vehicle(altering the stock drive train, changing the fuel type between diesel/gasoline, altering the frame,altering the suspension, add/removing axles, altering other structural components), you do not need to file the vehicle modification form. This part is tricky and can be a grey area left up to interpretation, hence why I called Penndot when we went through our titling journey.
As I've mentioned elsewhere on this forum, I called PennDOT three times during my initial registration process. The first person I talked to said the MV-426B was required, the second said it wasn't required, and the third said there was no way under any circumstances that a school bus could ever be retitled as anything but a school bus (and even went to get her manager who got on the line and confirmed what she had said). Talk about grey area!

My VT registration is up this April and I think this time around I may try to finally register in PA and see whether that works out for me. An interesting twist is that when I first got my PA title (which I had to do before registering in VT because my seller title-jumped me) they screwed it up and put GAS down for the fuel type, and this mistake was passed on to the VT registration because I didn't have time to wait for it to be corrected on the PA title. Now would be the time to correct it, but I'd hate to have my MV-41 flagged because of that.
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Old 02-14-2024, 06:26 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
As I've mentioned elsewhere on this forum, I called PennDOT three times during my initial registration process. The first person I talked to said the MV-426B was required, the second said it wasn't required, and the third said there was no way under any circumstances that a school bus could ever be retitled as anything but a school bus (and even went to get her manager who got on the line and confirmed what she had said). Talk about grey area!

My VT registration is up this April and I think this time around I may try to finally register in PA and see whether that works out for me. An interesting twist is that when I first got my PA title (which I had to do before registering in VT because my seller title-jumped me) they screwed it up and put GAS down for the fuel type, and this mistake was passed on to the VT registration because I didn't have time to wait for it to be corrected on the PA title. Now would be the time to correct it, but I'd hate to have my MV-41 flagged because of that.

So frustrating! I'm pretty sure they're just winging it 1/2 the time because it doesn't fit any of their usual categories. 😂

Good work Penndot 🤦
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