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Old 03-06-2006, 02:29 AM   #1
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I bought my bus in June of 04 and found when calling the sec. of state the answer you get depends on who answers the phone... assuming you can get them to answer the phone. From what I understand, to drive a "school bus" which can seat more than 15 passengers you have to have a CDL. However you don't need any special type of licence to drive a motorhome.

What is a motorhome? I guess all it has to have is eating and sleeping quarters. They said that even a small cooktop & a matress would qualify.

Days after I bought my bus I told them that I had converted it, making it a legal motorhome, even though I had barely had all the seats out at that point. They had me fill out some paper where I had to write what I did & how much everything cost me. Since I hadn’t done any work on my bus at this point I made the whole thing up and made it sound like I got everything for free, or used stuff I had lying around. This is a good idea since in Michigan your registration is based on the value, which I obviously wanted to keep low. My bus was then retitled as a bluebird motorhome, they even sent me a new title that says it’s a motorhome.

My registration costs about $83/year & the cheapest insurance I could find was through a private progressive agent for $382/year.

Jason (lapeer20m) aka the guy with the Jacuzzi in his bus said something about his being registered as a non-commercial bus or something but I don’t know what that means or what’s involved in that.

Hope this is what you’re looking for. Good luck & keep us updated with your progress.

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Old 04-25-2006, 02:06 AM   #2
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the thing i have learn is that the least they know the best is for the guy
that has to fork out the money....

I'm in Canada some laws are diferent ,,,, if u register the vehicle has a motorhome and it's what u use it for, why do they have to know that it was transporting kids for the past decade or so.......

The reason why me and my spouse got a buse is because we were not satisfied at all with the safety of does "real motorhome" wich were built in the late 70' on a 3/4 ton truck frame.......

Let's be real here wich one do you think is safer????????
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Old 04-25-2006, 10:59 AM   #3
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I registered mine as an 85 bluebird with a gmc chasis under RV in Alberta, and as a camper in Nova Scotia. ALl I had to do was take the plates out, paint over or remove the flashing lights and not carry more than 15 people. And the insurance was very reasonable through CAA if I insure my a jeep with them.

My 2 cents.

- Richard
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Old 04-25-2006, 11:52 AM   #4
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I recently spent the day at a MI S.O.S. office for the project I am working on and the requirements hadn't changed from when I converted my bus 2.5 years ago. You need to have seperate cooking and sleeping areas. The fixtures in these places must be permanently attached. Ex. You can't set a coleman stove on a table and call it the kitchen. The same goes with the sleeping area. What I can't remember is whether the 3rd requirement dealt with having a seperate seating area or having bathroom facilities. When I got the title changed all I did was state that I was removing the seats and creating the 3 required, seperate areas with parts from an old camper and they never asked to see the finished results. The only one who cared about that was the insurance company.
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Old 04-27-2006, 11:27 AM   #5
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i left my title alone, but changed the registration. It is registerd as a non-commercial bus.

If you're anywhere near Lapeer michigan, you can go to that SOS, they're familiar with the process now. I've done 2 buses there. The 2nd time was significantly easier than the 1st time. If you want, e-mail me off list and i'll give ya my liscense plate number. You can take that to the SOS and tell them you want your bus registered just the same. that may help them.

My bus is cheaper than my VW when it comes to registration. I think it's under $40 bucks per year.

I have a non-commercial plate, no commercial drivers liscense, and non-commercial insurance. Since it's not commercial, it falls into the recreational vehicle category according to the MSP and the SOS. I've crossed the border into canada several times, and talked to many police officers, and nobody has had a concern about the lack of "motorhome" registration. I've had a bus now for 3 or 4 years and traveled to nevada twice, and to texas and back. Most of the miles i've driven have been here in the state however. I don't know what advantage you would have by registering the vehicle as a motorhome, except you get to donate more $$$ to the state of michigan before your next birthday.
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Old 04-27-2006, 02:05 PM   #6
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I wish the SOS had told me that was an option. Namely, making it a non-commercial bus. But that just highlights some of the problems with the branch and/or their "helpline".
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Old 04-27-2006, 02:22 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sidekick
I wish the SOS had told me that was an option. Namely, making it a non-commercial bus. But that just highlights some of the problems with the branch and/or their "helpline".
Same here, as a motorhome I pay $83/year... Too late now I guess, if I ever buy another skoolie thats what I'm going to do.
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Old 04-27-2006, 05:26 PM   #8
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There may be some citys that may raise a stink about a bus in ones back yard unless it is a rv with rv plates. The city I am in would do just that but they allow rvs to be stored in a back yard. So in my case rv plates are needed. And this coming november is an election year in my city and that is when the city letter seemss to come.
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Old 04-29-2006, 07:01 PM   #9
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here in michigan i don't believe you get special RV plates. A police officer would have to run your plate number through the DMV to see what it's designation is.
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Old 04-29-2006, 08:12 PM   #10
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I retitled my Indiana bus as an RV due to the fact that RV parks and even some state parks can and will turn you away if it does not have an RV plate. I have not experienced this yet, but that is what the lady at the DMV told me.
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Old 04-29-2006, 10:15 PM   #11
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The great things about short buses are that they usually seat less than 15 so there are no extra DL requirements and they usually have a van nose so they can be registered and insured as a 1 ton van. My insurance agent knows exactly what it is and had no problem with this.

On a side note, the only reason I didn't register mine as an RV is that I pull a stock car with it so the State Patrol considers it a commercial motor vehicle. In MN you cannot pull a commercial motor vehicle with a truck licensed as an RV, even a motorhome. You have to license it as a truck. Very stupid rules. Just something to think of if you plan to use it for anything other than an RV. Calling a State Patrol scale would yield you a lot of more useful information than calling the DMV.
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Old 06-03-2021, 08:29 AM   #12
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hey man i live in michigan, metro detroit area and was wondering if you can help me register my bus. Im picking it up today. were using it as a rustic camper, no fixed utilities. dont need motor home registration. wanted info on non-commercial bus registration. please can u help!? text or call i can send phone
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Old 06-03-2021, 02:01 PM   #13
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that thread is 15 years old but in comparing michigan to ohio laws (buddy of mine emnded up registering his bus using his mother's ohio address)..


the difference being that michigan required registration based on the DESIGN capacity of the bus.. so if its placard reads 66 passenger you register it based on this..



ohio has CDL exemptions for anything not used commercially or specified as a church bus.. we couldnt find anything like that in the michigan laws.. so it made it sound like the only choice in michigan was to register as an RV.. there was an exemption for historical vehicles over 26 years old..
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Old 06-08-2021, 07:21 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by andyMI View Post
hey man i live in michigan, metro detroit area and was wondering if you can help me register my bus. Im picking it up today. were using it as a rustic camper, no fixed utilities. dont need motor home registration. wanted info on non-commercial bus registration. please can u help!? text or call i can send phone
I have been researching the snot out of this (my gf and I are getting a bus soon) and am searching fairly deep on the SoS site, which of course is useless. I will be calling them tomorrow to find out more info.
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Old 07-02-2021, 08:15 AM   #15
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Talesfromthebeard, what did you find out from our friends at MISOS?
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Old 07-14-2021, 09:06 AM   #16
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Follow-up on MI Title Research

Quote:
Originally Posted by talesfromthebeard View Post
I have been researching the snot out of this (my gf and I are getting a bus soon) and am searching fairly deep on the SoS site, which of course is useless. I will be calling them tomorrow to find out more info.
Hi TalesFromTheBeard, Chking in to see if you had found any answers on titling. I had just purchased - well it will be completed in the next 10days - LOL
I had read of two options - to title as an RV (requirements??) or to title as none-commercial vehicle (Req?? and stipulations??)

Anybody with helpful insight would be greatly appreciated! Accurate info can be hard to find, that is what make a community so great. Thanks, SAW
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Old 07-14-2021, 12:07 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Firearm View Post
The great things about short buses are that they usually seat less than 15 so there are no extra DL requirements and they usually have a van nose so they can be registered and insured as a 1 ton van. My insurance agent knows exactly what it is and had no problem with this.

On a side note, the only reason I didn't register mine as an RV is that I pull a stock car with it so the State Patrol considers it a commercial motor vehicle. In MN you cannot pull a commercial motor vehicle with a truck licensed as an RV, even a motorhome. You have to license it as a truck. Very stupid rules. Just something to think of if you plan to use it for anything other than an RV. Calling a State Patrol scale would yield you a lot of more useful information than calling the DMV.
How can they consider a private vehicle as commercial?
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Old 08-22-2021, 10:05 PM   #18
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hey man i live in michigan, metro detroit area and was wondering if you can help me register my bus. Im picking it up today. were using it as a rustic camper, no fixed utilities. dont need motor home registration. wanted info on non-commercial bus registration. please can u help!? text or call i can send phone
Andy I'm doing the same. Metro Detroit.
I tried the Vermont loophole but it came back saying it was yellow.
Have you had any progress?
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Old 08-23-2021, 05:38 AM   #19
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Hi, Just went through myself. 2 things:
A Motorhome can not remain "Yellow" in most states - prediture issues ..
1st - make a new Form VD-119, section 4 Make - Model ---- Color = not Yellow
Name it the future color, IE, the color you are now going to paint it, yes.
2nd - when replying I had had to supply a photo of the newly painted Motorhome. I removed all "bus related items" and did a quick paint job - TAN. Figure it will need paint at completion anyway and make it easier to cover. Nothing fancy, roller it on!
Reapply all (VD-119) with the photo(s)
Now the short part, need to sell and Motorhome Reg/Title is in the mail to me ;-(
New long term family illness and we are making hard actions for their healthcare needs. Just posted it 4 Sale, 30Ft 2006 FS65 Handicap w/ rear Lift. If you know somebody looking .. (Family First - Life Chooses)
Keep posting as there is great knowledge/experience within the group!
Best , SAW
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Old 09-15-2021, 07:09 PM   #20
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So did anyone find out any more info on which is the better way to register a skoolie……none commercial or RV? I looked at a shortie that had already been titled as a motorhome but didn’t end up buying it. Now I’ve found a full-size that need to be converted…..
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