Living in a Bus Step 3: License and Registration

Well, before I can start the actual renovations, I want to make sure everything on my bus is legal.  And I ran into a couple of snags in the process.  My first concern was whether or not I’d need a special license to drive the short bus and this is what I found out from streetdirectory.com:

“A bus will require a CDL permit if the bus weighs more than 26,000 lbs. GVWR. A bus will also require a CDL if it has more than 15 passengers (including the driver) regardless of the weight. A bus will require a (P) passenger endorsement along with the CDL if there are more than 15 passengers (including the driver). These are federal regulations.”

So I’m relieved to know I won’t need a special license. After that my friend raised some concerns about how I was going to insure this vehicle.  I hadn’t even considered that cars and motor homes require different insurance policies. So I contacted my insurance company and there was some confusion about how to insure this vehicle. They tried to insure it as a motor home initially, but they couldn’t get the paperwork to go through without photos and an appraisal.  Well, naturally I haven’t started any of the renovations yet, so there’s no point in getting an appraisal, so for now I have automotive insurance and I’m going to have to change that after the renovations are complete.

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I also forgot that in order to register my vehicle I would need certain documentation and let me tell you, that was a bit of an ordeal.  There’s nothing like realizing you’re behind on personal property taxes.  But, long story short, the bus passed inspection, so I’m delighted there were no initial repairs to be done.  And after making the short walk from the DMV to the courthouse to pay my personal property tax, I had everything I needed to register the vehicle: the title, proof of insurance, receipt for paid property taxes, and the money: 100 dollars even.

I was thrilled when it all went so smoothly, and then one of the DMV employees came over with a concerned look on her face and asked how much my bus weighed.  Well, I have no idea, but apparently, my license plates are for a truck and if the weight of my bus is over 6,000 pounds, I could get a big ticket.  I don’t think it’s quite there, but once it’s been completely renovated, I’m going to have to look into possibly changing the plates, and definitely changing the insurance policy.

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interior of the bus

But I’m not going to worry about that now. It’s time to start thinking about the electrical and water, but I can’t do that until I’ve determined the proper layout.  And that, my friends, is going to be a challenge!

Wish me luck!

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