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Old 07-04-2020, 01:18 AM   #1
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Just won my auction! I now have a Bus!!

So I currently live in Baltimore and am moving to Milwaukee. What is the best way to be able to get my school bus to milwaukee legally? I read the thread about registering it in VT, which I plan to do, but is there some type of temporary insurance / plates I can get specifically for the travel? After this initial trip, I wont be driving the bus at all until it is complete. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 07-04-2020, 05:29 AM   #2
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After this initial trip, I wont be driving the bus at all until it is complete. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
Bus conversions seem to end up taking a lot longer than people anticipate. If your bus is running well now, it might be best to keep driving it from time to time rather than letting it sit for six months or a year. Just firing up the engine and letting it run for a few minutes is not really a good thing to do; you want the engine to come up to normal operating temperature when you run it. Also important for the tires so they're not sitting on one spot the whole time.

This also will help expose any mechanical problems that the bus might have. Better to discover major problems before you build out the inside than after.
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Old 07-04-2020, 07:20 AM   #3
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Beyond the maiden voyage home, there are maybe three factors I can think of involved in driving the bus as part of your move.

1. If you remove all or most of the seats you'll have eliminated one of CDL-requiring factors which is the passenger capacity. Under 15 passengers coupled with not being operated as a commercial enterprise is basically the delineation between a CDL and non-CDL requirement. I'm guessing if you're planning to use the bus for the move then removing the seats beforehand is in the cards.

2. Some states have unique classifications for non-standard vehicle types so you may be able to get it classified like a heavy non-commercial vehicle for personal use which will help combat the other CDL niggles and perhaps keep the insurance down a bit. Vermont has been popular with skoolies because they will register non-resident vehicles and require no inspection so I'm guessing you could register a starship as an RV and VT wouldn't care.

3. The insurance may actually be the hardest part and often is even for completed skoolies. We take a calculated risk driving our new bus home because common personal auto insurance has a rider for gap coverage when you purchase a new vehicle to get it home and the get ahold of your insurer to add coverage but a planned future cross-country trip is another matter entirely and far more likely to deny any claims if anything unfortunate occurs during the trip. If you can achieve #2 then perhaps your auto insurer will be lenient to extend coverage as if it was a heavy truck for personal use but insurance underwriters are notoriously intractable in this regard and if it's non-standard then they probably don't have any risk tables on which to base the rates. It also gets sticky whether it's a personal vehicle or commercial vehicle policy because the rates are much different. You may be better getting with an independent insurance broker who can parse the nuances of various options for you.

Hope this helps and good luck with the move
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Old 07-04-2020, 10:32 AM   #4
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So, the true Maiden Voyage is the move from Baltimore to Milwaukee. I have about ten days to pick up the bus and don't really have a place to park it like that, but the plan is also to move once I acquire the bus. Thats where my problem lies. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. So far my idea is "Well, let me just drive during the night as I'd be less likely to be pulled over driving a school bus" But that is just initial thoughts. Any viable solution would be appreciated.
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Old 07-04-2020, 03:20 PM   #5
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You can get, in most states, a 1 time travel permit which will allow for transport. Its typically called a transport tag. If you can, contact the dmv in the state you are acquiring it from and ask about it. If no go there, check with your own state. Its typically less than $20.

As for insurance, goto progressive website and get a quote for a commercial vehicle for personal use. Mine was $300 per year.
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Old 07-04-2020, 03:44 PM   #6
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Trip permits are usually a one time thing, super cheap and last for 5 days. At least the one I bought did. It was $5 but that’s in Virginia. Good luck!
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Old 07-04-2020, 05:34 PM   #7
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I drove from California to Maine (over 3000 miles in all) on a one trip permit. There was a 30 day limit. It cost 80 bucks, way cheaper than the insurance!
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Old 07-04-2020, 06:40 PM   #8
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I drove from California to Maine (over 3000 miles in all) on a one trip permit. There was a 30 day limit. It cost 80 bucks, way cheaper than the insurance!
Are you sure that wasn't just for tags? Did it include liability insurance for that duration? Not likely. That's a big risk to take.
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Old 07-04-2020, 09:55 PM   #9
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...So far my idea is "Well, let me just drive during the night as I'd be less likely to be pulled over driving a school bus" But that is just initial thoughts. Any viable solution would be appreciated.
Seriously? That has got to be the worst idea ever! There are many issues when driving without insurance. IF you don't have an accident there is the possibility that 3rd shift may not have anything better to do than pull over a school bus without tags and you will get a ticket for no insurance. The cost around here for that is more than most yearly insurance liability premiums. If you have even a "love tap" of an accident then the car load of people you just hit is going to complain of neck injuries and load up in the ambulance at your expense. Seen it too many times. Get insurance from a local agent, make the lowest payment possible and then go and pick up the bus. You don't have to keep it. The most important thing is to have a valid ins card with the vin of the bus you are driving.
I looked at the auction before it ended but don't remember where it was located. It was a nice, clean bus. I don't believe you ever discussed the different states you are driving through. I would definitely check with each state about the need for trip tags. You may not need them with a bill of sale.. The move may be a different story.
Also consider RV insurance. I just switched to Good Sam. If you have any need for towing you will wished you had. There is a small delay before coverage starts and check about refunds before 30 days.
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Old 07-04-2020, 11:15 PM   #10
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Yeah, I'd get a trip permit and some sort of insurance binder. On that initial flight you might want to lift some seat cushions to get under 15 butts. Most don't bother.

But you know what, most people get home just fine with their auction buses. If they're coming out of the fleet they've been recently (knock on solid steel) serviced. You get this mechanical grace period until entropy catches up.

Nobody really notices your big old yellow school bus anyway, that is, until you park it at your place.
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Old 07-05-2020, 09:35 AM   #11
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Are you sure that wasn't just for tags? Did it include liability insurance for that duration? Not likely. That's a big risk to take.

Yes Oscar1, the $80 was for the one trip permit. My insurance rider cost me close to $200 for that trip. Believe me, I would never have driven across the continent WITHOUT insurance coverage. That's a gamble I'd never take.
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Old 07-05-2020, 10:34 AM   #12
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Yes Oscar1, the $80 was for the one trip permit. My insurance rider cost me close to $200 for that trip. Believe me, I would never have driven across the continent WITHOUT insurance coverage. That's a gamble I'd never take.
Excellent to hear that. Thanks for the clarification.
My Washington state 3 day tag was $20 and my auto insurer in Canada was able to give me a 10 day rider of $1 million liability on my existing car policy for $110 so I could make the trip home. I also can't imagine anyone taking that risk, unfamiliar large vehicle in an unfamiliar driving situation spells potential disaster.
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Old 07-05-2020, 10:39 AM   #13
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How my Trip scopes out (hopefully this helps)

So I'm in Baltimore Maryland (my bus is 30 min away in Anne Arundel heights), and I'll be traveling to Wisconsin, meaning I'll travel most likely through Maryland, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois before getting to Milwaukee. Upon my research, Maryland has a 30 Day Temp registration (https://mva.maryland.gov/Pages/tempo...istration.aspx) for means of being able to drive the vehicle to get it inspected. It only costs $20. But I'm not sure if it will allow me to drive legally to Milwaukee. I also found this site called Permits Plus (https://www.permitsplus.com/temps.php) which allows you to buy 72 hour trip permits for states you would need to travel through where you don't have proper registrations. Currently, for the states I would be traveling through, I would have to pay the following:

Maryland-72 Hour Trip $51.50
West Virginia - 10 Day Trip $70.50
Pennsylvania-72 Hour Trip $51.50
Ohio - 72 Hour Trip $57.00
Indiana 3 Day Trip $51.50
Illinois 72 Hour Trip $55.50

Based on Google Maps and trip planning, I wouldn't be in WV & PA long enough for it to make a difference to have permits there: Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois are the primary states where the most travel would take place. And its not like I would be staying for any duration of time; stops for gas and leg stretching for me is every 2.5-3.5 hours. (the trip average s 13 hrs, 867 miles) What do you all think would be the best course of action (that is also cost effective)? Obviously going to look at Progressive for the Commercial vehicle for Personal Use insurance.
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Old 07-05-2020, 11:14 AM   #14
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I drove from California to Maine (over 3000 miles in all) on a one trip permit. There was a 30 day limit. It cost 80 bucks, way cheaper than the insurance!
Just curious, did you keep track of your mileage and fuel cost for that trip?
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Old 07-05-2020, 11:15 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Choc Lesnar View Post
So I'm in Baltimore Maryland (my bus is 30 min away in Anne Arundel heights), and I'll be traveling to Wisconsin, meaning I'll travel most likely through Maryland, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois before getting to Milwaukee. Upon my research, Maryland has a 30 Day Temp registration (https://mva.maryland.gov/Pages/tempo...istration.aspx) for means of being able to drive the vehicle to get it inspected. It only costs $20. But I'm not sure if it will allow me to drive legally to Milwaukee. I also found this site called Permits Plus (https://www.permitsplus.com/temps.php) which allows you to buy 72 hour trip permits for states you would need to travel through where you don't have proper registrations. Currently, for the states I would be traveling through, I would have to pay the following:

Maryland-72 Hour Trip $51.50
West Virginia - 10 Day Trip $70.50
Pennsylvania-72 Hour Trip $51.50
Ohio - 72 Hour Trip $57.00
Indiana 3 Day Trip $51.50
Illinois 72 Hour Trip $55.50

Based on Google Maps and trip planning, I wouldn't be in WV & PA long enough for it to make a difference to have permits there: Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois are the primary states where the most travel would take place. And its not like I would be staying for any duration of time; stops for gas and leg stretching for me is every 2.5-3.5 hours. (the trip average s 13 hrs, 867 miles) What do you all think would be the best course of action (that is also cost effective)? Obviously going to look at Progressive for the Commercial vehicle for Personal Use insurance.

Choc,
The PermitsPlus link is for commercial haulers, you don't need any of that if you are the private owner/driver of a private (not-for-hire) vehicle.
The rules of our Great Republic hold (generally) that transit permits, registrations, insurance, etc. issued in any one state are deemed acceptable in any other state. One permit should get you all the way to your destination.
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Old 07-05-2020, 11:35 AM   #16
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Perhaps I am overthinking the logistics of it all. Thank you for the grounding statement. I guess the Temp registration and insurance should be enough to get me to Wisconsin then?
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Old 07-05-2020, 11:45 AM   #17
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Perhaps I am overthinking the logistics of it all. Thank you for the grounding statement. I guess the Temp registration and insurance should be enough to get me to Wisconsin then?

Far be it for ME to ever be guilty of overthinking (!?!!)
Yes. Your transit permit from ANY state, plus insurance coverage, will get you from A to B regardless of how many states you transit through. I do caution you to read the fine print on the permit you intend to use, just in case there ARE any restrictions stated therein.
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Old 07-05-2020, 12:23 PM   #18
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The problem I've been having is Maryland doesn't seem to have travel/transit permits, just the temporary tag (for purposes of getting the inspection). But since that tag is 30 days, I feel like that, the bill of sale, and insurance should be enough to get me to Wisconsin.
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Old 07-05-2020, 12:30 PM   #19
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I'm stupid X-D
The temporary registration IS the transit permit hahahaaa
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Old 07-05-2020, 12:49 PM   #20
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Git on that skoolie and ride it! Yee hah!
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