The Bus is Street-Legal!


Mike and I got word, in May, that we would need to move back to Texas in time for the start of the fall semester in late August. That really put an unanticipated stress on our conversion timeline. The beginning of August rolled around and we still didn’t have insurance or tags for the bus. Oh dear. Mike got accepted to work on a research project in Cuba (check out the project here-he’s one of the graduate students they mention) for 2 weeks right about the start of August which was awesome (!!) but also unexpected with so much work to be done before our big move. While he was gone I promised to get the insurance squared away so that we could head straight to the DMV when he got home to get the tags since all of the bus stuff is in his name buuuuut I decided to surprise him and figured out how to get it done before he got home.

Once we had insurance (see post here) I called the DMV to see what else I would need. We had a huge debacle with them earlier in the year where we called a smaller office and they told us that someone from the state would have to come out and inspect the bus to see if it met Motorhome standards, that we needed to keep all receipts to prove the conversion, and that they would call us back as soon as they knew what exactly we needed. Cue 2 MONTHS of waiting and calling and never being able to get a hold of the supervisor. We finally just called the biggest DMV in our area and, lo and behold, we didn’t need anything other than insurance to get the bus tagged. “A bus is a bus” they told us. Cool. Anyway, since the bus was purchased under Mike’s name he would either need to be there or need to give me power of attorney for the vehicle. I found the DMV Power of Attorney form, filled it out, and signed for him. Then I went to a small office loaded with our whole binder of bus stuff. I brought the Power of Attorney form, proof of purchase, the title, the certificate of something from Thomas, all receipts, pictures, proof of insurance, everything bus related that I could think of.

It went so smoothly it was almost unreal. This conversion has been a real lesson in “if it can go wrong, it probably will” so having a smooth tagging process was such a relief.

We changed the title type from Bus to Motorhome. That required me signing an affidavit stating that we had bathrooms, 12oV power, and a stove (we do!). We added my name to the title (careful to use “or” instead of “and” so that if something should happen to one of us the other can do something with the bus). We changed its color from yellow to white and blue. And then. The best part. Mike had a tag floating around from an old car he junked so we were able to transfer that plate to the bus and it counted as a renewal rather than a whole new tag and saved us about $200. I had no idea license plates worked like that but I am so glad that they do! I had anticipated spending about $400 to get it tagged based off of the last time I had get a new tag. Total it was $170 to get the title changed and a plate for the bus.

All the DMV wanted was the Power of Attorney form, proof of insurance, the title, proof of purchase, and the signed affidavit to legally call it a Motorhome (which I think will come in handy with some of the snobbier RV parks-we’ve heard stories about how difficult it can be to get a conversion into a RV park. No issues yet, I’ve told them it’s a motorhome because it is and forgone mentioning that it’s a conversion). No pictures, no receipts, no hoops to jump through or hurdles to clear. It took maybe 20 minutes start to finish, our new title is in the mail, and we can drive that bus alllllll over the place.

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