If the bus is titled as a school bus or private bus you will need to get a class B CDL license, so your goal is to get a few pictures of the inside and outside of the bus and go to your local tax assessors office to get its title switched over to Rv, it will need to look like an RV in the pictures, actually it will be retitled as a "reconstructed MH". The following is what you give to the tax assessor people to make them believe what you want to do can be done, they will deny it is possible until they go look it up themselves in their own manual, retitling is rarely done and you will be the first person that they have heard of that wanted to do this,
Dont drive a bus without a class B "non cdl" license or proper insurance,
I would hate go get in a wreck and discover the insurance company researches my license type and discovers I am not licensed to drive this vehicle and they then refuse to pay and cancel my policy.
I would hate go get pulled over by the only DPS officer in texas that is aware of the Class B requirement and he decides to tow my bus since I am not properly licensed to drive it.
If you purchase a bus and it does not have a license plate and is not registered you can go to the local tax assessor and spend $5 to get a temp plate which allows you to drive it home, you can call GMAC, their new name is national general, they are the only place that would insure mine, this makes you more legal in your driving, It is now 2019 and I still have national general insurance, about 400 per year,
Take this to the tax assessors office to get it retitled, print this page to bring to them,
"motor vehicle title manual" book 451, section 14.6 Motor Homes, july 2013, ""tell them the info on this one line"", all the info they need is in one single sentence in the manual,
quote on ""Converted Trucks and Buses
Used trucks, truck-tractor and buses, which have been reconstructed or converted to
contain living quarters, should be titled as Motor Homes and register with passenger
plates. Owners should support the title application with a photograph of the interior and
exterior, a weight certificate verifying the gross weight, and a Rebuilt Vehicle Statement,
Form VTR-61 explaining the alteration. The make, year model, and vehicle identification
number should be the same as that shown on the title covering the truck, truck-tractor or
Note: When the certificate of title is issued for this type of vehicle, the notation
“Reconstructed” appears."" quote off
Once you get it titled as an RV "reconstructed MH" you will then get a regular car license plate, the vehicle inspection is easier, the yearly registration fee is much less,
If the vehicle weighs 26000lbs or less gvwr you can drive with a class C license, if it is 26001 lbs. or more you will need a class B non CDL license, I have spoke to almost 2 dozen drivers license employees and they all disagree with this even though it is in the drivers manual, I have spoke with 2 deputies and 3 city police officers and they all think that any RV regardless of the weight only requires a class C license, but the drivers manual clearly states this.
Class C vs Class B license relies upon it gvwr weight and nothing else, CDL relies upon how it is titled, if it is titled as a school bus or private bus then you need a CDL, yes you can get a class C CDL license,
The texas drivers manual clearly states on the first page of the prologue section that you are exempt from getting a CDL if you drive an RV for personal use,
""CLASS A: Any combination of vehicles with a gross combination
weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more,
provided the gross vehicle weight rating of the
vehicle or vehicles towed exceeds 10,000
CLASS B: Any single vehicle with a gross vehicle weight
rating of 26,001 pounds or more, any one of
those vehicles towing a vehicle that does not
exceed 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight rating,
and any vehicle designed to transport 24
passengers or more, including the driver; and a
Class B license will be restricted to operating
busses under 26,001 pounds GVWR if the skills
test is taken in a bus""
Ignore the last line of the Class B section above, it is for CDL drivers only,
On the very same page in the prologue is clearly states that you will need a Class B depending upon the gvwr, which is basically the manufacturers recommended max weight of the vehicle including the bus, cargo and passengers, look on the plate where the vin number is for this number. Lots of buses come in at 25500 lbs and they only need a class C license.
If your vehicle has air brakes it is a separate test, not a driving test, it just a few quick questions with the tester in your vehicle.
Memorize the following, you basically sit in the bus with the drivers license tester for a few minutes playing around with the brakes and answering a few questions
Setup, engine running and wheels chocked, air at 120psi or more.
1. Push in both air valve buttons if you have two, and turn key off, then turn key to ACC, tell the examiner "cant loose more than 2psi in one minute"
2. Hold brake down firmlywith your foot and tell examiner " cant loose more than 3psi in a minute"
3. Pump brakes till low air warning sound comes on at 60psi.
4. Pump brakes till valves pop out at 20-40psi.
The test is now over.
You can find videos of this test online, it helps to understand how to do the air brake test.
My conversion thread, viewtopic.php?f=9&t=466746