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Old 02-03-2018, 12:29 AM   #1
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WA - insurer conversion requirements/no goes

We’ve got a pre-conversion bus that we have utterly failed to get insured so far and we have called a ton of brokers and followed up on every recommended agency. It’s currently parked at the in-laws about 150 miles from home. *sob*

We were all set to get the title changed to rv but there was a missing digit in the title VIN. No biggie, just a trip to State Patrol to have them read the VIN plate. Which we are slightly reluctant to do without a valid insurance policy.

We have considered looking for a Commercial - for personal use policy. As we understand that would require the title to be left as a bus and our bus is over 26000 gvwr and we believe that we would need a CDL to drive it at that point. Boo.

So..... we’re pushing forward with a quick and dirty conversion at the in-laws despite the inconvenience.

I was curious what things insurance companies had wanted to see or had objected to in your conversion projects.
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Old 02-03-2018, 01:46 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by evathedefiler View Post
We’ve got a pre-conversion bus that we have utterly failed to get insured so far and we have called a ton of brokers and followed up on every recommended agency. It’s currently parked at the in-laws about 150 miles from home. *sob*

We were all set to get the title changed to rv but there was a missing digit in the title VIN. No biggie, just a trip to State Patrol to have them read the VIN plate. Which we are slightly reluctant to do without a valid insurance policy.

We have considered looking for a Commercial - for personal use policy. As we understand that would require the title to be left as a bus and our bus is over 26000 gvwr and we believe that we would need a CDL to drive it at that point. Boo.

So..... we’re pushing forward with a quick and dirty conversion at the in-laws despite the inconvenience.

I was curious what things insurance companies had wanted to see or had objected to in your conversion projects.
Washington State seems to be a bit of an outlier wrt CDL.

You are not the first person to say that they insist on one for any vehicle over 26000 lbs.

They are wrong, wholly and entirely wrong, but it sucks because it could cost quite a lot of money to prove it.

The facts are simple. The entirety of the FEDERAL CDL regs is predicated not on what you are driving, but whether or not you are driving commercially. If you are not driving for hire or reward (or carrying other people's kids around), then the CDL regs simply do not apply to you.

Most states deal with this by copying the CDL requirements into state law on your regular license, and they add Classes by weight. No state gets to change the federal regs, so they can't actually insist on a CDL for non-commercial driving. It's a license for commercial drivers, not for commercial vehicles.

WA seems not to do this, but instead try to insist you have a completely unnecessary CDL .... sigh.
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Old 02-03-2018, 11:58 AM   #3
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What Steve said.

The commercial policy for private use is the way to go for most of us. It's just a liability policy and it's not that expensive, usually.

Good luck.
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Old 02-03-2018, 05:23 PM   #4
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Both of our buses are titled as motor homes in WA and insured through State Farm as commercial vehicles for personal use.

If you look at the DOL website they have a very clearly written section titled "Who needs a CDL". If would look there if you want the scoop in WA regarding CDL requirements.
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Old 02-03-2018, 08:33 PM   #5
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Progressive was explicit that registering as an rv would cause them cancel a commercial for personal use policy. Is this not the case with Statefarm?

I’ve been over through and upside down the WA DOL and our bus is over 26000 gvwr. So either we keep it registered as a bus and risk getting our knuckles rapped for no cdl or we register as a motor home and can’t get an rv policy according to about a dozen agents and brokers because we are not converted yet.

It really seems like there should be a place to pledge we’ll never go over 26000 scale weight or get 2000lbs derated somehow. The scale rate on the title is less than 16000. I promise we’re never going to put 10000lbs in it. I’ve yet to find someone telling of how they successfully derated an old bus.

The in laws were less happy to have our bus than originally expressed so we’ve gotten a commercial - personal policy and are off the sort of the registration Monday and get the bus to our house before the policy gets dropped or something else stupid.
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Old 02-03-2018, 08:38 PM   #6
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Progressive was explicit that registering as an rv would cause them cancel a commercial for personal use policy. Is this not the case with Statefarm?

.
Three buses and two different State Farm offices. No problem so far.
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Old 02-03-2018, 08:52 PM   #7
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Progressive will insure it as "commercial for personal use" as a bus that is not being used for business. State Farm will not, but will once the seats are removed and you met their criteria for an RV, running water, electric, bed,etc. Once the criteria is met you can change the title to reflect RV and insure it as such at that time. As I understand it, it doesn't matter where you live, or what it weighs, if your not using it in a commercial capacity you do not need a CDL to drive it.
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Old 02-03-2018, 09:07 PM   #8
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Progressive will insure it as "commercial for personal use" as a bus that is not being used for business. State Farm will not, but will once the seats are removed and you met their criteria for an RV, running water, electric, bed,etc. Once the criteria is met you can change the title to reflect RV and insure it as such at that time. As I understand it, it doesn't matter where you live, or what it weighs, if your not using it in a commercial capacity you do not need a CDL to drive it.



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Three buses and two different State Farm offices. No problem so far.
Yes, State Farm will insure a bus as "commercial for personal use" in WA.
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Old 02-03-2018, 09:08 PM   #9
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Three buses and two different State Farm offices. No problem so far.
We may need to do some more talking to Statefarm, especially if Progressive decides they don’t like us. Can you recommend your agent?
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Old 02-03-2018, 09:11 PM   #10
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It doesn't sound like you have an issue yet. Progressive is covering you as a bus, forget about saying anything to them about converting it. You will be insured under the commercial for personal use policy while you build it out. Once you have it built, call State farm and insure it as an RV, cancel your policy with Progressive.
My State Farm agent is: Carla Boutin State Farm, 706-216-6392. Ask for her husband, Charles. He's a car guy. Tell him one of their insured referred you, I'm sure he'll know who it was.
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Old 02-03-2018, 09:12 PM   #11
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Regarding CDL requirements in WA: WA State Licensing (DOL) Official Site: Who needs a CDL?

In part it says:

Types of vehicles that require a CDL
You must have a commercial driver license (CDL) to drive any of the following vehicles:

All single vehicles with a manufacturer’s weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more.
All trailers with a manufacturer’s weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more, and a combined vehicles’ gross weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more.
All vehicles designed to transport 16 or more persons (including the driver). This includes private and church buses.
All school buses, regardless of size.
All vehicles used to transport any material that requires hazardous material placarding or any quantity of a material listed as a select agent or toxin in 42 CFR 73.
Occasional drivers
Occasional drivers, such as mechanics or truck salespeople who test drive the vehicles described above on a public roadway, also need a CDL and any required endorsements.


Personally, I am inclined to believe what Washington DOL and WSP tell me about the requirements in Washington than folks who are well versed in the laws of another state.
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Old 02-03-2018, 09:18 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PNW_Steve View Post
Regarding CDL requirements in WA: WA State Licensing (DOL) Official Site: Who needs a CDL?

In part it says:

Types of vehicles that require a CDL
You must have a commercial driver license (CDL) to drive any of the following vehicles:

All single vehicles with a manufacturer’s weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more.
All trailers with a manufacturer’s weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more, and a combined vehicles’ gross weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more.
All vehicles designed to transport 16 or more persons (including the driver). This includes private and church buses.
All school buses, regardless of size.
All vehicles used to transport any material that requires hazardous material placarding or any quantity of a material listed as a select agent or toxin in 42 CFR 73.
Occasional drivers
Occasional drivers, such as mechanics or truck salespeople who test drive the vehicles described above on a public roadway, also need a CDL and any required endorsements.


Personally, I am inclined to believe what Washington DOL and WSP tell me about the requirements in Washington than folks who are well versed in the laws of another state.
Looks like I better start studying up. Just checked here in Ga. and at 26K GVWR a class B CDL is required. State Farm here in Ga. would not insure the bus and referred me to an independent agent, who ended up with a quote from Progressive. They said they had no problem once I convert it.
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Old 02-03-2018, 09:26 PM   #13
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Looks like I better start studying up. Just checked here in Ga. and at 26K GVWR a class B CDL is required. State Farm here in Ga. would not insure the bus and referred me to an independent agent, who ended up with a quote from Progressive. They said they had no problem once I convert it.
Insurance and licensing rules vary by state. Best to research the state that you are in and not assume that what works in one state will play in another.
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Old 02-03-2018, 09:35 PM   #14
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Thank you!

Frankly I had wanted to just drag it out for camping with the kids and dogs this year, get to know it, take it to burning man and see what we ended up wanting. We wanted to keep it easy to haul lumber and 4x8 sheets in the bus. We also help throw a big circus themed party that the bus would be helpful for if it’s got enough open cargo room

But I’m not sure what an insurer is going to expect to see. We’re planning seats for 4 passengers with belts, convertible bed/sofa permanently installed, a composting toilet, a sink with grey water tank.... Do we need more? Can we get away with less? Do we have to set up for 110v shore power and batteries? Propane system?

.
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Old 02-03-2018, 09:40 PM   #15
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For Washington State

Who doesn’t need a CDL?
By law, the following types of drivers don’t need a commercial driver license (CDL):

Farmers transporting farm equipment, supplies, or products* to or from a farm in a farm vehicle are exempt if the vehicle is:
Operated by the farmer or a farm employee.
Not used in the operation of a common or contract motor carrier.
Used within 150 miles of the farm (in an air-mile radius).
If farmers meet all requirements of the farm exemption, they may operate farm-exempt vehicles between the states of Idaho and Oregon.
*Farm products include Christmas trees or wood products transported by vehicles weighing no more than 40,000 pounds licensed gross vehicle weight. This weight restriction applies only to Christmas trees and wood products.
Firefighters and law enforcement personnel are exempt when operating emergency equipment if they carry the certification card proving they have completed the Emergency Vehicle Accident Prevention Program (EVAP). For more information, contact Bill Slosson, WSP Washington State Fire Marshall:
360.596.3928
bill.slosson@wsp.wa.gov


Recreational vehicle (RV) operators are exempt when driving an RV for non-commercial purposes. This exemption includes 2-axle rental trucks and horse trailers.



Military commercial drivers are exempt only when they are operating the proper military vehicle under a military license issued by their branch of the service. Military members who want to obtain a CDL and are currently active duty or those within one year of discharge, see Military experience waiver.


Drivers of vehicles with air brakes that don’t otherwise qualify as a commercial vehicle. Even though a vehicle is equipped with air brakes, it doesn’t automatically mean the driver must have a CDL. If the vehicle doesn’t meet the criteria listed under Types of vehicles that require a CDL, the driver is exempt.


Questions? Need help?
Email us: CustomerCare@dol.wa.gov
Call us: 360.902.3900

http://www.dol.wa.gov/driverslicense/cdlexempt.html
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Old 02-03-2018, 09:47 PM   #16
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Thank you!

Frankly I had wanted to just drag it out for camping with the kids and dogs this year, get to know it, take it to burning man and see what we ended up wanting. We wanted to keep it easy to haul lumber and 4x8 sheets in the bus. We also help throw a big circus themed party that the bus would be helpful for if it’s got enough open cargo room

But I’m not sure what an insurer is going to expect to see. We’re planning seats for 4 passengers with belts, convertible bed/sofa permanently installed, a composting toilet, a sink with grey water tank.... Do we need more? Can we get away with less? Do we have to set up for 110v shore power and batteries? Propane system?

.
What was required of me to register/title as an RV was to simply sign an affadavit of conversion stating that I had converted them.

To insure them I had to send State Farm pictures showing that I had removed enough seats to reduce the passenger capacity below CDL requirements.
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Old 02-03-2018, 09:49 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Asetechrail View Post
For Washington State

Who doesn’t need a CDL?
By law, the following types of drivers don’t need a commercial driver license (CDL):

Farmers transporting farm equipment, supplies, or products* to or from a farm in a farm vehicle are exempt if the vehicle is:
Operated by the farmer or a farm employee.
Not used in the operation of a common or contract motor carrier.
Used within 150 miles of the farm (in an air-mile radius).
If farmers meet all requirements of the farm exemption, they may operate farm-exempt vehicles between the states of Idaho and Oregon.
*Farm products include Christmas trees or wood products transported by vehicles weighing no more than 40,000 pounds licensed gross vehicle weight. This weight restriction applies only to Christmas trees and wood products.
Firefighters and law enforcement personnel are exempt when operating emergency equipment if they carry the certification card proving they have completed the Emergency Vehicle Accident Prevention Program (EVAP). For more information, contact Bill Slosson, WSP Washington State Fire Marshall:
360.596.3928
bill.slosson@wsp.wa.gov


Recreational vehicle (RV) operators are exempt when driving an RV for non-commercial purposes. This exemption includes 2-axle rental trucks and horse trailers.



Military commercial drivers are exempt only when they are operating the proper military vehicle under a military license issued by their branch of the service. Military members who want to obtain a CDL and are currently active duty or those within one year of discharge, see Military experience waiver.


Drivers of vehicles with air brakes that don’t otherwise qualify as a commercial vehicle. Even though a vehicle is equipped with air brakes, it doesn’t automatically mean the driver must have a CDL. If the vehicle doesn’t meet the criteria listed under Types of vehicles that require a CDL, the driver is exempt.


Questions? Need help?
Email us: CustomerCare@dol.wa.gov
Call us: 360.902.3900

WA State Licensing (DOL) Official Site: Who doesn’t need a CDL?

Laht Nepur soon?
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Old 02-03-2018, 10:00 PM   #18
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What was required of me to register/title as an RV was to simply sign an affadavit of conversion stating that I had converted them.

To insure them I had to send State Farm pictures showing that I had removed enough seats to reduce the passenger capacity below CDL requirements.
We didn’t actually hit any road blocks with state about registering/titling as a rv, just had a vin error that needs verified. Our bus already meets the passenger seats requirement. The school district had been using it as a mobile service truck. Two bench seats and a work table installed.

We’re going to try Statefarm again after we get the bus home. Maybe with an agent who’s done this before we can get sorted.

You’re my new favorite person btw.
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Old 02-03-2018, 10:02 PM   #19
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Laht Nepur soon?
Sounds good!
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Old 02-03-2018, 11:34 PM   #20
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Insurance and licensing rules vary by state. Best to research the state that you are in and not assume that what works in one state will play in another.
Didn't I mention that I was talking about Ga., more than once? I know all states aren't the same, was using my state as a reference. I wasn't aware till now that my choice of bus requires an endorsement upgrade. I been meaning to get that pesky ole CDL now for years.
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