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Old 12-02-2021, 08:32 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Posts: 24
Year: 2009
Coachwork: International CE
Chassis: CE
Engine: 7.6
Rated Cap: 26 seats
Non convert Bus registered as non commercial - no drama

I know there are as many different experiences of this whole registration / title can of worms as there are vehicles!

so I figured I would lay out what I did , it may be helpful to others
1. Bought the 2009 IC 300 30 footer from government auction - it was blue and white - used at Arlington national cemetery - so no school bus heritage , only 60K miles on it.

2. contacted Clay County treasurer in South Dakota - explained the situation, including that I was using the bus as storage and transport for my motorcycles, camping gear, tools etc - no conversion (as of yet)

3. sent in the Government convert title paperwork to SD. Along with their 1 page title application, and a weight slip. They contacted me 1 week later, I had to pay sales tax - i knew that, didn't pay on the auction price when I bought it, so would have to pay state sales tax wherever I chose to register it.

4. anyway, titled and plated as non commercial vehicle - cost me 58 bucks for the year, and now have a clean title from South Dakota. I can re-register every year by mail, and if I sell it, the new owner can choose to keep it titled nd registered in SD, or change it to wherever they wish.

almost painless - simple - thats the way it worked for me - like I said it seems to be unique to individual vehicles in each state.

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Old 12-03-2021, 03:10 AM   #2
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 2,673
Do you have any connection to SD legally?

DL, property, time spent per year??

Or just a letterbox forwarding service?
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Old 12-03-2021, 12:03 PM   #3
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 15,998
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
one of mine is registered that way in ohio.. since it has less than 15 seats in it but is otherwise original the DMV registered it as non commercial passenger Van
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Old 12-03-2021, 12:56 PM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Posts: 24
Year: 2009
Coachwork: International CE
Chassis: CE
Engine: 7.6
Rated Cap: 26 seats
Quote:
Originally Posted by john61ct View Post
Do you have any connection to SD legally?

DL, property, time spent per year??

Or just a letterbox forwarding service?
Nope - None of that, BUT - South Dakota says you don't need it. They are fine with giving nonresidents registrations on their vehicles, using their actual real home address. you just renew by mail every year. Income stream for the state, convenient for the vehicle owner - who may be out on the road anywhere when registration comes due - just mail it in!

That's why you see tons of motorhomes and other vehicles with South Dakota plates. especially down in Baja for example.
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Old 12-03-2021, 01:24 PM   #5
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Lebanon, Indiana
Posts: 840
Year: 2000
Coachwork: Winnebago
Chassis: Ford F53
Engine: Ford Triton V-10
Rated Cap: currently 2
Registering a commercial class vehicle for non-commercial use is a thing in some states but has a couple of catches. One is insurance - South Dakota may register the vehicle but that doesn't mean your insurance has a class of coverage for it. If SD is loosey-goosey about registration, it may also be laissez-faire about proof of insurance to obtain said registration. You could be registered but then find it's uninsurable. Insurance is highly regulated by state so SD insurers may not talk to non-residents and your home state of residence insurers may not insure an out-of-state registered vehicle. You can easily find yourself in a catch-22.

You can also run into issues with law enforcement if you do find yourself trying to explain why your SD registration is addressed to another state mailing address. Pair that with the insurance conundrum and you can see why people want to get their bus retitled as an RV as soon as possible but even that doesn't always resolve all the complications with insurance.

It's like gov't doesn't want people doing something outside of the norm!
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Old 12-03-2021, 01:41 PM   #6
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Posts: 24
Year: 2009
Coachwork: International CE
Chassis: CE
Engine: 7.6
Rated Cap: 26 seats
The insurance is through Progressive - they know exactly what I am doing with it. The only way state law enforcement could write you up is if they prove the vehicle has been in their state continuously for some long number of Days - that doesnt happen, and if it does, it's stored on my 40 acres, inside a shop - so they would have to get a search warrant to see it, and then prove it hasn't left the state in XX? days. pretty unlikely there.

they cannot write me a ticket for owning a vehicle lawfully registered in another state than my official residence - thats where their authority stops.
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Old 12-03-2021, 05:14 PM   #7
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 2,673
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sehnsucht View Post
If SD is loosey-goosey about registration, it may also be laissez-faire about proof of insurance to obtain said registration.
A state does not need to require any insurance.

The way each insurance company operates is different in every state.

Insurance is supposed to be obtained from a company licensed to sell it in the state where you have the vehicle "habitually garaged".

This has nothing to do with where it is registered, nor where you are legally domiciled, nor which state DL you hold, etc.

If in reality you are a permanent nomad with no actual "garaging jurisdiction" then you still need to provide an address, but you have a lot of flexibility. Ideally a friend or family member where you both trust each other.

Or you use Escapees or St Brendan's Isle, etc especially if you want their other services like letterbox mail forwarding, legal domicile address too. They have lawyers that specialize in this stuff, right to vote there and so on.
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Old 12-03-2021, 05:17 PM   #8
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 2,673
https://www.skoolie.net/forums/f9/a-place-for-my-head-a-place-for-my-mail-and-a-place-for-my-bus-33738.html#post413912

for more on these issues, best to ask questions on these topics there to keep everything in one place

Leaving the SD specific discussion here.

Thanks for the SD datapoint OP, very useful.
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Old 12-09-2021, 04:44 AM   #9
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Mt Vernon, WA
Posts: 523
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Bluebird, Collins
Chassis: G30 Bluebird Microbird, E350 Shuttle Bus
Engine: 1995 Chevrolet 350, 1992 Ford 460
Progressive tried running my VIN number and said they would send me to their commercial vehicle department who sold me a policy as a commercial vehicle used for private non commercial use. I gave them my Washington State address. That’s as far as I got and it’s parked in private property now. I’m in Germany currently and there’s a impressive amount of rules here too.
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Old 12-09-2021, 07:40 AM   #10
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 15,998
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doktari View Post
Progressive tried running my VIN number and said they would send me to their commercial vehicle department who sold me a policy as a commercial vehicle used for private non commercial use. I gave them my Washington State address. Thatís as far as I got and itís parked in private property now. Iím in Germany currently and thereís a impressive amount of rules here too.



one of mine has been insured with progressive commercial vehicle for personal use for over 5 years now no issues....



if they are UNCONVERTED and over 25 years old you can insure them with Hagerty classic vehicle insurance.. 3 of mine are insured with this type policy, however they dont want them converted.. im not sure if they insure empty un-seated busses or not as all of mine have many or all of their seats.. I do know of one person that has a classic 1960s winnebago insured through them, but they also have about 10 classic cars on the same policy as well so the RV may have been allowed.. they generally dont insure daily drivers but they dont put specific mileage rules.. someone in my car club drives their classic chevelle LS5 on average 15000 miles a year on road trips all over the country and recently made a claim when an uninsured driver hit them (and tried to run but the chevelle was faster and caught up)..
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