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Old 05-25-2021, 05:37 PM   #1
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Help! Live in CA, bought/converting skoolie in AZ. Where and how do I register?

Hi Everyone! Calling in my skoolie experts!

I just bought a 2003 7.3L International shortie in AZ and have a 90 day permit for transferrable registration. I'm currently also converting my skoolie in AZ but I live in CA.

What are my best options for getting it registered in CA? I've read that there are CARB exceptions for motorhomes but what is the process like to get it registered as a motorhome in CA?

If that doesn't work, I've heard Vermont is the state to register for motorhome. But what does it mean that it will be registered in VA but I will receive a transferrable registration since it is 15+ years old? Will I still be able to get the title in CA?

Would really appreciate any help I could get here! Thanks so much!!!

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Old 05-25-2021, 07:05 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chiu View Post
Hi Everyone! Calling in my skoolie experts!

I just bought a 2003 7.3L International shortie in AZ and have a 90 day permit for transferrable registration. I'm currently also converting my skoolie in AZ but I live in CA.

What are my best options for getting it registered in CA? I've read that there are CARB exceptions for motorhomes but what is the process like to get it registered as a motorhome in CA?

If that doesn't work, I've heard Vermont is the state to register for motorhome. But what does it mean that it will be registered in VA but I will receive a transferrable registration since it is 15+ years old? Will I still be able to get the title in CA?

Would really appreciate any help I could get here! Thanks so much!!!
Hi - CARB rules don't apply to private vehicles, but unless your conversion is unquestionably complete, getting it titled as a MH can be problematic. I just bought a bus in NV in April and tried it. I gave up, and I am titling it in VT. I should have plates by the end of the week. My best advice is don't bother with CA, now. Title and register in VT for a year, THEN, when you have title to a motorhome, on your name, register in CA. You won't have to prove anything to the DMV, and you won't have to pay CA sales tax. VT is 6%, btw, rather than 8.5+
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Old 05-25-2021, 07:08 PM   #3
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Have you read the VT thread? First page is kept updated.

You likely want to keep it registered in VT until it qualifies as an RV in CA and will pass an inspection.

Keep it on the low down, minimum driving until then.

The VT rego **is** the title, can apply for the CA one when you transfer to CA.

Insurance needs to be in the state where it is "usually garaged".
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Old 05-25-2021, 08:23 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by DAVEHOLMAN View Post
Hi - CARB rules don't apply to private vehicles, but unless your conversion is unquestionably complete, getting it titled as a MH can be problematic. I just bought a bus in NV in April and tried it. I gave up, and I am titling it in VT. I should have plates by the end of the week. My best advice is don't bother with CA, now. Title and register in VT for a year, THEN, when you have title to a motorhome, on your name, register in CA. You won't have to prove anything to the DMV, and you won't have to pay CA sales tax. VT is 6%, btw, rather than 8.5+
Thanks Dave! This is helpful and confirms what I thought. Really good to hear it from someone who lives out here in CA and in the same position. Your hard work is being passed on! So assuming your skoolie is over 15 years old too... You are able to just have the registration but no "VT title" and you'll register and transfer title to CA next year correct? Am I understanding this correctly? Thanks again!
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Old 05-25-2021, 08:30 PM   #5
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Thanks Jon! Yes, I've seen the thread. Super helpful!
Do you possibly have a link to the inspection criteria for CA?
Also, will I need to pass motorhome inspection for CA when I transfer it even though I'll have it registered in VA as a motorhome already?
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Old 05-25-2021, 08:32 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by john61ct View Post
Have you read the VT thread? First page is kept updated.

You likely want to keep it registered in VT until it qualifies as an RV in CA and will pass an inspection.

Keep it on the low down, minimum driving until then.

The VT rego **is** the title, can apply for the CA one when you transfer to CA.

Insurance needs to be in the state where it is "usually garaged".
Thanks Jon! Yes, I've seen the thread. Super helpful!
Do you possibly have a link to the inspection criteria for CA?
Also, will I need to pass motorhome inspection for CA when I transfer it even though I'll have it registered in VA as a motorhome already?
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Old 05-25-2021, 10:11 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chiu View Post
Thanks Dave! This is helpful and confirms what I thought. Really good to hear it from someone who lives out here in CA and in the same position. Your hard work is being passed on! So assuming your skoolie is over 15 years old too... You are able to just have the registration but no "VT title" and you'll register and transfer title to CA next year correct? Am I understanding this correctly? Thanks again!
Mine is an '07, so only 14 years old. I'll get a title. But I understand there's no real difference in terms of getting a CA title, later.
And, yes, when I register and title it here, I will be just registering a motorhome I already own. No inspection, no tax, no smog...
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Old 05-26-2021, 09:56 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DAVEHOLMAN View Post
Hi - CARB rules don't apply to private vehicles, but unless your conversion is unquestionably complete, getting it titled as a MH can be problematic. I just bought a bus in NV in April and tried it. I gave up, and I am titling it in VT. I should have plates by the end of the week. My best advice is don't bother with CA, now. Title and register in VT for a year, THEN, when you have title to a motorhome, on your name, register in CA. You won't have to prove anything to the DMV, and you won't have to pay CA sales tax. VT is 6%, btw, rather than 8.5+
Well thats over now.
https://www.rvtravel.com/state-motor...nia-smog-plan/ What a load.
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Old 05-26-2021, 10:47 AM   #9
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Oh, ffs. What is wrong with these people? As a native Californian, I apologize to the rest of you for what we have allowed to happen here. 🙂
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Old 05-26-2021, 11:09 AM   #10
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Should be able to pick up some nice deals there in coming (months?) years.

So long as registered out of state, then keep bringing it back a few months at a time to travel around the state.

Nevada and Arizona have lots of good parking spots. . .
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Old 05-26-2021, 11:45 PM   #11
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I used Prompt Titles in Phoenix. Paid a third party inspector to look at my bus to change title from bus to motorhome. Put in a small kitchenette with sink, 12v pump, 5 gallon water supply and 5 gallon grey water. In that cabinet I put in a two burner propane cooktop connected to a 11lb propane tank under the cabinet. Added a 12v solar generator, hung a Mr. Buddy self contained propane heater on the wall, put in a small fridge and a twin mattress. Inspector was impressed. The next day I had title and registration completed.
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Old 05-26-2021, 11:47 PM   #12
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Here's a pic.
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Old 05-27-2021, 07:46 PM   #13
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You can get it registered and insured in Arizona with a California Mailing address.


You can get it insured immediately by National General if you remove all the seats except driver. And send 6 pictures showing front,back,side,side. Inside from the front, inside from the back. Have insured in 15 minutes. I have a direct number to an agent.
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Old 05-27-2021, 08:25 PM   #14
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Please post that agent's contact info here in public
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Old 06-03-2021, 01:03 AM   #15
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What part of CA if your near El Cajon i know a place was in and out with tags and plates next day all you need is a toilet and the usual paper work in order
My bus is a 96 so I didn’t need a smog I don’t know the rules for your year bus
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Old 06-03-2021, 11:48 PM   #16
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Convert to a MH

I bought mine added a sink, bed counters, curtains and a divider- drove to DMV they inspected it mind you they wouldnít step inside at all, then popped the hood amd she wouldnít climb up to read the numbers so I offered to read the numbers for her.
She approved it and the rest was history. $40/motor home InSurance and exempt from CARB, and registration was a wee bit cheaper than a commercial vehicle.
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Old 06-06-2021, 10:49 AM   #17
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No worries

I bought my bus from AAA BUS and when i got back to Cali i was so worried about registering it in California but i have a retired Navy buddy that went to the El Cajon DMV and got it registered with no problem so thatís what i did. The CA DMV action has a list of things on their website that are required prior to getting your registration but they never even looked at that all they wanted was the VIN number off the bus. I was in and out in 2 1/2 hrs.
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Old 06-06-2021, 10:52 PM   #18
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Title

So what did
You get it registered as? A bus or a motor home?
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Old 06-07-2021, 09:42 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by chiu View Post
Thanks Jon! Yes, I've seen the thread. Super helpful!
Do you possibly have a link to the inspection criteria for CA?
Also, will I need to pass motorhome inspection for CA when I transfer it even though I'll have it registered in VA as a motorhome already?
I sent you a snapshot of the CA requirements. I should also note that i have a couple of CHP buddies that explained to me that circumventing CA DMV when your vehicle will be stored in CA is a recipe for disaster. Iíll also submit my generic attempt to comply with the stateís request.
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Old 08-12-2021, 11:52 PM   #20
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With what you stated you can get commercial vehicle for private use insurance. Otherwise you'll need to meet the minimum requirements of an RV for the insurance company.
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