Getting Titled & Registered As An RV Motorhome In Vermont Without Living There

by | Skoolie, Skoolie Title & Registration | 23 comments

For Lacey Carpenter, her school bus conversion journey started with a big idea that drove her to take action, and see what she was capable of.

If you’re looking to get a Vermont Motorhome Title for your converted school bus, then Lacey’s thorough story will certainly help you. 

Learn how to get your school bus titled and as a motorhome in Vermont, even if you live in another state.

No matter what country, city, state or province, registering a school bus as a motorhome may have some different requirements.

This can often stop people before they even get started shooting towards their dream of doing a school bus conversion.

Thanks to gals like Lacey who go after a huge undertaking like turning a school bus into an RV for leading the way, JUST to see if it’s possible.

In this article, we’re featuring Lacey Carpenter, from Monroe, Louisiana who got her bus titled as an RV in Vermont. Here is her Skoolie Title Story, and her bus Bruiser.

“Don’t expect too much… I’m no Carpenter!”
– Lacey Carpenter

Lacey Carpenter - Vermont RV Title & Registration - Bruiser The Skoolie Interior

DISCLAIMER: Everyone's situation is different. Laws for titling and registering a school bus as a motorhome vary from country to country, state to state, province to province and even city to city. Also, laws, rules and regulations can change without notice. What works for someone in one place, may not be the same for someone else. Use this Skoolie Title Story as a guide to give you the language you need and to get you going. Ultimately, it is your responsibility to verify what's current in your area. This article is for entertainment purposes only and should not be substituted for legal advice. Please consult your local title and registration governmental agency for current processes & procedures.

How To Title & Register A Converted School Bus To A Motor Home In Vermont

Figuring out how to title & register a school bus as an RV motorhome is one of the biggest obstacles people face when considering an adventure like a skoolie conversion.

This is why Brian + I are seeking out people who have jumped through the hoops and figured it out. 

It takes a lot of guts and effort to take on a project like a bus conversion. That’s why we were super excited to meet Lacey. This gal has totally thought outside of the box when it came to getting her old school bus registered as a motorhome. She even went out of her home state Louisianna to find a state that was a bit more lenient on requirements to get an RV Title.

This is what she has to say about getting titled and registered as a motorhome in Vermont.

Lacey Carpenter - Old School Bus Title and Registration in Vermont

What first intrigued you about building a Skoolie?

I thought to myself “How cool would that be to accomplish?!” I literally thought of it on a Friday and purchased a bus on Monday! It was crazy! I still don’t believe it!

When did you acquire your Skoolie?

September 2020

Where did you buy your school bus?

I purchased it through the Facebook Marketplace. It was from a small town dealer, of many, many things, about 5 1/2 hours from where I live.

Lacey Carpenter - Vermont Skoolie RV Title Story

When you bought your school bus, how did you get it from the seller’s lot to your conversion location?

I paid a guy with a CDL to drive it home for me. It took us about 16 hrs in total. Making me arrive at 3 am after leaving at 11 am that day before!

However, I lost my bus about halfway home. It was dark. His phone died. It started leaking oil and he finally got it to me that night at 7 pm.

I’ve only driven it once since I’ve had it… for a mile and back!

Still waiting on the leak to be fixed! I tell you, I didn’t check enough stuff on this one, but now I’ve learned a whole lot and I will be much more selective with my next bus!

Skoolie Inspection FormWant our used school bus visual inspection form? Get It Free

What components did you need to install to meet the Vermont mobile home title requirements to go from school bus to RV?

None. I simply had to tell them the color I intended to paint it.

What were the steps required to register & title your school bus as a motorhome / RV in Vermont?

All I had to do was follow this link to download the application for registration in Vermont

This can be done for anyone in any state for registration or lost titles. Continue reading to see the form I filled out to obtain my RV Title & Registration in Vermont, along with instructions on how I filled it out.

The process to register & title a school bus in Vermont is simple:

  1. Print and mail-in form, with payment. (Instructions and address below)
  2. Wait 3 weeks
  3. Receive 2 plates and 5 days later a transferrable registration or title stating motor home for your bus in the mail.

NOTE : You will either receive a “Title Registration” or a “Transferable Registration”. It does not matter which you receive back. A “Transferable Registration” is just as good as a title in every way. As they both have the transfer to seller on the backside. So you will be able to now use it as a title in your local state showing it as a MOTOR HOME. Now you may go to your local DMV for your home state license plates and registration.

What you’ll need to include with your Vermont Registration Tax & Title Application

For “Transferable Registrations” 

Buses 15 years or older include COPY of:

  • Title
  • Bill of Sale 
  • Completed Application 
  • Registration Fee
    • $76/1yr
    • $140/2yrs 
  • 6% VT Tax (or proof that tax has already been paid)
  • Handwritten note itemizing your costs

For “Title Registrations”

Buses newer than 15 years old include:

  • ORIGINAL title
  • Bill of Sale
  • Completed Application
  • Registration Fee
    • $76/1yr
    • $140/2yrs 
  • Title Fee $35
  • 6% VT Tax (or proof it’s paid) 
  • Handwritten note itemizing your costs

Requirements: The only requirement they have is that the bus is not yellow BUT all you have to do is write in the color you intend to paint it on the application. They require no further proof! You can do this at any point in the conversion process.

See how I filled out my application below…

The colored in spots are what you need to fill in. The red markings are what the DMV marked so you can go ahead and fill them in as well.

MAKE SURE TO MARK 19 “MOTORHOME” to the right side middle area.

Lacey Carpenters Registration Tax and Title Application

Send your Vermont Registration Tax & Title Application to:

Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles
120 State Street

Montpelier, VT 05603-0001

If there are no problems, turnaround is generally 2-3 weeks.

Click HERE to go to the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles page to download form VD119

What was your Vermont skoolie insurance process AND what kind of RV policy did you need?

I still have no policy on my bus. When I left the lot I was not required to have it by the dealer.

I waited 5 months from purchase to register in Vermont and had no extra fees. I don’t drive it.

However, in my home state of Louisianna, to register it I must provide proof of insurance. To do so I will call my insurance company and say I have a commercial vehicle I intend to use on my land for storage purposes. They will give me insurance on the belongings inside.

Once insured I’ll register my skoolie here in LA before the required 30 days in which I have to do so, by LA law.

After that, when I finish the conversion, I’ll get RV insurance. Each carrier will be different.  I know Geico requires photos and may not give more than Liability Insurance on a school bus conversion.

Lacey Carpenter - Bruiser Interior_RV Title and Registration

Do you live in your Skoolie full-time?

I’m building it and planning for it to be my weekender or part-time home.

What’s one piece of wisdom you’d like to give people who are considering converting a school bus into a Skoolie that you wish you knew before you got started?

What I wish I knew was to check the bus for:

  • damage-causing holes
  • thoroughly check the rust levels underneath
  • make sure it hasn’t been sitting for a while
  • use OSPHO on the rust you do have
  • it pays off to fully remove all walls and ceiling panels
  • check window seals and replace the ones needed

Everything else is customization!

Skoolie Inspection FormWant our used school bus visual inspection form? Get It Free

What do you think your superpower has been throughout your Skoolie build?

Hmmm, I’m great at taking 1 step forward and 2 steps back! Does that count!? I look forward to decorating it!

Lacey Carpenter - Rusty Bus Floor
Lacey Carpenter - Skoolie Kitchen - Bathroom - Skylight
Lacey Carpenter - Skoolie Bathroom
Lacey Carpenter - School Bus Title and Registration in Vermont From Louisianna
Lacey Carpenter - Vemont RV Title and Registration

Love within, love around... Adventure On!
 - Erin Nicole Bick

Home » Skoolie » Getting Titled & Registered As An RV Motorhome In Vermont Without Living There

Brian Garcia + Erin Nicole Bick

Hey, we're Brian + Erin. Currently, we're workin' on our bug out bus. Lucky the proverbial $hit hadn't hit the fan yet when we picked up this 40-foot beauty in Phoenix AZ and drove it up to Canada to convert it. Hopefully, we all still have time...

Honestly, this bus conversion has been the only sane thing in this insane world lately. We can't tell you how good it feels to BE working on something that lights our souls up and has such potential for a life that is entwined with nature, love, and happiness.

Our main goal is to inspire people to get off-grid and become self-reliant. We are well on our way and are super excited to talk about solutions with others who are shooting for a similar way of living.

Did This Blog Post Help You? If so, we would greatly appreciate it if you comment below and share it with a friend.


  1. Art

    great article! thanks for sharing. love your videos too.

    • BE Adventure Partners

      Thanks so much Art! We recognize your name from YT! Thanks for checking out our articles. We hope they help you get some of the dirty details that are difficult to find when it comes to this whole school bus conversion thing. BE well friend! – Erin + Brian too


    I have updated photos id love to add to this! I’m done with it and LOOOOOOOVE it!!

    • BE Adventure Partners

      Very cool, Lacey! Email them to us and we can add more photos to your article!


        How do you pay the Vermont sales tax

        • BE Adventure Partners

          Hey John! Everyone we’ve talked with says that you pay the Vermont Sales Tax by check. When you get the process started and call Vermont, they will tell you how much you are supposed to pay because every bus sale is different. Give them a call and they will let you know what fees to send with the application.
          Thanks for reading!
          – Brian + Erin

        • Lacey Carpenter

          You send in a check for the sale tax with your application. The form will instruct you on figuring out the amount. I spent roughly $200 for my $3500 bus.

  3. Alison

    Hi there, thanks so much for sharing all this information! My partner and I just bought a shuttle bus and it is being delivered next week. We are excited and a little terrified, lol. I have a question about registering and titling in VT. Did you need to get the bus inspected at all? Thanks so much!

    • BE Adventure Partners

      Hey there Alison! Based on our interview with Lacey, she didn’t mention having to get the bus inspected! Let us know what your experience is like as we’d love to know. Thanks for reading and dropping a comment! – Brian + Erin

    • Lacey Carpenter

      No. As long as you register in 10 days in your state. You’ll then have to follow your states guidelines. Otherwise VT does say you have 10 days to get it inspected.

      • myp30bus

        i have question on what address info do i fill in on the reg. application . my california info ?

        • myp30bus

          also the vehicle i would like to register as Motorhome is already registered in my name in california as a commercial bus . would that make it an issue .

          • BE Adventure Partners

            All school busses are registered as commercial vehicles. This Vermont Method is to change that registration from commercial vehicle to motorhome. So follow the instructions in the article and you should be able to switch the title over to a private motorhome just like Lacey did 🙂
            Thanks for reading!
            – Brian

        • BE Adventure Partners

          Hey there! When it comes to addresses on the registration application, you may want to give one of the Vermont DMVs a call to ask them for your situation. The only spots put an address says either “Address where you get mail” and “Lien holder address.” If you paid for the bus outright, then there is no lien holder as that’s typically the bank that you’re holding a loan for the purchase of the vehicle through. And “Address where you get mail” is just that… 🙂 Hopefully that helps! – Brian

  4. Peter Falcon

    We tried this in CA. They still made us prove it was converted when we tried to register it here. Something about the mfg never making an RV they still needed that form filled out and on record.

    • BE Adventure Partners

      Every state is different and has different requirements, which is why we’re sharing these stories! We’d love to hear your story about what you ended up doing to get your registration and title completed. Let us know if you’d like us to feature you on the website (even if it’s anonymous) and we’ll get you our questionnaire to put an article together. Thanks so much for reading and commenting, Peter!
      – Brian + Erin

    • Lacey Carpenter

      No matter what state you live in, you can do this in Vermont, as they dont require you to be a resident. SO ANYONE IN THE US CAN REGISTER IN VERMONT. Once its done in VT, you then go register in your state…with the MH registration VT sends you, not a BUS title.

  5. Francesca Pavone

    Hello! I am curious if I recently bought the vehicle if I have to transfer the original title in my name beforehand or can I send this original title?

    • BE Adventure Partners

      Hey there Francesca, using the Vermont Method to title & register a school bus into a motorhome, use the original title to transfer it to your name as a motorhome. It’s done all at once! Please follow the instructions in the post, and if you have questions about any of the forms, call the Vermont DMV because they would be able to answer specific questions about their forms.

      Thanks for reading!
      – Brian + Erin

  6. Brooke

    Hi! Do you need insurance in Vermont before registering it? If so, how did you go about doing this? Thank you!

    • BE Adventure Partners

      Hey there Brooke, In the article, Lacey mentions that she didn’t have insurance until she transferred the Vermont Motorhome registration to Louisiana. So based on her story, we’re guessing that she didn’t ever get insurance until she switched over the registration to Louisiana. Hopefully that helps! Thanks for reading! – Brian + Erin

  7. Diane

    Forgive my ignorance! Once it’s registered in Vermont, get Vermont plates, etc…. do you NEED to (re?) register it in your home state? Or is the Vermont registration sufficient? Thanks!

    • BE Adventure Partners

      Hey there Diane! Registration in your “home state” is up to you. Most people we’ve talked with go the Vermont method because their home state doesn’t like “conversions” that are not done by “licensed” tradespeople performing the tasks. However, the home states allow transferring the title of a motorhome from one state to another. It’s a loop-hole for sure and transferring a motorhome title from one state to another is commonplace, which is why some people go this route. Hope that helps! Happy New Year to ya! – Brian + Erin


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