How to register your skoolie
So you’ve found your dream school bus, congratulations! Now you need registration for your skoolie. Since your school bus is probably titled as a commercial school bus, you’ll need to re-title it into a motorhome to make your insurance and driver’s license requirements easier. For example, if you keep the bus titled commercial, you may need a CDL driver’s license to legally drive it. CDL courses can run up to $6000, yikes! However, if you retitle your bus into a motorhome, you might not even need a license upgrade to legally drive!
Click here to see if you need a license upgrade in your state!
Each state varies on requirements for transferring a commercial or personal vehicle into a motorhome. Some common requirements are as follows: stationary bed, toilet, sink with running water and adequate drainage, and/or electricity. Check your local state DMV requirements for a complete list.
The Vermont Registration Method
This is a legendary loop hole to re-title your school bus into a motorhome, and we should all tip our hats to beautiful Vermont for making it so easy on us. The way I understand it, each state has its own laws and regulations surrounding vehicle registration requirements. In Vermont, you do not need to be a resident to register or retitle a vehicle – so – you can send in a copy of your bill of sale, and title, with a completed re-title form (link) and applicable payment to cover your fees, and they will send you back a new Vermont motorhome title with license plates and registration tags good for one or two years (depending on your choice).
To learn more about the vermont registration method, check out the detailed post on the Skoolie.net forums here! This is a great group of people and the holy grail of skoolie conversion information.
The catch is that most states require you to register new vehicles in the state within 30 days. So for example, in our home state of Nevada we are required to register new vehicles within 30 days. So I can take my Vermont motorhome title to the Nevada DMV and re-register the vehicle as a Nevada motorhome, hopefully avoiding the headache-ridden inspections that usually accompany a commercial to motorhome title change.
For some of us living on the road full-time, we may not necessarily have to re-title in our home state until we return. We have been on the road since completing our build and have not had to re-title in our home state and will not need to until we return from our trip.
You will always need insurance to be on the road legally, so once you retitle your bus to a motorhome, you’ll need to find valid motorhome insurance in your state. This can present its own share of headaches, so click here to get some tips on how to find insurance for your school bus.