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Old 10-31-2018, 03:42 PM   #1
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Location: Mendocino County, California
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Post Transferring and registering vehicle from Illinois to California

Does anybody know how we can get our new bus from Illinois to California if the seller has to take the license plates upon transfer of the vehicle?
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Old 10-31-2018, 04:09 PM   #2
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Location: SW New Hampshire
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Many states offer temporary paper "transit tags" for just such an occasion; check with the states where you are buying and registering for details. Here in NH they are called "Private Sale 20-Day Temporary Plates" if you are a NH resident needing to bring a new-to-you vehicle into NH and "In-Transit 20-Day Temporary Plates" if you are an out-of-stater buying a vehicle in NH and transporting it to your state of residence.
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Old 10-31-2018, 04:32 PM   #3
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Join Date: May 2016
Location: Eastern WA
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A little Google searching leads me to think that neither California or Illinois have transit permits for private sales of used cars.

Many members here have not bothered with any kind of temporary permits. They just got in the bus and drove it home.

If I were in your shoes, I would put an "in transit " sign in the back window. Make sure that you have the signed title, bill of sale and proof of insurance with you and hit the road.

Mind the traffic and speed laws. It appears that big yellow buses going the speed limit are pretty much invisible

Good luck.
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Old 10-31-2018, 05:37 PM   #4
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Location: Santa Rosa, CA
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Engine: DT466
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I just purchased a bus in Louisiana and drove it home to the Bay Area. The only paperwork I got was the title signed over to me (an Alabama title signed over to the party I bought it from in Louisiana, signed over to me) and the bill of sale.

Since I bought on a Friday evening, and didn’t want to wait around, this is what I did. Mind you it is anecdotal and may vary for others:
  • Bought commercial insurance through Progressive - $54/mo for liability insurance.
  • filled out registration paperwork for Vermont (to change the vehicle type from Bus to Motorhome) and sent it in with the appropriate fees and required documentation via certified mail - kept copies of everything
  • drove home - obeying all traffic laws

Some notes:
  • I went through the commercial vehicle lanes at weigh stations and they all gave me a bypass - thy didn’t want to see a school bus
  • I didn’t have a license plate on the bus
  • several LEOs passed me and never even turned their heads to look - as far as I could tell
  • I was stopped at the California agricultural inspection and they waived me through. At first I couldn't understand the officer and asked “what” an she waived me through

My opinion: as long as I had the registration paperwork in progress (and have evidence of it), if I did get stopped and I was polite and not obnoxious, the paperwork would have been sufficient or at the most a fix-it ticket.

Best of luck
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