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Old 09-18-2018, 11:58 AM   #1
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First conversion step, getting street legal?

Hello all!


I've got a bit of an odd question and would like some opinions on it. I'm looking at buying a bus soon. In Illinois, to drive something over 26,001 lbs GVWR, you'll need a Class B license. I've already taken my written exam and received the permit for a non-CDL Class B license, which will be valid for a year. In order to take the driving test, the bus needs to be in a street legal condition, which according to Illinois law, "recipient of such school bus shall be responsible for immediately removing, covering, or concealing the "SCHOOL BUS" signs and any other insignia or words indicating the vehicle is a school bus, rendering inoperable or removing entirely the stop signal arm and flashing signal system, and painting the school bus a different color."


Covering the SCHOOL BUS signs and disabling the stop arm and flashers should be easy enough, but painting might be a different story. Do people paint their bus so early in the process? Should I get the bus to a street legal state so I can take my drivers test? Or just wait until the bus is more-or-less complete and take the test then? I just worry that conversion will take longer than expected, and my permit will expire before I'm able to take my driving test.


Thanks for any responses!
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Old 04-14-2021, 08:20 PM   #2
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Did you sort this out? I am in central Illinois and trying to understand what sort of drivers license I will need. Sounds like nothing special once it is registered as an RV but what do you need before it is retitled and to get it home?
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Old 04-15-2021, 10:09 AM   #3
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my plan was to just hire a commercial driver for a few hours, to drive it to where i'll be doing the conversion.

From what i've read, before its re-titled you will need commercial insurance which starts at around $4k.
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Old 04-15-2021, 03:45 PM   #4
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Have you checked all the requirements for an RV as far as licensing? Ga. has a weight requirement, but a standard drivers license allows you to drive ALL recreational vehicles, regardless of weight or braking system. Just about no where are you required to have a CDL if the bus has seating for less than 16 passengers.
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Old 04-15-2021, 04:47 PM   #5
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Insurance:
There's basically three types, Commercial (for hire), Commercial Personal (not for hire) and personal (RV, car, etc.)

Painting:
My recommendation is to take advantage of the upcoming good weather and:
1) Seal the roof. Generally, this is a white substance, so it will look "less" like a school bus. https://www.homedepot.com/p/Henry-4-...s&locale=en-US

2) Next, I would see how good of shape your front and rear bumpers are, prep and paint them a color that obviously says it's not a school bus. Finally, if there is some body work that is needed, do it, then prime it and paint over the primed areas. My bus has all sorts of these "primer" spots and you can definitely tell it's not a school bus.

Good luck.
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Old 04-15-2021, 06:12 PM   #6
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Thanks for the info. Great motorcycle in your profile pic.
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Old 04-15-2021, 06:13 PM   #7
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Thank you.
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Old 04-15-2021, 06:29 PM   #8
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both of mine in NC are insured and registered as.
bus for personale use.
and temp tags are available but never got them for my many vehicles over the years?
got stopped when i drove an old truck home for tags and i got a warning.
i played stupid and said i thought dealers could only get temp tags?
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Old 04-21-2021, 08:17 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OGROSS View Post
Did you sort this out? I am in central Illinois and trying to understand what sort of drivers license I will need. Sounds like nothing special once it is registered as an RV but what do you need before it is retitled and to get it home?

Hi, sorry for the delay.


In Illinois, both before and after conversion, you will need a Non-CDL Class B license. Our licenses are based off of vehicle weight, no matter if it's an RV or commercial vehicle. Here is the pamphlet the DMV hands out and what you would be tested on during the written test.


Now for the driving portion of the test you'll need to have a vehicle that is either registered as an RV, or registered as a commercial vehicle and has things like the DOT number and safety inspection. If you know someone who has an RV that is of a similar weight as your bus, it would be easiest to just ask them to borrow the RV for the driving test. I personally haven't taken my driven test, only the written test but the permit has long expired.



I'm almost to the point of being able to reclassify my bus from a commercial vehicle to and RV. For Illinois here is the form that you'll need to use. Allegedly you can go to a currency exchange place and just ask them to retitle it for you, and they will without asking for any proof. I haven't given that a go yet.


Hopefully that information is helpful for you!
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