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Author Topic: Is anyone running antique tags on their older buses?  (Read 3468 times)
Barn Owl
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« on: September 01, 2006, 09:54:06 PM »

Is anyone running antique tags on their older buses? After looking at the law for the state of VA it seems to be the way to go. It looks like it would save a lot of money. Does anyone have any pros or cons in doing this?

Thanks
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« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2006, 10:22:09 PM »

Yes. In North Dakota, if a vehicle is 40 years young, it is eligible for pioneer plates. There is a one time fee for a  lifetime license. Our bus, 1958 Flxible Starliner, is licensed that way. I don't know of any negatives for doing it that way, but it saves some money and hassle.

Wayne
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Dallas
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« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2006, 03:21:30 AM »

I also have ND Pioneer plates and have driven thousands of miles on them. Our bus is a 52 GMC PD4103.

The only drawback I've found is that if we stay in one place too long the localgovernment wants us to change to the registration of the state we're in. We keep an address in ND so that we continue to have citizenship.

To add one more thing, Our insurance through GMAC is $96/year for liability.


Dallas
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Happycampersrus
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« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2006, 04:48:32 AM »

Barn Owl,

The DMV down here in Galax, Va. wouldn't let me have them, because my bus was titled as a motorhome. If you get them let me know.

Dale
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TomC
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« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2006, 07:39:59 AM »

At first I thought you were talking about tag axles.  Funny how tags is an east coast expression.  We call them license plates and the little yearly registation sticker is the license tag.  I remember running into that the first time I drove to the east coast and gave them the number off the registration tag with them scratching their heads trying to figure out the numbers.  But-right and left coasts are definitely different.  Good Luck, TomC
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« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2006, 10:38:56 AM »

I live in Va. (barely) also- and from the top of my head, I recall there being two different sets of old tags available: Antique and historic.

Both, having different year cut-offís and mileage limitations.

I think I was leaning to the historic because of cost and availability
But, I recall one is not available as a personalized plate.

The wife is doing the research and contacted Richmond, so when she gets a reply/forms, Iíll give an update-

On a side note: I run "Farm Use" tags on my service truck, my bucket truck, and my dump body. This is the cheapest and easiest way to go, but the mileage limitations wouldn't be practical for a coach, and probably skirting the legality of the law as it's written.


Cheers..
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belfert
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« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2006, 11:43:00 AM »

Craig Shepard has collector plates on his bus.  Minnesota is 20 years old and you have to have another vehicle licensed.  $25 lifetime.  $277 a year otherwise.

The Minnesota DMV website says RVs cannot have collector plates, but the actual law doesn't say that.  Craig had to work hard to get his collector plate as it was rejected at least once.

Brian Elfert
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WEC4104
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« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2006, 02:02:39 PM »

Here in PA, I have an antique car, and two other cars wearing "Classic" plates (15+ yrs old).  But I have decided not to pursue antique plates for my '59.    The fact that my current plate states "Motorhome" has proved helpful in resolving questions about my exact vehicle classification. This has helped me clarify which highway toll or parking fee I should be paying. In short, it quickly shows the fact that I am a non-commercial vehicle, and only subject to the same rules as stick & staples.

Wayne
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Greg Paciga (S.Ga)
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« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2006, 06:37:16 PM »

I had tried to get them here in Georgia. It was a catch 22 situation though. If I were registering my 9 as a 'BUS" no problem. But them I had to have a special Drivers licence and insurance would have been next to impossible to pay for. But since I have to register my coach as an RV antigue plates aren't available.

GO FIGURE!!!  Huh Huh
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« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2006, 06:40:37 PM »

Greg, great to see you posting again. Any more adventure stories for us? LOL
Richard
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« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2006, 07:07:07 PM »

The problem in  Arkansas is that an antique is limited to 2500 miles a year so that lets me out. I never asked if a motorhome qualifies, don't see why not if the mileage is ok.

I have a bunch of other vehicles with Antique plates though, saves me a bundle.
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Greg Paciga (S.Ga)
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« Reply #11 on: September 03, 2006, 04:35:48 AM »

Greg, great to see you posting again. Any more adventure stories for us? LOL
Richard

Yea. I'll tell you about my trip up to Chicago last year. Lost a radiator in...LOUIVILLE, KY of all places.
I'll see if I can't draft up a quick summery of that nighmare. LOL
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Don't think your going to do a conversion overnight. I did and 4 years later I'm still only 85% done. LOL† SmileySmiley

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JerryH
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« Reply #12 on: September 03, 2006, 06:44:37 AM »

Pennsylvania is pretty specific regarding the use of Antique or Collector plates.

http://www.dot10.state.pa.us/pdotforms/fact_sheets/fs-ant.pdf

* Occassional use is one requirement -- no more than "once" a week.
* Buses may not transport passengers.

So in PA, unless I were going to use the bus solo one day a week, I don't see how it would work for me.

Jerry H.

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Slow Rider
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« Reply #13 on: October 01, 2006, 07:54:54 PM »

Barn Owl,

I would check carefully before putting antique tags on the bus.† I have a friend who just put antique tags on his vett.† One of the limitations was he could be no more than 250 miles from home unless he was attending a car show.† A definite show stopper for a bus.

Frank
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Hartley
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« Reply #14 on: October 02, 2006, 08:30:38 PM »

Private coach plates ( motorhome)  in Florida are around $50 a year. Why go through all the hassle trying to be different
with a limited use license tag. Why not just order a personalized license plate and be done with it.?

Oh.. Yeah.. 2-axles is a Motorhome, 3-Axles is a Private Coach if you follow the "book"....

As in everything else, Keep it simple.... The chance of causing yourself excessive grief by asking too many questions or
providing too much information may cause the price to go way up.

Sorry... Just saw that message about a tag costing $277 a year.... ( sounds like a commercial plate to me..) Embarrassed
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oldmansax
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« Reply #15 on: October 03, 2006, 06:11:03 AM »

I tagged mine in Montanna. They let you buy permanent tags for motorhomes over 10 (I think) years old. You have to set up an LLC. There are bunches of people who will do that for you & guide you through the process. No inspection & no taxes. Whole deal costs around $1200, depending on who you deal with. Tags are permanent. Insurance cost me $125 year; and the nicest part...IT'S ALL LEGAL!  Grin  I used Business Tech on the web. Nice people. BTW, I am in no way affiliated with them.
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gumpy
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« Reply #16 on: October 03, 2006, 07:07:47 AM »

Sorry... Just saw that message about a tag costing $277 a year.... ( sounds like a commercial plate to me..) Embarrassed

No, was not a commercial plate. It was a legitimate mororhome plate.

In MN, RV license taxes based on weight. Passenger, non-commercial vehicle license taxes are based on age or value or something else. I was paying $39 to license my pickup (the only good think Jackass Ventura did for this state) which I drive 20K miles a year. I was paying $279 to license my RV (Jackass didn't own an RV, but I understand personal watercraft are really cheap to register now) which I drive maybe 5K a year. The state statutes allow any vehicle over 20 years old to be licensed as a collector vehicle if it's "used for collector purposes" and you have another vehicle licensed for every day use. There's no definition on what constitutes "used for collector purposes", but I challenge anyone to argue that we do anything different with our buses than a guy building a '57 chevy does. We take them to shows (we call them rallys) and give tours to all our friends. We have clubs we belong to. We have dedicated web forums to discuss our buses. We drive them around the neighborhood swelling with pride. See the similarities here?

The law in MN does not exclude motorhomes from obtaining collector plates, but the people in the state office have decided that motorhomes don't (or shouldn't) qualify, presumably because it cheats them out of all that extra tax revenue. So on initial application, they reject it with a brief explaination that motorhomes don't qualify (but they don't refund all your money). However, when pressed, if you can actually get them to answer the phone (there's a trick to that, too, but that's another story), they can't point to anything in the law that excludes motorhomes, and eventually, they have to give in and issue the collector plate registration because they have no basis on which to deny it. But, the next time someone goes in to register their bus conversion as a collector vehicle, guess what? Denied. I even tried to get an opinion about the law from the State Attorney General, but guess what, they don't work for us "citizens" and are prohibited by law from offering an opinion about the law to a private citizen. You read that right. They represent the state, not the people. Their job is to represent the state in a lawsuit and would offer an opinion to the motor vehicles division only if asked to do so by the motor vehicles division, but there's no way you can get the motor vehicles division to ask for that opinion unless you sue the state. Ya gotta love government! Of the people, by the people, certainly not for the people!

It actually got to be pretty comical talking to the woman at the state office because when she finally called me back to tell me that they had approved it, she told me that, "Yes, your bus conversion does qualify for collectors plates, but if you take it to your rallys, and sleep in it, you could be ticketed because then it falls under the definition of a motorhome." "Huh? You just told me that RVs qualify for collector plates."  "Yes, they do, but if you sleep in it, then it falls under the definition of a motorhome, and you could be ticketed if you sleep in it." I led her around this circle of logic a couple of times and gave up. Then she said, "You do know that if you registered it as a bus, you can still get collectors plates?"  Long pause....  "Are you telling me that if I registered it as a bus, and put collector plates on it, and took it to a rally and slept in it, that would be legal, but registering it as a motorhome and sleeping in it is not legal?"  "That's right."  I didn't even try to unwrap that thought pattern, but I did have to ask, "But wouldn't I then need a CDL to drive it?", to which she replied, "Yes, you would."  Yeah, I'll consider that..... for about 1/2 a second!

What's even more interesting is the new registration doesn't have anything on it that says it's a motorhome or RV.

Every state is different in how their laws are written regarding licensing and how they are interpreted by those in the state offices. Some states have mileage restrictions. Some have other limitations. You have to understand your own states laws and be willing to fight for a proper interpretation. However, because of reciprocity, if it's legal in the state where you live and register it, then it's accepted in all other states.

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Craig Shepard
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H3Jim
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« Reply #17 on: October 03, 2006, 08:16:27 AM »

Oldmansax,

Montana has a state website, and if you go to the Secretary of State section you can do your own LLC, costs $75.  One page form, very simple. I think all the states  have this.  You don't really need an attorney.
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« Reply #18 on: October 03, 2006, 08:31:41 AM »

It's no doubt of no relevance to the original question, but the taxation and licencing suitation for a bus conversion here is equally confusing. I repeatedly get asked "Are you allowed to drive it?" by people who see my bus, and the question is not as silly as it seems. The basic rule that everyone knows and understands in the UK is that if you have a traditional car driving licence you are allowed to drive any vehicle up to 7.5 tons. I say 'traditional' licence because new driving licences issued now are more restrictive, and require you to pass extra tests to drive anything bigger than a car, or even tow a trailer(!)

So, people believe that 'car' drivers cannot drive anything over 7.5 tons, but in fact that applies only to goods vehicles, so you can drive a bus (as long as it does not have more than six seats or two axles) of any weight as it does not qualify as a goods vehicle.

So you go out any buy a bus or coach, and take the seats out. Then you are in a quandry because you cannot tax it; bus tax costs more than car tax, but more importantly the 'roadworthiness test' (known as the MOT test) is much stricter for a bus (as you would expect with a vehicle in public service). Firstly, a bus without seats etc would not pass the test anyway, and secondly they would not issue a bus MOT to an individual who doesn't hold a PSV licence. (As an aside, one of the reasons I was very happy when I bought my bus was the fact that it had just come out of service, and it had a thick file of paperwork relating to all the tests and inspections it had been through every 8 weeks for the last few years).

So you either have a vehicle you can tax but not drive, or one you can drive but not tax. The answer is to get it re-classified into a different taxation class, so it then is treated as though it was a regular motorhome. Unfortunately, this is not just a 'paperwork' excercise - the vehicle has to be taken to a government inspection centre, where they go over it with a fine-tooth comb, and (hopefully) issue it with a whole new identity (just like when you've built a kit car for instance). Unfortunately (again) they won't carry out the inspection until any conversion work is finished, so if you are in the position that I am now (ie with a partially converted vehicle) you cannot legally drive it. I personally regard the inflexibilty and illogicality of the law in this situation to be sufficient justification to simply ignore the rules until such time as I can obey them (ie, when the conversion is finished).

Jeremy
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« Reply #19 on: October 03, 2006, 09:59:57 AM »

I personally regard the inflexibilty and illogicality of the law in this situation to be sufficient justification to simply ignore the rules until such time as I can obey them (ie, when the conversion is finished).

I'd like to be there when you argue that one in front of the magistrate!   Cheesy

I'm glad to hear we're not the only country with stupid rules being interpreted by stupid people.

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Craig Shepard
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« Reply #20 on: October 03, 2006, 12:29:18 PM »

Here in NY, I have historic plates on a SEATED 1967 GM SDM5302.† If I ever decide to "convert" it, I would have to change insurance and registration in order to be legal.† When applyying for insurance they ask for photos of exterior on all side and interior, which must be as bus was originally manufactured.

Charles Seaton
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