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Old 05-08-2021, 12:14 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Milton, ON
Posts: 15
Year: 2006
Chassis: Freightliner
Engine: Cat C7
Importing from US to Canada? CDL?

Hello friends,

I'm a newbie . Hoping someone can point me in the right direction.

I'm in Ontario and the options here are bleak. I may have zeroed in on a IC bus ("short" - 7 window length) in Georgia . It seems to check all the right boxes given everything I've read in this forum and what I can observe from the pictures. I'm arranging for a PPI at this time.

To import a bus into Canada it seems it cannot be modified from its original state (www.riv.ca), so I am afraid that if I have it registered as an RV in the US via the Vermont route I may run into issues when importing.

To keep it registered as a bus according to Georgia I need a CDL for anything over 26,000 lbs. I have an Ontario G license; this is the common drivers license that would allow you to drive anything up to 11,000KG (24,000 lbs.).

The bus I'm targeting is in Georgia and has a GVWR of over 26,000 lbs. based on the VIN. I can tear out the seats, remove the School Bus decals, and even paint it if necessary so it is no longer a "School" bus.

If I try to register as RV, I might not be able to import it. If I don't register as RV, I may not be allowed to drive it whatsoever.

Am I missing something? Help?

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Old 09-23-2021, 11:25 PM   #2
Bus Nut
 
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Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: So Ill
Posts: 259
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freightliner
Engine: Cummins 5.9 Allison AT545
Rated Cap: 71
Hey Cilantro!

I know this post is 4 and a half months old by now, but I just found it, because I'm researching immigration into Canada right now. I bought my bus 3 years ago, and am well into conversion by now. Kind of on the home stretch actually. And of course I'd want to take my new home with me into Canada.

I see your link, thank you. Knowledge is power. I have some links of my own:


https://www.ilsos.gov/publications/p...sos_dop247.pdf
^ A copy of my state's requirements to convert my bus to an RV.


https://skooliecanada.ca/#Registration-Ontario
^ A copy of Ontario's requirements to convert a bus into an RV.

DAMN those lists look similar.

https://www.ezbordercrossing.com/the...-us-to-canada/
^Yes I know, third party link, not .ca, but a handy source of info nonetheless.

https://www.ezbordercrossing.com/tra...ment-websites/
^Lots of nice contact info, websites, and phone numbers!

Also, in that link you shared, at the modified/altered vehicle section, it said this: "Importers considering the importation of a modified vehicle or Canadians planning to have modifications made to their vehicle outside of Canada must inform themselves about the need for compliance to Canadian standards which must be established by the final stage manufacturer (or modifier). Failure to establish compliance to Canadian standards will result in the vehicle being denied access into Canada."

It seems to indicate it's not a HARD 100% "No", more like, "Standards must be met." Which makes sense, to be expected. So, without further ado:

https://www.ontario.ca/page/safety-s...ds-certificate
^Safety first!

https://beadventurepartners.com/step...or-vice-versa/
^Also I found this!

Looks like you bought a bus in Saskatchewan, SWEET! But I guess that means you're not interested in this answer anymore... Maybe someone in the future will find some value in it. Certainly I hope my labors bear fruit for my DreamWeaver.
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Old 09-25-2021, 10:51 PM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Milton, ON
Posts: 15
Year: 2006
Chassis: Freightliner
Engine: Cat C7
Hey DWB,

After speaking with the folks at RIV, a customs broker, and a few sellers I learned that it's just not for me. I spent maybe 2 months researching the matter and messaging sellers in Arizona, Texas, and Georgia and had mixed results. Sellers tend to not respond, if I found a bus I liked I would find out its inadmissible, and there is always the issue of "Can I legally drive it back if I buy it?" I eventually got tired of spinning my wheels and restarted my search in Canada. Eventually I did find the bus I was looking for albeit with some good ol' Canadian rust. There is no question I would prefer a rust free bus from below the snow belt but to be honest I felt like I gave that a fair shake. Someone else might figure it out but it wasn't this dude.

I'm already thinking about the next bus though... Thinking I might install a tow bar into mine and just tow another bus back some time in the future and do it right.

Thanks for the links. Hoping someone else in my position stumbles across them and has some success.
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Old 09-26-2021, 12:30 PM   #4
Bus Nut
 
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Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: So Ill
Posts: 259
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freightliner
Engine: Cummins 5.9 Allison AT545
Rated Cap: 71
Eventually I'll be making many such a phone call myself, to the RIV and customs brokers and customs... On the plus side I'm a little ways away from all that: I have some fatter fish to fry first. Though I don't love it, I tend to be good at red tape, and since that's about all that stands between me and what I want, I'm just gonna have to get used to it, do my research, and line up my ducks, as it were.

I'm glad you found the bus for you! Shame about the rust, but maybe the next one? Towing a bus back north might be cool! Good luck!
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Old 09-27-2021, 05:42 AM   #5
New Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 7
Year: 2004
Coachwork: Thomas Built Freightliner. Allison 2000 tranny
Chassis: Freightliner FS-65 (dognose)
Engine: Mercedes MBE 906 six cylinder diesel
Rated Cap: 35 feet long
I just brought a bus in from Georgia to Ontario Canada. Note that a vehicle's GVWR is its maximum rated weight capacity. The weight of the vehicle with no passengers will be less. Perhaps you can research the actual weight of it when it was built.

Your biggest challenge in my experience is to find an insurer for the drive home.
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Old 09-27-2021, 10:18 AM   #6
Bus Nut
 
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Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: So Ill
Posts: 259
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freightliner
Engine: Cummins 5.9 Allison AT545
Rated Cap: 71
I'm with Progressive for my vehicle, and I told my agent quite honestly that I was buying a school bus, and she said that would be covered with my insurance as TEMP, for the drive home, and my seller, Midwest Transit, gave me a temp sticker to drive home on. I didn't have any problems but my drive was only about two hours.

So, your own insurance provider might cover new vehicle purchases like mine did, or you might be able to find temp insurance, for like a week.

David from Ontario! I see you brought a Freightliner Thomas in from Georgia to Ontario! That's wonderful and gives me hope for my own FT bus! Of course, this will all be post conversion. But Ontario seems to have similar RV/Motor home conversion requirements to my own state. So still hopeful.
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