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Old 04-16-2020, 11:43 PM   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: Manchester, NH
Posts: 6
Year: 1995
Chassis: special platform integral
Engine: Series 60 6 Cyl.
Rated Cap: 55 pass
Question Getting home?

Hi all!

We found our bus! 1995 MCI 102D3, 45 footer!

We are in NH, and the bus is in MA. It will be private sale. I am hoping to be doing a transfer registration out of VT because from what I have read that's the best route to go with the least hassles. I haven't found anything that confirms I can do this with a bus of this size though... ? 30,000lb GVWR

My second question- what do I need to do to get it home..? (its only about 2 hours) I am concerned that to get a 20 day plate from my town clerk, I will need to provide a VIN and it will be recognized in the NH system as a commercial bus. I don't want this to cause me problems later when I send in my paperwork for a transfer registration in VT. I saw someone mention I need to put a "not in service sign" in the window for the ride home.. is that all?

Thanks everyone!
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Old 04-17-2020, 05:48 AM   #2
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Join Date: May 2019
Location: Lebanon, Indiana
Posts: 451
Coachwork: In the market
In principle it wouldn't be any different to drive home a motorcoach than a school bus but in practice this might be a little more challenging. The reason boils down to what law enforcement is looking for and in their eyes school buses are essentially invisible but the same cannot be said for a commercial coach. Nevertheless, the same things you've read applying to a school bus maiden voyage I would advise in your situation as well: drive the speed limit, obey all signs, only enter weigh stations if it specifically says buses weigh, and please PLEASE check overhead clearances because you'll be taller even than a school bus! Have your bill of sale paperwork in hand during the journey in case you need to corroborate your private sale, obscure any commercial markings on the vehicle (company livery, DOT#, etc) and yes if as you read I recommend a sign in the entry door glass that says, "Bus in transit, Not for hire" to demonstrate you're not attempting to fly under the radar operating an illegal public conveyance.

Now as for license requirement, technically you would need a CDL Class B plus Passenger and Air Brake endorsements. Not sure how lenient law enforcement is in your states if you happen to cross paths but be polite, be honest and explain you're only driving home to convert it into an RV. Most people have no issues anyways but a few who've reported an encounter say the LEO is sympathetic and often impressed. An alternate you may pursue is finding a currently idled bus driver who is eager to make a few bucks as so many charter bus fleets are basically closed now. If the drive is only a few hours that's well worth a cool $100.
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Old 04-23-2020, 07:12 PM   #3
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Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: Manchester, NH
Posts: 6
Year: 1995
Chassis: special platform integral
Engine: Series 60 6 Cyl.
Rated Cap: 55 pass
We have secured a driver! Our cousin is a diesel mechanic and works on these buses!! He said he is willing to drive it home for us (and teach us how to drive it lol). Once it is in our yard, we will follow the transfer registration process through the VT snail mail system. This will allow us, with no physical inspection of the bus, to register it in NH as an RV. This will alleviate any need for a CDL in NH.

Our biggest barrier a the moment is the license plate to get it home. The seller said they already took the plates off, and I can't get 20 day plates from NH for a vehicle I'm buying in MA. Neither VT or MA will give a 20 day plate.

I'm thinking about what you said, and offering the seller $100 to let me use his plate OR see if he would deliver it for the same $. It's only 2 hours..
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Old 04-23-2020, 07:17 PM   #4
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Location: Eustis FLORIDA
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Or just go for it and do what most of us here do- Drive it without a plate and have your title and ins card on hand. Never heard of anyone having any issues doing that.
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