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Author Topic: Buses and NC Vehicle Safety Inspection  (Read 6152 times)
NCbob
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« on: June 16, 2006, 07:35:16 AM »

The topic of "House Car" inspection in NC came up a while back on one of the boards and while this is an issue for us in NC I thought
I'd throw it out there because some of the other states might have similar laws.

Here in NC if a vehicle, whether it be a car or a 'House Car', is over 35 years old (as my MC5A is) it is exempt from the NC vehicle Inspection.  The recommendations are though, that you print out and carry a copy of the regulation for the 'harness bull' who might stop you and question the lack of an Inspection sticker in the window.

If anyone need Chapter & Verse I'll be glad to furnish it.

FWIW

NCbob
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« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2006, 08:25:26 AM »

Hi Bob,

The problem I have is finding a place to inspect it.  I suppose the big RV places could, but they are always so backed-up with their own work.  I'm just not going to worry about it.  I've asked several police officers and they didn't even know that my bus needed to be inspected.  If I get busted, then I'll get an inspection.  I would be interested in the info you have on it, though.

David
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tomhamrick
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« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2006, 01:39:23 PM »

I just had a NC inspection sticker placed on my Eagle at the Speedy Lube that does my cars. Just check with the places that do inspections and you will find one to pick you on a sticker.
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Tom Hamrick
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NCbob
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« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2006, 04:06:45 PM »

Sent you the info I have Dave...and BB too.  Will forward it to anyone interested.  Just send me an E-mail.

Bob
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« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2006, 07:32:43 PM »

i lived there 27 yrs and never had a problem getting the bus inspected, i just take it to the same place that does the cars. easy to find somebody just ask, wish i was back there again
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« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2006, 07:35:36 PM »

Hi Bob,

The problem I have is finding a place to inspect it. I suppose the big RV places could, but they are always so backed-up with their own work. I'm just not going to worry about it. I've asked several police officers and they didn't even know that my bus needed to be inspected. If I get busted, then I'll get an inspection. I would be interested in the info you have on it, though.

David

I'm interested in what you find.  I called all the major RVs around here and no one did air brakes.  Big trucks don't get NC inspections, they get DOT inspections...but the truck guys said they won't do DOT inspections on private vehicles.   I know, lots of large RVs have air brakes.  My friends new 05 Itasca Meridian doesn't have an inspection sticker on it.
NC inspections on a diesel powerd vehicle is what...$9.10?    Somehow something doesn't compute...and if I wait long enough, someone will sort it out for me.   I've been stopped by DOT and they didn't give a rats behind about safety inspections or anything else on a private coach.  They didn't realize is was private until they stopped me.  
I don't even have that on the side of the coach.  However, most large RVs don't have it stuck on the sides either.  
We are a motorcycle North Carolina inspection station, and my guys go thru the same training as the automotive inspectors.  Air brakes are not covered in the course.  Autos don't do motorcycles, and we don't do cars or trucks.  
There is more to this I know....??  I've been driving around in my 87 MC9 for 5 years now, and may get gigged the next time I use it, but so far, no one wants to do it, and I've been told that no one will.  
Whatever turns up on this subject, I'm interested.   If I get caught and cited, I suppose they suggest who to take it to for an inspection?  
Cheers, JR
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JR Lynch , Charlotte, NC
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NCbob
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« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2006, 02:21:54 AM »

If you stop and think about it, JR, there isn't a brake test for automobiles either.  Just the lights, wipers, horn, turn signals, etc.
Get out the inspection sheet for your car and you'll realize, as I did, that it's a simple safety inspection (except for the counties which have emmision tests).  I had no problem getting mine done at a local tire dealer.

In fact he's the one who brought to my attention the fact that my bus, being over 35 years old, could be exempt from inspection.

On the DOT (or Federal Tag) you can buy the application at most truck stops and do your own inspection.

Perhaps I pushed the envelope too far in having mine inspected but I'm the type of person who will go a looong way out of the way to
stay within the Law.  I don't wish to be inconvenienced by some overzealous DMV type when I'm traveling.  It didn't take that much effort other than checking to see that everything was operating as it should...which we all should be doing anyway.

NCbob
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« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2006, 08:00:10 AM »

On the DOT (or Federal Tag) you can buy the application at most truck stops and do your own inspection.
NCbob

Bob, you are correct on buying and filling out your own Federal Annual Inspection Sticker. However then you have to prove that the person filling it out (you) is legally qualified to do the inspection, and how you are qualified, inspection training course, X #  of years with hands on experience, etc. Also if any item fails when someone who is certified to do a Federal Inspection, they are required by law to make the repair before continuing with the inspection! I know this from personal experience from owning trucks and having to pay for repairs I didn't even realize were needed when picking up a truck from having it inspected! (That's when I went and got myself certified to do my own! Using the yrs of hands on experience as my qualification) So if you have a state that requires a "State Inspection" you are better off getting a qualified state inspector to do it (if they find a problem they are allowed to let you take it home or wherever and get it repaired up to 3 times before failing it, verses the "Fed's" must be repaired immediately, by the inspector! And if you don't live in a state requiring an inspection keep your coach in tip top shape and happy motoring because a Federal Inspection is not required for a private coach! BK
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Busted Knuckle aka Bryce Gaston
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« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2006, 08:26:01 AM »

Bryce....Does TN have a state inspection?  Is a PITA to get a bus conversion done.  It's kind of a pain here unless you know someone.
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« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2006, 08:32:49 AM »

Bryce....Does TN have a state inspection?  Is a PITA to get a bus conversion done.  It's kind of a pain here unless you know someone.

Ross we's simple people here in TN!  In other words naw we ain't got no stink'n state inspection, of course we gots a lot of junkers on the road too! But it helps the wreckers stay busy! LOL! BK
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Busted Knuckle aka Bryce Gaston
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« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2006, 08:51:36 AM »

Bryce....Does TN have a state inspection?  Is a PITA to get a bus conversion done.  It's kind of a pain here unless you know someone.

Ross we's simple people here in TN!  In other words naw we ain't got no stink'n state inspection, of course we gots a lot of junkers on the road too! But it helps the wreckers stay busy! LOL! BK

Man...No inspection, no state income tax, NO SNOW....What am I waiting for....Smiley
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Busted Knuckle
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« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2006, 01:16:04 PM »

Quote
Ross we's simple people here in TN!  In other words naw we ain't got no stink'n state inspection, of course we gots a lot of junkers on the road too! But it helps the wreckers stay busy! LOL! BK
Quote
Man...No inspection, no state income tax, NO SNOW....What am I waiting for....Smiley
Quote

That's what I was think'n but hey, if I speak too much too loud we'll have everybody try'n to come down here!LOL! BK Roll Eyes Cool Grin
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Busted Knuckle aka Bryce Gaston
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« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2006, 06:32:41 PM »

Quote
Ross we's simple people here in TN!  In other words naw we ain't got no stink'n state inspection, of course we gots a lot of junkers on the road too! But it helps the wreckers stay busy! LOL! BK
Quote
Man...No inspection, no state income tax, NO SNOW....What am I waiting for....Smiley
Quote

That's what I was think'n but hey, if I speak too much too loud we'll have everybody try'n to come down here!LOL! BK Roll Eyes Cool Grin

Now if I can just get a real estate agent to call me back, I'll be all set.  I don't think they are taking me seriously.  My house goes on the market in two weeks and I'd like to get a deposit down a new place fairly soon.
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« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2006, 07:06:29 PM »

Ross you should look around in our area we're about the same distance from Memphis as we are Nashville! Nice area close to KY and I guarantee you can find a place you'll like with a building to yer liking and our real estate people like anyones $ cause it's all $ to them! LOL! Might be worth your time to look in our area I-69 is gonna come thru soon and my shop sits in the middle of the north bound lanes, so I'll be look'n again when it happens but I ain't in no hurry and when it does I'll find another place nearby and hopefully build a shop to my specs! It wouldn't hurt ya to look ! BK
 Roll Eyes Grin Cool
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Busted Knuckle aka Bryce Gaston
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« Reply #14 on: June 17, 2006, 07:25:10 PM »

Can you pull a couple of agents out the phone book and post thier numbers?  I'll probably take a trip to TN soon and line up as many properties to look at as I can.  I'll probably fly out, rent a car and spend 3 or 4 days looking around.
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« Reply #15 on: June 17, 2006, 07:40:35 PM »

Yeah I can do that let me check around and see who everyone recommends and I'll pass that and a couple of others in also ! BK Grin
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Busted Knuckle aka Bryce Gaston
KY Lakeside Travel's Busted Knuckle Garage
Huntingdon, TN 12 minutes N of I-40 @ exit 108
www.kylakesidetravel.net

Grin Keep SMILING it makes people wonder what yer up to! Grin (at least thats what momma always told me! Grin)
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« Reply #16 on: June 19, 2006, 10:38:55 AM »

OK all peoples that own bus conversions and live in NC.  After much difficulty I've found that our buses do indeed need NC safety inspections.  The inspection must be done by an inspection station that is "Heavy" certified.  The bus must be inside the facility when said inspection takes place, and there is definitely a brake exam module.   
Rapidly leaking air systems will knock your inspection out,.  Other failures: horns, brakes, park brake, lighting, wipers, tires, suspension components, steering, muffler, glass, ad infinitum.   There is no emission test on any diesel in North Carolina. 
I have a link that will show who's certified to do a bus inspection in a chosen county.  http://apps.dot.state.nc.us/dmv/emissions/piedmontRegion.aspx
Here's the whole North Carolina map      http://apps.dot.state.nc.us/dmv/emissions/
The link is to NCDMV.  I am in the Peidmont Region, and you'll notice that there is only ONE inspection station in Union County!  Only 4 I believe in all of the GREAT STATE OF MECKLENBURG.   If the link doesn't work, just search for NCDMV.   
I do not understand why the state doesn't pickup the title/inspection relationship on RVs.  Motorcycles also don't get letters in the mail to remind one that their state inspection has expired.
But they don't.  If a car inspection goes out, you'll get a letter indicating such quickly.   I've had my bus titled for 5 years now and never had it inspected.  I may do it one of these days. 
If an automotive inspection station inspects an air brake equipped unit, that wouldn't fit into their inspection area (inside), and for which they are not certified, they are assuming a good bit of liability if something happens that's safety related and causes a wreck.   It wouldn't have to be their fault... Some inspection stations don't know the difference...and some state employees don't either.   One told me I could take it anywhere that inspected cars,  but I found that such is not the case at all.   Only heavy truck inspection stations can inspect our coaches. 
One thing is for certain, the inspection is no longer a money making project for anyone...unless you repair the vehicles that fail the inspection.    Only OBDII gasoline powered vehicles (96 and up) are emissions tested.   
Enjoy, JR
 
« Last Edit: June 19, 2006, 10:40:32 AM by NJT5047 » Logged

JR Lynch , Charlotte, NC
87 MC9, 6V92TA DDEC, HT748R ATEC

"Every government interference in the economy consists of giving an unearned benefit, extorted by force, to some men at the expense of others.”

Ayn Rand
NCbob
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« Reply #17 on: June 19, 2006, 11:49:06 AM »

JR, you need to be commended for doing a yeoman's job of ferreting out the information for those of us who live in NC.

The surprising part of what the State Map offers is the virtual absence of shops qualified to do bus inspections.  In all of what is considered Western NC there are so few I could count them on both hands.  The closest on is Hendersonville and it's a paint and Body shop!

The information you posted doesn't tell us if there's any difference in the color of the sticker considered Heavy Duty.  Do you have that info?  I didn't see it on the State site and it might be of value if we are stopped by the DMV for some minor infraction.

I'll keep searching and post any findings I might come across.  Thanks again!

NCbob
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NCbob
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« Reply #18 on: June 19, 2006, 12:27:50 PM »

Perhaps this will help shed some more light on this topic.  Taking JR's point on this I called one the few places licensed by the State of NC to to "Heavy Duty" inspections and they told me that any RV built prior to 1971 does NOT require inspection.  And the shop owner I spoke with could not tell me if there was a different windshied sticker for automobiles and light trucks (currently yellow) and  the Heavy Duty Classification.  Huh

Since I already have mine, although it was done by a shop not considered to be qualified by the Gods in Raleigh, should I be stopped I will point out to the arresting...er.... inquiring Officer that I had it inspected in spite of the fact that it is exempt from Inspection because it was built prior to 1971.  Wink

It just proves what lengths BusNuts will go to just to stay safe and legal.

Anyone wishing to assist with bail money can contact me at my posted Email address.  Grin

NCbob
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NJT5047
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« Reply #19 on: June 19, 2006, 02:01:15 PM »

Sorry, but I have no idea what the "Heavy" stickers look like.  I can find out.  You won't get nailed for whatever sticker you have affixed to your window.  The inspection station is supposed to know the rules...although, anyone that goes through the NC safety inspector's training course will not be exposed to the "heavy" concept. 
The only problem with the wrong sticker may occur if the inspector "gave" an owner a sticker so the owner could sticker their own coach...this is patently illegal, but happens regularly in NC.  The shop owner might not realize what the sticker is going on. 
As long as the inspection station affixes the inspection sticker to your bus, you have no exposure.  He does.  He just certified that your coach is in a safe operating condition.   And it may well be. 
Bob, your coach will soon be eligible for a "Horseless Carriage" tag.   Antique you know.  Any vehicle over 35 years old does not require an NC Safety Inspection.  They are exempt.   
I'll let you know what the sticker looks like. 
Cheers, JR
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JR Lynch , Charlotte, NC
87 MC9, 6V92TA DDEC, HT748R ATEC

"Every government interference in the economy consists of giving an unearned benefit, extorted by force, to some men at the expense of others.”

Ayn Rand
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« Reply #20 on: June 19, 2006, 03:43:33 PM »

It's the same way here.  The shop has to be approved for heavy equipment and has to be able to get the rig in his shop.  That makes a total of about...ummm...one place to get a sticker unless you go to Concord and pay the big buck.  You see, they don't just charge a flat fee for a sticker.  They charge by the hour anmd if you get a slow mechanic, that can add up.  The of the guys at the shop was bragging the other day about how they stabbed a guy for 8 hours on an inspection...At $60 per hour.

The way to get around this, of course, is to have a mechanic in your back pocket.  Same thing with airplanes.  Before buying I always make sure I have a mechanic lined up who will sign my logs when I do maintanance and repairs. 
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NCbob
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« Reply #21 on: June 19, 2006, 04:21:33 PM »

Not meaning to be argumentitive, JR, but my bus already qualifies for "Horseless Carriage" tag....it was built in 1968!  I just mentioned that buses built before 1971 were exempt.  Not only am I an antique...so's my bus! Grin

The bus can consume all the diesel fuel I can buy....but she can't handle 1/10 of the Jack I can drink! Roll Eyes

NCbob
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« Reply #22 on: June 19, 2006, 04:35:53 PM »

Bob,

I was checking on the Florida "Antique or Horseless Carriage" designation and you can't do any vehicle over 5000 lbs unless it is

for parade purposes only,  like a military vehicle. Shocked

Is NC also like that?

Cliff
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NCbob
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« Reply #23 on: June 19, 2006, 05:04:23 PM »

Y'know Cliff...I can't answer that.  Like JR, I've spent more than enough hours at both the DMV and NCDOT web sites and I can't get any useful information out of them.  Just like we can't get any useful information out of Raleigh unless we spend the money to call them ...and then you get the equivilent of the "Potomac Two Step".

I've lived in, let me count them.....4 states and visited many many more for more than a few days.  The beauracracy in Raleigh, NC is about as useful as tits on a Tomcat!  Did I sneak that one through?

Nothing happens in this State...west of Charlotte.  As far as they're concerned we're nothing but a bunch of damned Rednecks who don't know sheep $#!% from apple butter!

There!  Now I've had my Political say...but watch out in November you bunch of Assholes!

[Nick, this the ultimate test of the system]

NCbob
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« Reply #24 on: June 19, 2006, 05:08:13 PM »

Bob, you got two nasties thru. I bet Phil will be on that like stink on $hit. LOl
Richard


Y'know Cliff...I can't answer that.  Like JR, I've spent more than enough hours at both the DMV and NCDOT web sites and I can't get any useful information out of them.  Just like we can't get any useful information out of Raleigh unless we spend the money to call them ...and then you get the equivilent of the "Potomac Two Step".

I've lived in, let me count them.....4 states and visited many many more for more than a few days.  The beauracracy in Raleigh, NC is about as useful as tits on a Tomcat!  Did I sneak that one through?

Nothing happens in this State...west of Charlotte.  As far as they're concerned we're nothing but a bunch of damned Rednecks who don't know sheep $#!% from apple butter!

There!  Now I've had my Political say...but watch out in November you bunch of Assholes!

[Nick, this the ultimate test of the system]

NCbob
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NCbob
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« Reply #25 on: June 19, 2006, 05:09:35 PM »

Nick, Phil, Richard and our respected group of Moderators....please feel free to delete my moment of capriciousness in the last post if you wish.

I honestly didn't believe that sort of language would be allowed to go through.  I was expecting and hoping for the tradional
MOOOOOOOOO's. I won't push it again!

NCbob
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« Reply #26 on: June 19, 2006, 07:19:32 PM »

The only restriction to registering antique in NH is that the vehicle has to be in show condition.  No restriction on miles or where and when you can drive it.  When we register, we pay the town and the state.  The state fees for the bus are based on registered weight.  When you register antique, that fee goes to a flat $25.  The town fees stay the same.  It would save me about $100 in state fees, but I'd have to drive an hour to get it done.  For regular plates I just go to the town office.
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« Reply #27 on: June 19, 2006, 07:22:36 PM »

The only restriction to registering antique in NH is that the vehicle has to be in show condition.  No restriction on miles or where and when you can drive it.  When we register, we pay the town and the state.  The state fees for the bus are based on registered weight.  When you register antique, that fee goes to a flat $25.  The town fees stay the same.  It would save me about $100 in state fees, but I'd have to drive an hour to get it done.  For regular plates I just go to the town office.

Ross I'd think my time was worth the $50 an hr (both ways) just to keep the Gubberment from getting that extra $ 100! But that's just my redneck way! LOL! BK  Roll Eyes Cool Grin
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« Reply #28 on: June 19, 2006, 07:23:39 PM »

Hi Cliff,
I don't have any idea on the "Bus" horseless carriage...just threw that in.   However, the way the DMV website is written,
the bus would pass muster.  DMV only states "motor vehicles"....it has several glaring errors in the description of safety inspections and  emissions testing.   States that "All" motor vehicles are safety inspected (this ain't so) and that "all" MVs are emissions tested...that ain't even close.  NC has never emission tested diesels, and Jan 1 this year, only OBDIIs gasoline powered MVs are getting emissions testing.   
For sure, Bob doesn't have to be safety or otherwise inspected due to the 35 year rule...which was designed to keep antique and collector cars useable.
Bob, what did you pay for your inspection? Ross scared me with that "Concord" stuff...then I saw that he was in NH. 
I believe the NC inspections are rated by the state...sounds like NH is a little different.   
Best, JR
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JR Lynch , Charlotte, NC
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« Reply #29 on: June 19, 2006, 07:28:29 PM »

Ross, after reading your posts, I reckon NC has one obvious advantage...tags for my "Motor Home" are only $28 bucks a year.   Property taxes (the only annual taxes on MVs in NC) are about $40.
Now that's nice! 
Reckon I'll deal with the NCI for the low cost of licensing the bus.   Course, I still buy most of my fuel in South Carolina...the low tax state!
JR
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JR Lynch , Charlotte, NC
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« Reply #30 on: June 19, 2006, 07:47:40 PM »

Ross, after reading your posts, I reckon NC has one obvious advantage...tags for my "Motor Home" are only $28 bucks a year.   Property taxes (the only annual taxes on MVs in NC) are about $40.
Now that's nice! 
Reckon I'll deal with the NCI for the low cost of licensing the bus.   Course, I still buy most of my fuel in South Carolina...the low tax state!
JR


It does cost more to register, but we don't have sales tax.  My bus costs $450 per year between the town and state. Those fees are basically property tax, which is high here.  Personally, I'd rather have a sales tax.  You pay when you buy.  If you don't want to pay, don't buy.  it's the only tax that they can't force you to pay.

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« Reply #31 on: June 19, 2006, 07:51:20 PM »

The only restriction to registering antique in NH is that the vehicle has to be in show condition.  No restriction on miles or where and when you can drive it.  When we register, we pay the town and the state.  The state fees for the bus are based on registered weight.  When you register antique, that fee goes to a flat $25.  The town fees stay the same.  It would save me about $100 in state fees, but I'd have to drive an hour to get it done.  For regular plates I just go to the town office.

Ross I'd think my time was worth the $50 an hr (both ways) just to keep the Gubberment from getting that extra $ 100! But that's just my redneck way! LOL! BK  Roll Eyes Cool Grin

The $100 saving wasn't quite enough to push me toward antique plates.  Now if antique plates meant no inspection, I'd have done it in a second. 

BTW...I might be in Nashville next week.  Might be going to pick up an airplane.  While I'm there, I'll be checking out some properties.  I won't know until later this week. 
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Busted Knuckle
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« Reply #32 on: June 19, 2006, 08:27:29 PM »

Cool we have airport about five minutes from the shop! Call us if ya want us to pick ya up! LOL!  Grin Roll Eyes Cool
By the way I asked Matt who to recommend as a real estate agent an he none of 'em if yer plan'n on dealing with them long distance he said what ya need to do is stop in an talk to them in person let know what yer look'n for then let them know you got an associate here locally to check out prospective properities and give you feedback to save travel time and hassels, and he said they'll be more straight with you knowing you got a "local" looking out for you! We can designate Matt as yer associate/rep (trust me if ya meet him and talk to him for a few minutes you'll understand why he'd be a good one! He's business smart! But laid back country boy lazy! LOL!) Hopefully this info is somewhat usefull but I'm gonna ask a couple other people who they'd recommend also!  Grin Roll Eyes Cool BK
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Busted Knuckle aka Bryce Gaston
KY Lakeside Travel's Busted Knuckle Garage
Huntingdon, TN 12 minutes N of I-40 @ exit 108
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« Reply #33 on: June 20, 2006, 05:49:00 AM »

This airplane is a basket case, so it's going to NH on a trailer.  What I'm trying to do with the real estate thing is to find agents who can send me photos, then if there is something that looks interesting, I can plan a trip to see it and talk to the agent in person.  It's too long of a trip just to go "fishing".Smiley  I need to have some properties lined up to look at before I go down. 
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