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Old 11-16-2020, 04:40 PM   #1
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State won't register bus

How does one drive a school bus home cross country if the state he bought it in won't register it?
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Old 11-16-2020, 04:50 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruzer View Post
How does one drive a school bus home cross country if the state he bought it in won't register it?
States usually have a temporary transport registration, good for 14 days or so for non-residents to transport a vehicle out of state.
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Old 11-16-2020, 05:34 PM   #3
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Keep in mind, however, if said bus is still titled as a "BUS" and still has its seats intact, a CDL (Class B/C, usually with P and or S endorsement) is technically required to legally drive it until the title is reclassified as "RV" or "MOTORHOME". Not trying to scare you out of the idea, but the wrong move with the wrong cop watching on the wrong day can be a lot of expensive trouble.

Some officers are understanding about this, but it is definitely something to keep in mind. There are folks here who have a CDL and are willing to help. I have a CDL myself and am willing to help. PM me if you are interested.
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Old 11-16-2020, 05:38 PM   #4
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any transit of a motor vehicle is legal state to state

If you have a purchase receipt and proof of insurance you may drive your bus from any state to any state
But if you wait a few days even you than must register the bus in the state you are taking it to
Wait 10 days after receipt and you are to late
Proof of insurance is a must
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Old 11-16-2020, 06:00 PM   #5
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Clarification - 16+ pass requires Class C minimum, over 26k GVWR requires Class B, air brakes require an endorsement that can generally be attached to any license in most states.

Professional driver here with experience. I seriously doubt the previous post in the above circumstances. I know it would not be legal for me to drive a road tractor without a Class A, whether pulling a trailer or not. If it is still recognized as a commercial vehicle (requires title reclassification), it still technically requires a CDL. And I'm pretty sure even driveaway companies require the appropriate license for the vehicle in question.

OP, you may want to contact highway patrol / DOT and ask about this. Just trying to help you avoid potential trouble.
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Old 11-16-2020, 08:44 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruzer View Post
How does one drive a school bus home cross country if the state he bought it in won't register it?
I just bought a bus from AAA Bus in Phoenix AZ. They will pull out the seats, spray over the school bus decals, and remove the stop arm. This is an effort to show any AZ cops my intention to convert, not to transport passengers. They provide a temporary registration that is good for the trip, and

As I looked into things further, I found that my state, NY, does require an air brake endorsement for any vehicle with air brakes, regardless of what that vehicle is or how it's registered. Since I live close to NYC and there are officers everywhere, I decided to follow the rules and I am getting a Class B CDL with both air brake and schoolbus endorsements through a driving school. I don't need the schoolbus part, but I'll be taking the road test in a bus, so why not? NY DMV takes registrations for the written test and road test, I likely won't get finished until January if I'm lucky. Gotta love NY!

If I lived further upstate, I might not dot my I's and cross my
T's. I've arranged with Cheese Wagon to bring my bus home. The actual cost is not terribly much more than it would cost for me to get out there and drive home by the seat of my pants.
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Old 11-16-2020, 11:15 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by CHEESE_WAGON View Post
Professional driver here with experience. I seriously doubt the previous post in the above circumstances. I know it would not be legal for me to drive a road tractor without a Class A, whether pulling a trailer or not.

Not entirely correct. You can drive a road tractor without a trailer with a Class B license ... and in fact even pull a trailer as long as it's under the 10K threshold. And of course the air brake endorsement.
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Old 11-17-2020, 03:44 AM   #8
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Just because you can, doesn't mean you should. If DOT stops a Class B driver in that situation, they can still be cited because the tractor still has a fifth wheel and can still pull a trailer >10k regardless. And a bus that still has seats can still carry passengers regardless of whether it currently is being used for that purpose. So the driver could still be cited for not having the right license. Not trying to start World War III, but as a CDL driver, you of all people should know this.

As I said, the wrong move around the wrong cop on the wrong day could prove very expensive. You know as well as I do that a vehicle can be towed simply for not being properly registered, and the owner gets stuck with the bill. Imagine if a brand-new rookie DOT officer with a Barney Fife complex and something to prove stops you. Not saying it will happen, but it can.
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Old 11-17-2020, 05:33 AM   #9
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Cheese_wagon is correct here, the license and endorsements need to match what classification of the vehicle, not it's current function. It sucks but that's the regulation. It's why I paid out of my own pocket to add passenger endorsement to my CDL because everything else my employer reimbursed pertains to my job but if I want to buy a bus and drive it home I need that endorsement even if I have no passengers. Furthermore, even if it is unlikely, it only takes that one stupid driver cutting you off or for an inexperienced driver taking one turn too short and you're going to have LEO scrutinizing your credentials whether you like it or not. Every commercial driver here will agree that as soon as a commercial vehicle is involved the fines get bigger and so do the lawsuits. That's why every third billboard on the highway is some sleazy lawyer advertising he'll get you big money for your big rig wreck. So when the officer sees that you're not even qualified to be driving a commercial vehicle, I am very afraid it's jail, fine, loss of license, and impounded vehicle. Please just do it right or get someone qualified to do so.
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Old 11-17-2020, 07:30 AM   #10
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buses loose their commercial certification when a school district releases them

When we release a school bus from service and hand a person the title it is no longer a commercial vehicle
We remove the plates,give the person a receipt,and they have the ability to drive the bus with proof of insurance to their home state
Having dealt with quite a few buses I agree with the Air Brake certification
You do have to be certified for this to drive a vehicle
These are not going to be a commercial vehicle if you are not going to transport with it any more
You do have to show 5 things such as water holding tank,sewage holding tank,bath,cooking ,and a bevy of modifications to get RV registration.
In Mn. they allow this by photo,some states require inspection
Under 26,000 gvw does not require any special license to re=register in any state
S0 you do not need to even remove the seats
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Old 11-17-2020, 07:43 AM   #11
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Where did I say that under 26,000 required a CDL?

You are also incorrect, under the following conditions...
16+ passengers = Class C minimum
26,001+ GVWR = Class B minimum

End of story. Either of these conditions are a commercial motor vehicle and require the appropriate CDL to drive until the vehicle's title classification is changed, regardless of purpose.

Removing the stop signs / arms / school bus markings simply eliminates the need for the S endorsement. That's it. It does not eliminate the need for the proper class license (B or C, as necessary). And until the seats are removed, the vehicle is inspected by qualified personnel and the title's classification is changed from 'BUS' to something else -- it is still a BUS, subject to whatever licensing and endorsement requirements apply to its passenger capacity and / or GVWR. Nothing changes the GVWR, and only a title reclassification to 'RV' or 'MOTORHOME' makes it exempt. PERIOD. And that reclassification requires a live inspection by qualified DMV / LEO personnel to certify the vehicle can no longer be used for the same purpose, and qualifies for its intended new purpose.

Bottom line -- the only buses you can legally drive home without a CDL prior to title reclassification as 'RV' or 'MOTORHOME' are:

Less than 16 passengers
Less than 26,001 GVWR
Hydraulic brakes

Which means a 28-foot Freightliner shorty with air brakes, a GVWR of 28,000 lbs, a rated capacity of 32-36 and a manual transmission not only requires a Class B with air brake and P endorsements, it also requires that the driver be certified for a manual transmission (there is a restriction for auto-shift only - be it automated manual or a true automatic).

This also means that a 14-passenger 4-window with a 12,000-lb GVWR and hydraulic brakes would require none of the above, just a regular driver's license. I know it's confusing, but the rules are that a CDL is required if the vehicle seats over 16 passengers and / or exceeds 26,000 lbs GVWR. Any cop that knows the law here will tell you that, regardless of whether you're using it for commercial purposes.

Don't take my word for it, ask a Commercial Motor Vehicle Enforcement Officer or state trooper so certified. Better yet, drive one without markings and equipment that either exceeds 26,000 GVWR or that still has 16 or more seats, still titled / registered as 'BUS', into an inspection station without a CDL and see what happens.

And while a school bus is exempt from inspection stations as far as I know, that doesn't mean a bored trooper or DOT officer won't chase you down for not pulling in. Not to mention there are plenty of mobile DOT officers and state troopers with portable scales and the whole nine yards that will not have a problem stopping anyone they think isn't above board. I've seen them stop rental trucks and put them on portables before.

Believe me, I am not trying to ooga-booga anyone into making arrangements with me or anyone else. But I know what can happen if you are caught operating a vehicle you are not properly licensed or qualified for, and I don't want to see anyone have their fun spoiled by that right off the bat before they even get their new purchase home, especially when it can mean jail, huge fines and a lawsuit if there is an accident.

It's certainly not about whether I can make a few bucks doing so. I ask next to nothing for my time if asked, you can ask caplansail and Mandinee1, whom my knowledge saved an expensive engine rebuild. I am even willing to teach on delivery if the new owner has obtained a Class B learner's permit with the proper endorsements. The learner's permit isn't much to obtain, it's the actual license that takes more work. And with any luck, you can get the title changed before really needing to use it.
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Old 11-17-2020, 08:03 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CHEESE_WAGON View Post
Incorrect.

As I said earlier...

16+ passengers = Class C minimum
26,001+ GVWR = Class B minimum

End of story. Either of these conditions are a commercial motor vehicle and require the appropriate CDL to drive until the vehicle's title classification is changed, regardless of purpose.

Removing the stop signs / arms / school bus markings simply eliminates the need for the S endorsement. That's it. It does not eliminate the need for the proper class license (B or C, as necessary). And until the seats are removed, the vehicle is inspected by qualified personnel and the title's classification is changed from 'BUS' to something else -- it is still a BUS, subject to whatever licensing and endorsement requirements apply to its passenger capacity and / or GVWR.

Bottom line -- the only buses you can legally drive home without a CDL prior to title reclassification as 'RV' or 'MOTORHOME' are:

Less than 16 passengers
Less than 26,001 GVWR
Hydraulic brakes

Which means a 28-foot Freightliner shorty with air brakes, a GVWR of 28,000 lbs, a rated capacity of 32-36 and a manual transmission not only requires a Class B with air brake and P endorsements, it also requires that the driver be certified for a manual transmission (there is a restriction for auto-shift only - be it automated manual or a true automatic).

This also means that a 14-passenger 4-window with a 12,000-lb GVWR and hydraulic brakes would require none of the above, just a regular driver's license. I know it's confusing, but the rules are that a CDL is required if the vehicle seats over 16 passengers and / or exceeds 26,000 lbs GVWR. Any cop that knows the law here will tell you that, regardless of whether you're using it for commercial purposes.

Don't take my word for it, ask a Commercial Motor Vehicle Enforcement Officer or state trooper so certified. Better yet, drive one without the markings that still has its seats into an inspection station without a CDL and see what happens.

Believe me, I am not trying to ooga-booga anyone into making arrangements with me or anyone else. But I know what can happen if you are caught operating a vehicle you are not properly licensed or qualified for, and I don't want to see anyone have their fun spoiled by that right off the bat before they even get their new purchase home, especially when it can mean jail, huge fines and a lawsuit if there is an accident.

It's certainly not about whether I can make a few bucks doing so. I ask next to nothing for my time if asked, you can ask caplansail and Mandinee1, whom my knowledge saved an expensive engine rebuild. I am even willing to teach on delivery if the new owner has obtained a Class B learner's permit with the proper endorsements. The learner's permit isn't much to obtain, it's the actual license that takes more work. And with any luck, you can get the title changed before really needing to use it.

Never had an issue stuffing a NOT FOR HIRE, PERSONAL COACH sign in the window.. even had police officers talk to me and even a DOT officer on various trips.. never had one question whether i had a CDL or not.. you arent using for any commercial purpose.. the DMV in ohio has repeatedly told me if its not for commercial use CDL / DOT # isnt required.
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Old 11-17-2020, 08:07 AM   #13
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Never had an issue stuffing a NOT FOR HIRE, PERSONAL COACH sign in the window.. even had police officers talk to me and even a DOT officer on various trips.. never had one question whether i had a CDL or not.. you arent using for any commercial purpose.. the DMV in ohio has repeatedly told me if its not for commercial use CDL / DOT # isnt required.
That's because they CHOOSE not to give you a problem. It does not mean by any stretch of the imagination that they can't. The law SAYS they can.

G'head... Take a 77-passenger with air brakes that still has its seats and hasn't been reclassified through a weigh / inspection station, without a CDL. See what happens. You might get lucky. And then again, you might get an academy-fresh recruit with a hard-on, a Barney Fife complex, and something to prove with a quota to meet. God help you if any out-of-service violations are found.
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Old 11-17-2020, 08:11 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CHEESE_WAGON View Post
That's because they CHOOSE not to give you a problem. It does not mean by any stretch of the imagination that they can't. G'head... Take a 77-passenger with air brakes that still has its seats and hasn't been reclassified through a weigh / inspection station, see what happens. You might get lucky.

blown by weight stations with Long yellow busses many times and never had one even raise a finger or come out and say "you shoulda stopped".. been asked to show an insurance paper before in a yellow bus.. which I had because insuring it is obviously an important thing to do.


where are all the posts here of people being stopped and detained for not having CDLs driving their new yellow busses home from the auctions or dealers??


now canada could be a different story.. that place is worse than california
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Old 11-17-2020, 08:15 AM   #15
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blown by weight stations with Long yellow busses many times and never had one even raise a finger or come out and say "you shoulda stopped".. been asked to show an insurance paper before in a yellow bus.. which I had because insuring it is obviously an important thing to do.

where are all the posts here of people being stopped and detained for not having CDLs driving their new yellow busses home from the auctions or dealers??

now canada could be a different story.. that place is worse than california
Where have I said that it happens all the time? I'll wait. What I have said is that it CAN happen. Too many people have this mentality of not worrying about problems until they happen, or that it's not going to happen to them.

You assume because this person didn't have a problem, or that person didn't have a problem, or you didn't have a problem, that it's perfectly legal. And that, I've seen get people in trouble too many times. Guess what, unless it seats less than 16 and is under 26,0001 GVWR, until the seats are out and that title is changed to something other than 'BUS', it technically requires a CDL, no matter what it's being used for. Just because a cop gives you a pass doesn't mean he should have.

Also, just because the vehicle has been reclassified as an RV and is now exempt does not mean it should be. Would you feel comfortable with 17-year-old Buffy hopping in your 42-foot, 34,000-lb rig and taking off down the road?

Licensing requirements are in place for a reason. That reason being that proper training is required to operate vehicles of a certain class. Because the bigger the vehicle, the more dangerous it can be in untrained hands. That is why licensing requirements exist. But continue, keep arguing. One day you may be in a bad situation with the wrong cop on scene. Don't say I didn't warn you.
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Old 11-17-2020, 08:40 AM   #16
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It can happen, yes, but 99% of the time it doesn't. School buses typically fall under the jurisdiction of a seperate set of state DOT inspectors, whose sole job is to inspect school buses. So your normal DOT cops working the scale house and performing spot inspections don't or won't even give a bus a 2nd look, it's not in their jurisdiction. Crash the thing though, and all bets are off.

Should you have a cdl to drive your bus, most likely. That's because the average person will be clueless about all the things taught and tested for on a CDL course/test. Things like how weight affects stopping distance, air brake operation, and even the pre-trip inspection.

Do you absolutely need a cdl to drive the bus? Probably not and many people have driven across country without one and not a word from any LEO. I'd say more people have issues with their HOA's on here then with law enforcement.
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Old 11-17-2020, 11:32 AM   #17
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Wow, guys! Strong feelings.

If I were in my 20’s, I’d probably drive my bus home clueless, like most folks do. Many seem to have some breakdown horror stories, but make it home ok.

But I’m 60, more patient, and darn close to a high risk insurance category thanks to my kid’s fender bender’s. I live just north of NYC, so anywhere I drive I’m going through 3-4 different police jurisdictions. The largest vehicle I’ve driven was a UHAUL rental. The more I’ve read here, the more I’ve realized I don’t know. I didn’t plan to get a CDL, until I did some research and found the NY expects me to have one. My drive home would be 2,400 miles. My husband is an attorney.

Add it all up, and I’m in school for the CDL, and I’ve hired an experienced driver to do that trip. I do wish I’d done the CDL earlier so I could do the trip myself.

Barbara
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Old 11-17-2020, 01:37 PM   #18
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Class B non commercial for over 26,500 , The main point I would like to make, private vehicle under 16 passengers, Non commercial. It is like my license with motorcycle endorsement. But would have a class B endorsement

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Old 11-17-2020, 01:52 PM   #19
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It all boils down to state laws. Be sure of the laws before driving.
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Old 11-17-2020, 10:08 PM   #20
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I want to thank everyone. I have my CDL class B with Passenger & Air brake endorsements. California won't register or even give a temp because bus is to old for DOT emissions and Florida says no to temp Tag. I have Insurance lined up so I guess I'm stuck driving it home without plates.
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