Author Topic: Do you have a special license to drive your bus?  (Read 629 times)

Offline kenrely

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Do you have a special license to drive your bus?
« on: November 09, 2019, 02:18:17 PM »
Did you get a special license or endorsement to drive your bus? Can anyone point me in the right direction if Indiana requires a special license or not?

I just got a 102d3. I'm seeing mixed results if I need a CDL or chauffeur license before I re-title it to an RV. Even at the DMV there was some hesitation if I needed a CDL or not.

Offline Dave5Cs

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Re: Do you have a special license to drive your bus?
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2019, 02:38:03 PM »
If registered as an RV or MH motorhome and not owned by a business then a regular license is all you need. If you intend to make money with it or carry passengers then you do. :)
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Online richard5933

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Re: Do you have a special license to drive your bus?
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2019, 02:45:42 PM »
Did you get a special license or endorsement to drive your bus? Can anyone point me in the right direction if Indiana requires a special license or not?

I just got a 102d3. I'm seeing mixed results if I need a CDL or chauffeur license before I re-title it to an RV. Even at the DMV there was some hesitation if I needed a CDL or not.

If it's still registered/tagged as a bus you will need a class B CDL. If it still has passenger seats you will need a class B CDL, with a passenger endorsement.

When it's registered/titled/tagged as an RV, you would be fine to drive it with a regular drivers license.

I have a class B with passenger endorsement. Don't need it to drive my current bus - it's a motor home and registered/tagged as such. But, I keep it since there may be a day I see a seated coach I want to buy and then I'll need the CDL to be able to get it home.
Richard
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1964 GM PD4106-2412 (Former Bus)
Located in beautiful Wisconsin
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Offline Tom Y

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Re: Do you have a special license to drive your bus?
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2019, 03:00:08 PM »
What state?  In Pa you need a class B for a motor home with air brakes.
Tom Yaegle

Online richard5933

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Re: Do you have a special license to drive your bus?
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2019, 03:03:04 PM »
OP mentioned Indiana.

Richard
1974 GMC P8M4108a-125 (Custom Coach "Land Cruiser")
1964 GM PD4106-2412 (Former Bus)
Located in beautiful Wisconsin
KD9GRB

Offline windtrader

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Re: Do you have a special license to drive your bus?
« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2019, 03:35:16 PM »
Many states permit converted buses to be driven with a passenger car license. Doesn't seem right to me. The driver and the bus are going to behave the same whether it has a kitchen or seats. A bus is a monster rolling vehicle, operating and behaving vastly different than a subcompact car. All states should require a proper license for anyone driving a converted bus.

That said, the safety/accident record apparently does not indicate an abnormal incident rates for converted buses. My suspicion is there are so few on the road and so few (relatively) actual miles driven, there isn't sufficient data for actuaries to change ratings.
Don F
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Online richard5933

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Re: Do you have a special license to drive your bus?
« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2019, 05:35:42 PM »
Many states permit converted buses to be driven with a passenger car license. ..

Except it sounds like this one is not yet converted. Until it is registered as a motor home, it's a risk to drive without the proper license.

I agree - it is scary that anyone can drive a bus if it's called a motor home. But I feel the same way about people being able to buy a 50,000 lb 45-foot class A, get in a drive it home with no training or licensing required beyond what's needed to drive a compact car. Crazy.
Richard
1974 GMC P8M4108a-125 (Custom Coach "Land Cruiser")
1964 GM PD4106-2412 (Former Bus)
Located in beautiful Wisconsin
KD9GRB

Offline David Anderson

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Re: Do you have a special license to drive your bus?
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2019, 05:56:37 PM »
You need to check with your Indiana state DMV.  It could be easy (like it was for me in Texas) or a difficult adventure to get it classified as a motor home.  Be prepared to be on the phone for quite a while.  Your query will befuddle just about every civil servant you talk to.  Take notes and you may have to call back and start over with someone else and carefully rephrase your questions until you get some satisfactory answers to get your rig classified as an RV.  Emphasize with the guy on the phone it will never be a bus again, never be a commercial vehicle again.  It will be an RV for you and your wife to sit by at the most beautiful National Parks in the USA. ;D

Be diligent.  You can make it happen. 
David

Offline Jim Blackwood

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Re: Do you have a special license to drive your bus?
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2019, 09:11:59 PM »
Ken, what year is your bus? (Incidentally, get in the habit of calling it your RV or Motorhome, NEVER refer to it at the DMV as a Bus) In many states, after 25 years it is eligible for Historic tags and can then be driven on a regular driver's license. A useful little dodge. Mine's a '96 so it becomes eligible the first of the year and for that reason I've held off on registering it. Changing the registration status from bus to RV can be tricky.

Yours is the 40ft one? What year, what condition, and where are you located?

Jim
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Offline TomC

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Re: Do you have a special license to drive your bus?
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2019, 09:54:34 PM »
At least in Commifornia, if you have a 3 axle house car that is up to 40ft long, you can drive it with a Class C license-and pull up to a 10,000lb trailer behind. Doesn't matter if it is Diesel, or has air brakes.
But over 40ft, you need a class B non commercial license and you're (theoretically) restricted to truck routes. Do figure! Good Luck, TomC
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Online richard5933

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Re: Do you have a special license to drive your bus?
« Reply #10 on: November 10, 2019, 04:46:19 AM »
Changing a registration from bus to RV in many states has actually gotten easier than it used to be, at least by the accounts I've read and my personal experience.

Usually you just need X number of house features out of a list they provide. Things like toilet, cooking appliance, beds, food storage, etc. Get the list from your state, install the required number of house features, and then get any necessary inspections to verify.

In some states, like Wisconsin, no inspection is needed. You just fill out the form to change registration and they'll change your title. When you do this they read you a big warning that if you're stopped by a trooper and the vehicle is found to be registered incorrectly you'll receive a hefty fine.

In other states, you have to have a trooper inspect to verify that the required changes have been made. He/she then signs off on the form. Once that is done you submit, pay the fee, and get the registration changed.

If you research this and find out what's required, then do what's required, it's not that big of a deal.

One big caveat - if you go to the DMV and get a black stare, stop the conversation. You're not going to get anywhere if the person doesn't know what you're talking about. Politely ask to speak to a supervisor or someone that knows the specifics about changing a registration type.

Once the registration is changed, I agree with the earlier posts. Never mention the word 'bus' to either the DMV or your insurance company when talking about your motor home. Once the registration is changed, it becomes a motor home and stops being a bus. Use the word 'bus' and everyone gets freaked out.
Richard
1974 GMC P8M4108a-125 (Custom Coach "Land Cruiser")
1964 GM PD4106-2412 (Former Bus)
Located in beautiful Wisconsin
KD9GRB

Offline buswarrior

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Re: Do you have a special license to drive your bus?
« Reply #11 on: November 10, 2019, 05:32:04 AM »
The trick in changing the purpose of the vehicle is to tap into the terminology used in your jurisdiction.

What words get used, what process is it related to?

The same screens that allow a truck to have it's ratings changed may have that other, never used, tick box for changing use or purpose of the vehicle...

(for instance, perhaps a different axle installed on a truck or trailer, weight rating to be changed, this is something they likely know, gets them closer in the computer to where to make other changes)

If they don't know how to fix a truck, they aren't the right clerk to fix your coach.

Happy coaching!
Buswarrior

Frozen North, Greater Toronto Area

Offline belfert

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Re: Do you have a special license to drive your bus?
« Reply #12 on: November 10, 2019, 05:49:38 PM »
Ken, what year is your bus? (Incidentally, get in the habit of calling it your RV or Motorhome, NEVER refer to it at the DMV as a Bus) In many states, after 25 years it is eligible for Historic tags and can then be driven on a regular driver's license. A useful little dodge. Mine's a '96 so it becomes eligible the first of the year and for that reason I've held off on registering it. Changing the registration status from bus to RV can be tricky.

Minnesota says you can’t get collector plates for an RV.  The state statutes don’t say anything about RVs being ineligible for collector plates.  You are required to have another vehicle registered with standard plates.

The state Vehicle Services folks told me an RV is not eligible as vehicles used for general use are not eligible.  Nothing in the state statute says anything about general use, but it does say the vehicle must be used exclusively as a collector’s vehicle.

I haven’t done anything more about getting collector plates yet.
Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN

Offline buswarrior

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Re: Do you have a special license to drive your bus?
« Reply #13 on: November 10, 2019, 07:37:43 PM »
Collector or Historical plates usually have defined restrictions in the vehicle's use, in exchange for the often discounted licensing fee. Same for the insurance programs that go with this.

Typical camper use rarely fits the criteria.

Again, imbalanced reporting online, nobody brags they got caught in a jamb.

The Revenuers want their full licensing fees.

happy coaching!
buswarrior
Frozen North, Greater Toronto Area

Offline Jim Blackwood

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Re: Do you have a special license to drive your bus?
« Reply #14 on: November 11, 2019, 09:29:01 AM »
I've had historic tags on my sports car for decades now and they have never hampered me. Nobody has ever questioned them, but if they did I can always say I'm on the way to a meet (which can be small and impromptu), or taking it out for service or a test drive, or relocating it. The bus will be driven much less than the car is. When it is driven it will either be for a distance (meet, show or relocation) or for a test drive, both of which are covered. So I don't foresee a problem.

Jim
Information, without Knowledge, is useless.