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Old 06-10-2021, 11:14 AM   #21
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Maybe I'm misunderstanding this but I thought the point of the Vermont method from a skoolie standpoint was that you come out of the process with a title that says RV, then you take that title to your domicile state and convert to a title in THAT state that says RV.
Exactly. I pay the sales/registration/plate/... tax/fees to VT for the purpose of getting it registered in such a way that you can legally tag and insure it elsewhere. The coveted green tag is just temporary - and I'm using it only during the grace period.

Yes, I'm paying the taxes and fees twice - once in VT, then again locally. It's a lot less painful than the alternative.

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Old 06-10-2021, 11:49 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by firebuild View Post
Maybe I'm misunderstanding this but I thought the point of the Vermont method from a skoolie standpoint was that you come out of the process with a title that says RV, then you take that title to your domicile state and convert to a title in THAT state that says RV, thus eliminating the need to prove your conversion to that home state in order to get a title there (if it's already an RV, they can't ask you to prove anything). Not that you leave VT plates on and drive around with them forever despite claiming a different state as your home state.
A lot of people say (and do) this, but the scenario you describe is just as much a way of skirting your state's (legitimate) requirements for registering a vehicle as a motorhome as keeping your vehicle registered in VT and not transferring it to your state is. From Vermont's perspective, neither scenario is "the point" of the method - they're just collecting money.
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Old 06-10-2021, 12:01 PM   #23
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they're just collecting money.
Exactly. They provide a service. It has a price.

Itís like tax prep. You pay someone $500. Or you spend the Saturday leading up to April 15 with TurboTax.
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Old 06-10-2021, 12:53 PM   #24
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" the scenario you describe is just as much a way of skirting your state's (legitimate) requirements for registering a vehicle as a motorhome as keeping your vehicle registered in VT and not transferring it to your state is " <-- Disagree, because it is not legitimate for a state to ignore another's legal instruments.
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Old 06-10-2021, 02:20 PM   #25
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" Disagree, because it is not legitimate for a state to ignore another's legal instruments.
What do you mean? One state cannot refuse to accept a correctly registered out-of-state plate as legitimate? Oh hell yes they can, if you're classified as tax liable in their state. Which they have total freedom to set the rules for.

I'm not a lawyer, but... With exception to things related to interstate travel and commerce, the states are totally free to do whatever they want in many areas. Taxation and residence are firmly in the whatever they want category. Reciprocal recognition of things like drivers licenses for temporary visitors means nothing in this context.

The states created the federal government. They voluntarily (ok, kinda-sorta) ceded certain controls (defense, immigration) to the federal level. They only gave up things they would benefit from. Taxing their citizens is definitely not one of those.

Again. Not a lawyer. Just my interpretation.
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Old 06-10-2021, 03:11 PM   #26
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Maybe I'm misunderstanding this but I thought the point of the Vermont method from a skoolie standpoint was that you come out of the process with a title that says RV, then you take that title to your domicile state and convert to a title in THAT state that says RV, thus eliminating the need to prove your conversion to that home state in order to get a title there (if it's already an RV, they can't ask you to prove anything). Not that you leave VT plates on and drive around with them forever despite claiming a different state as your home state.
Assuming I keep my Vermont registration beyond finishing my conversion, the only place I'd drive the bus in New Jersey would be on I-80 to get the heck OUT of New Jersey, all of 30 miles. For me, I have no intention of driving my bus in New Jersey.
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Old 06-10-2021, 11:42 PM   #27
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I completely disagree that this is even a loophole, much less "fraud" of any sort.

Every state has the (sole) right to set its own laws wrt non-commercial vehicles.

Every citizen has the right to be a scofflaw and accept the consequences.

(almost?) Every state has a law about certain types of vehicles needing to get **locally** registered pay fees, taxes etc,

after being in the state for X days.

Many (most) do not strictly enforce those laws.

So long as you remain a nomad, leave a state before X days,

or for the slacker states, stay longer and take your chances

enjoy your FREEDOM.

People who get all righteous suggesting our hyper-regulated lives should be regulated even more strictly than our lawmakers and LEOs have decided

really annoy the hell out of me.
Thanks for taking the time to respond to the whiners (loop-hole-people) more eloquently than I was thinking...

In my case with my bus, registration in OH was not possible. Registering it with VT was the ONLY way to generate a viable title for it.

The only laws I violated were not THEN re-registering the bus in OH, because I currently live in OH. But fark OH and its untenable BMV rules & regs...

If you actually take your Skoolie on the road then you're almost never rolling in the state you registered it in...

Lack of having insurance is a whole separate CRIME and is much more serious (as well it should be) offence than not updating your registration...
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Old 06-11-2021, 06:01 AM   #28
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And of course not ensuring your bus is safe for the road

most important of all
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Old 06-11-2021, 06:38 AM   #29
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I'm starting to wonder how long this Vermont registration loophole is going to be allowed to continue. Technically registering a vehicle in one state and keeping/operating it in another state is fraud.

I see too many half baked conversions done by people who use the Vermont method to get around their state's definition of a legal motorhome. Just the other day on the Interstate I saw an older IC conventional with Vermont motorhome plates. The bus had the following:

1. What appeared to be windows that were spray painted black (not necessarily illegal, but doesn't give a very good impression).
2. Still school bus yellow. Wisconsin requires you to completely paint the bus with no yellow visible anywhere.
3. All school bus equipment still intact (lights, crosswalk, the works).
4. The strobe light was ON!! big no no in Wisconsin!! If you are NOT a school bus you are not allowed to run one, period. End of story.

I see this a TON on the facebook skoolie groups.

I realize that some states make it difficult and/or there are lack of guidelines for retitling a school bus as an RV but practices like this are just going to cause issues for all of us in the long run. I think it's already starting to contribute to the difficulty we have in getting insurance (they do NOT like sketchy registration workarounds).

Thoughts?
Yeah the strobe is illegal here too.
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Old 06-11-2021, 08:42 AM   #30
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Ohio is easy to register although titling in Ohio can be a royal B! If you donít have good paperwork from the seller.

then Vermont is a lifesaver since they donít title anything over 15 years old.
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Old 06-11-2021, 10:16 AM   #31
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I completely disagree that this is even a loophole, much less "fraud" of any sort.


...


People who get all righteous suggesting our hyper-regulated lives should be regulated even more strictly than our lawmakers and LEOs have decided

really annoy the hell out of me.
Totally agree on both counts...
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Old 06-11-2021, 10:29 AM   #32
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Maybe I'm misunderstanding this but I thought the point of the Vermont method from a skoolie standpoint was that you come out of the process with a title that says RV, then you take that title to your domicile state and convert to a title in THAT state that says RV, thus eliminating the need to prove your conversion to that home state in order to get a title there (if it's already an RV, they can't ask you to prove anything). Not that you leave VT plates on and drive around with them forever despite claiming a different state as your home state.
Exactly. Instead of transferring title to a Nevada bus owned by a dealer, in to my name and converting it to an RV, I now have an RV in my name, which I am registering in my home state of CA. No CA inspection, no CA sales tax.

Y'all can have the moral high ground if you want it. I just call it taking advantage of the laws when I can. Lord knows, the law takes advantage of me when it can. I've been paying both CA and Pennsylvania income tax for 15 years, though I've never lived in PA, because my business is HQd there. That's the system we have.

As my Russian father in law used to say "some days you eat the bear, some days the bear eats you"
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Old 06-11-2021, 12:23 PM   #33
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A lot of people say (and do) this, but the scenario you describe is just as much a way of skirting your state's (legitimate) requirements for registering a vehicle as a motorhome as keeping your vehicle registered in VT and not transferring it to your state is. From Vermont's perspective, neither scenario is "the point" of the method - they're just collecting money.
I'm registered as a van because my VIN comes back as a van, so I don't even have this issue (it's not a hoop I wanted to jump through for the few bucks an RV registration would save me). But to say each state has legit rules about this is misguided.

For example, in most states, a composting toilet, because it doesn't flush, does not comply. And the bucket method, in use by thousands of nomads since forever, would for sure not be allowed.

I can have an apartment without a stove, but if I have an RV/Bus without one, I can't register as an RV. It's dumb. Dumb laws were meant to be circumvented. Thank you, Vermont, for making it possible for so many people to do that!
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Old 06-11-2021, 12:31 PM   #34
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" the scenario you describe is just as much a way of skirting your state's (legitimate) requirements for registering a vehicle as a motorhome as keeping your vehicle registered in VT and not transferring it to your state is " <-- Disagree, because it is not legitimate for a state to ignore another's legal instruments.
I so wish you were right, but I'm currently headed to court on a CRIMINAL charge for driving in MA on my CA license, even though the state of MA rejected the proof of residency I showed them when I tried to convert to a MA license. Apparently, if you drive here with a license from a different state, and you are in the state for more than 30 days (which I graciously proved to them I was by registering and insuring my bus here - no issues accepting my residency for THAT), it is considered being an unlicensed driver. My CA license is a valid legal instrument. I would have been better off being an actual unlicensed driver.
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Old 06-11-2021, 12:35 PM   #35
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Assuming I keep my Vermont registration beyond finishing my conversion, the only place I'd drive the bus in New Jersey would be on I-80 to get the heck OUT of New Jersey, all of 30 miles. For me, I have no intention of driving my bus in New Jersey.
You'll still have to choose a home state, though. No one is saying it has to be NJ but unless you have a physical address in VT it's going to complicate your life a bit should you ever get stopped. It's much simpler in the eyes of LEO to have a driver's license, address of record, and registration that match.

Of course the best solution is don't get stopped LOL
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Old 06-11-2021, 12:39 PM   #36
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how does vermont check for and prevent Fraud? it seems like you hardly need any documentation to get ownership and registration..
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Old 06-11-2021, 01:59 PM   #37
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how does vermont check for and prevent Fraud? it seems like you hardly need any documentation to get ownership and registration..
I submitted the signed, released title from the previous owner, the bill of sale, my personal info, and their application which asks for the vin and description of the vehicle...which may have been a commercial bus at one time, but which is clearly now a personal recreational vehicle, since it only seats 6 people. Not sure what other documentation is possible.

If there's any fraud, such as the wrong vin, or being operated as a charter bus, it will be discovered by law enforcement.
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Old 06-11-2021, 06:57 PM   #38
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I so wish you were right, but I'm currently headed to court on a CRIMINAL charge for driving in MA on my CA license, even though the state of MA rejected the proof of residency I showed them when I tried to convert to a MA license. Apparently, if you drive here with a license from a different state, and you are in the state for more than 30 days (which I graciously proved to them I was by registering and insuring my bus here - no issues accepting my residency for THAT), it is considered being an unlicensed driver. My CA license is a valid legal instrument. I would have been better off being an actual unlicensed driver.
Bizarre, hopefully you'll get a judge with common sense.

But BTW registration is based on where the **vehicle** is "habitually" located, nothing to do with the residence if the owner.

Millions of Americans have homes and vehicles in multiple states, the human can only have one legal domicile, but own properties, vehicles, businesses across the country.
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Old 06-11-2021, 08:58 PM   #39
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Here is what Ohio and Florida told me. Florida said that to register a vehicle there I had to have a Florida license. They said it was up to me since I had an apartment whether I chose to “move” my domicile to Florida or not essentially saying if I spent more than 50% of my nights there I should be domicile there.

Ohio said the same thing except they added if my work is in Ohio And my first residence that I should stay in Ohio.. my car that spend a year and a half I’m Florida always had an Ohio plate and no one said a word. There were more out of state plates in my apartment garage than there were ijn state…

Ohio says if you move full residence to Ohio but don’t change your license within 6 months you are deemed unlicensed driver .

Since you can’t register a vehicle as a non resident a cop would have a tough time during a traffic stop writing a ticket

I’m guessing mass assumes you moved if you plate a vehicle.
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Old 06-11-2021, 09:40 PM   #40
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Only problem as I understand it ( I admit I may not understand fully) is I can't register a bus in NJ unless it's been converted. So to get my bus to it's current location on a friend's farm I was able to get the former owner, a bus company, to have one of his drivers deliver it. I paid her and took her back to the bus yard afterward. After that I can't legally move the bus until it's been fully converted to NJ standards and inspected. Of course I can't get it inspected because I can't legally drive the bus to get it inspected. I assume to meet NJ's legal requirements I'd have to have some kind of commercial entity, tow company or maybe be professional driver with his own insurance, deliver the bus for inspection. I decided "screw it" I'll register it in VT, build it out then, if I haven't left this fine state, transfer the registration to NJ. As far as I'm concerned government is out of control. I don't feel the slightest bit guilty trying to find a way past the bureaucracy.
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