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Old 11-25-2017, 03:41 PM   #1
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Legalize it!

I recently bought an 80-percent converted Skoolie in Washington State that has had the title converted to a motor home (MH). I live (own a house), file taxes and reside in Pennsylvania. I'm going to be working part-time in Northern California and bought the bus partly to be my home away from home. Once I move the bus from Washington to California I don't plan to drive it much, if at all, through winter. I'm trying to figure out the fastest and cheapest way to get it registered and down the road. Should I title and/or register the bus in Washington, California or PA? Can I do any legwork in advance of going out to move the bus (less than 2 weeks from now is the plan)? Can I get a temporary tag and figure out the details later. Any advice is appreciated. It's about a 600-mile drive point to point.
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Old 11-25-2017, 03:49 PM   #2
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... insurance

... and I forgot to mention insurance. In PA you can't register your vehicle without proof of current insurance.
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Old 11-25-2017, 04:25 PM   #3
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without a washington or CA address, i think the easiest will be PA.

get your plates and take them with you
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Old 11-25-2017, 05:13 PM   #4
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Yeah, the address is the problem. Usually you can only register a vehicle in the state that issued your license.
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Old 11-25-2017, 08:58 PM   #5
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theres those guys doing the Vermont thing somewhow without a vermont address..

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Old 11-27-2017, 09:39 AM   #6
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How many places require a bus to go through inspection as part of getting the tags? I've been wondering about that. It would be hard to get a PA inspection done on a bus in CA or WA.

As CK points out, there's always the VT dance-around.
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Old 11-27-2017, 12:21 PM   #7
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How many places require a bus to go through inspection as part of getting the tags? I've been wondering about that. It would be hard to get a PA inspection done on a bus in CA or WA.

As CK points out, there's always the VT dance-around.
Very few. Most states want a physical VIN# check when you "import" from another state, but OK didn't even want that when I brought a motorcycle back from Texas. The rules say they should check, but the Tag Office didn't bother.

Some require an inspection to change vehicle type, others simply want an affidavit.

It's hard to say there are general rules, just check with your Tag Office or DMV what your state wants.
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Old 03-14-2018, 02:05 AM   #8
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Very few. Most states want a physical VIN# check when you "import" from another state, but OK didn't even want that when I brought a motorcycle back from Texas. The rules say they should check, but the Tag Office didn't bother.

Some require an inspection to change vehicle type, others simply want an affidavit.

It's hard to say there are general rules, just check with your Tag Office or DMV what your state wants.
NV requires a VIN check but I had that done where I live and the registered the bus 2 hours away. I did not lie about anything but I did give some general answers about motor homes so that I would be classed as a Motorhome. I still can't get insurance that way because they check with pics and stuff and I'm in an accident if it doesn't match you are in trouble. She did not ask me about all the different requirements since it was already registered as a MH in Oregon.

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Old 03-14-2018, 02:23 AM   #9
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You should call the DMV and ask them these questions. All I know about California is its radical emissions standards. It may be more difficult if it's newer than 2003.
Usually you have 30 days if you have insurance to register it anywhere. It might as well be where you're moving rather than changing it once when you get there.
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Old 03-14-2018, 10:12 AM   #10
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When I read the title I thought this was going in a different direction, lol
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Old 03-14-2018, 11:55 AM   #11
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When I read the title I thought this was going in a different direction, lol
Very clever. It got me here.
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Old 03-14-2018, 12:56 PM   #12
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I'd be curious to know how much money is generated in Vermont off out of state registrations from people who don't even know where Vermont is? It's strange that this even happens as most places you have to prove residency I the county you are registering in. I guess Vermont saw a revenue stream and just said F**K it, we'll take your money.
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Old 03-14-2018, 12:59 PM   #13
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I have found that some DMV workers are very knowledgeable and very helpful, others not so much. I hate to by cynical, but I sort of suggest going down in person and asking politely for a photocopy of their rules and regs regarding anything unusual you want to do (home built title, Bonded Title, In Leu of Bond title, Some non-compliant VINs, conversion title, etc), since I have had to make multiple trips to DMV before because I got one answer the first time and another answer with someone else the second time. I don't necessarily blame them, some of this stuff is fairly unusual and they don't see it very often, but if you ask for a copy of it, it forces them to look up the requirement and not just what they remember the requirements are.

For my bus conversion, I was able to find a good reference on this site for my state requirements, and got it done in one trip, but the supervisor did need to come over and confirm something for the person helping me.
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Old 03-21-2018, 07:00 PM   #14
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State Regs in NW

Is anyone familiar with what needs to happen to use a school bus for personal use in NW states?- Not to convert to motor home, That much I've read. Prior to my conversion, I want to drive it with minimal changes but need to know what needs to go beside the Stop sign. I live in Idaho, but will also travel to Washington and Oregon. Cover school signs? How much of them? lights? The ID DMV said call the police, this might go down the rabbit hole... The AZ district that sold it to me took off only their name so I drove home 1400 miles in full School bus regalia.

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Old 03-21-2018, 07:43 PM   #15
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I'd be curious to know how much money is generated in Vermont off out of state registrations from people who don't even know where Vermont is? It's strange that this even happens as most places you have to prove residency I the county you are registering in. I guess Vermont saw a revenue stream and just said F**K it, we'll take your money.
I was the one who introduced Vermont registrations to this forum. I think you're "F**K it" reasoning is spot on. The loopholes other states are forcing people to jump through created a real revenue opportunity. There's nothing illegal about it either. Sure, your home state might have the right to force you to register with them. But what if you're spending a few years meandering through the country, like many of us do? It's ideal. Vermont has been allowing this type of practice for a long, long time ... I'd say for at least two decades ... why shouldn't they cash out on providing a needed service? Also, I'd just like to point out that their registration fees are very modest next to some other states.

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Is anyone familiar with what needs to happen to use a school bus for personal use in NW states?- Not to convert to motor home, That much I've read. Prior to my conversion, I want to drive it with minimal changes but need to know what needs to go beside the Stop sign. I live in Idaho, but will also travel to Washington and Oregon. Cover school signs? How much of them? lights? The ID DMV said call the police, this might go down the rabbit hole... The AZ district that sold it to me took off only their name so I drove home 1400 miles in full School bus regalia.

Chris
You will most likely have to paint it a color other than yellow, remove school bus insignia, remove stop signs, remove any red lights above the window line, remove strobes .... that should about do it. I re-purposed my amber lights and wired them up as turn signals. States are pretty strict in enforcing this because, well, they don't want you picking any kids up with your bus. As a rule of thumb, if I child could mistake your bus for his/her bus ... it's probably illegal.
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Old 03-21-2018, 07:51 PM   #16
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You don't, I believe, have to remove the strobe.

I'm keeping mine. It won't be used unless it is foggy at which point no one is going to care that I am more visible.

It is also a useful emergency beacon if you break down in a difficult situation.
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Old 03-21-2018, 09:55 PM   #17
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You don't, I believe, have to remove the strobe.

I'm keeping mine. It won't be used unless it is foggy at which point no one is going to care that I am more visible.

It is also a useful emergency beacon if you break down in a difficult situation.
Good point, Twigg. NY is kind of ambiguous as to legality on that. DMV wanted me to take it off but sometimes I find the skoolie folk know more about the laws than they do.
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Old 03-21-2018, 10:15 PM   #18
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Good point, Twigg. NY is kind of ambiguous as to legality on that. DMV wanted me to take it off but sometimes I find the skoolie folk know more about the laws than they do.
I don't know if my view is legally correct, and in any case it's likely to vary.

I have some extremely powerful auxiliary lights on my motorcycle, and I do a lot of night riding.

I know they are not DOT approved and I don't really care. I want to see where I am going and I want to see deer ahead of time. They are very well adjusted and I do not get "flashed" by on-coming cars. Besides, they come on with the High Beams.

If I get a ticket (haven't yet), I'll consider that money well spent to keep me safe.
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