Is my vehicle a Bus or a Van?

Hi guys! Newbie, Sara here. I’m slowly converting my vehicle into a tiny home and documenting on IG: @a.strayproject. But the first question I’d like to raise is; do y’all think this is a Van or a Bus?
It has a 1991 Ford e350 chassis
But when it was used at the airport had a high top and a bus door installed.
When I registered it in my name, the vin labels it as a truck (the dmv never saw it yet)
But when I went to retitle it as an RV I showed a picture to the DMV & they told me it was a bus and I should have had a CDL license. :hushed:

I’m so confused haha.
So what do you guys think?
Van or Bus??


What state are you trying to register it in? You shouldn’t need a commercial drivers license to drive anything that isn’t being used for Commercial purposes.

For example I drive an actual 26ft bus and I don’t need a CDL. That’s registered in TN. If you live in California or something, you may find that it’s worth it to establish residency in another state with more lax laws. South Dakota seems to be the favorite. has lots and lots of discussions about different states and the hoops necessary to register and insure a bus.

If you’d asked me, I’d say it’s a van. A rather handsome one at that. But, it’s the DMV you’ll have to convince at the end of the day


Call it whatever you feel fits best! For me personally, I would probably end up calling it both a van and a bus, depending on the situation/person I’m talking to. But I think I lean more towards van.
But, @Serenity.the.Bus is right, you shouldn’t have to get a CDL. I guess it could depend on your state, but I’ve never heard of anyone having to do that.


Looks like a pretty sweet van/bus to me.


I’m in South Carolina. & Wow! 26’ is way bigger than mine! & Thanks! That’s what I initially call it too, a van. But you’re right, fingers crossed I’ll get the DMV to registered as an RV.


Ha. I actually know a little about South Carolina on this. We bought our bus there. The guy guy who sold it to us said if it had less than x amount seats (16 I think) you didn’t need CDL. Do you still have your seats in? That might be your problem


Oh wow what a small world! Did you leave it registered in South Carolina?
Your right, but nope, no seats! He didn’t look inside to make a final decision about the CDL, and since i’m trying to change it over to an RV he just let me off the hook :slight_smile:


No. I re registered it in Tennessee where I have resident status


I don’t really know which to call it but I gotta admit – that is one SICK looking rig!! Gnarly find!


I’d call it a van, but then I’m not a legal authority either. It’s very wierd how laws change from state to state. When I insured my last van, I was forced to get commercial insurance even though I explained that it was converted. I see no need for a CDL for your van in my opinion. I guess it comes down to who does the interpretation of law. I’m East TN BTW.


It have all the attributes of Van! :grinning: not sure about bus…

Hiya Sara, I went through something similar for all of about 2 minutes. I have a 2003 Ford E-350 that was in fact a school bus in Phoenix Arizona before I got it. In fact on the VIN Plate on the door column it’s clearly marked from the factory as a BUS. I looked at the clerck and said “Do I look like a bus driver? It cannot possibly be a bus anymore because it only has two seats in it. I’m already using it as a camper, there is a bed in the back, a cooler, some cabinets, that kind of thing.”

Oh, then it’s clearly not a bus and not going to be used as one then? I said it wasn’t and she registered as my personal van. Easy as…