A Note to Forum Members:
We are sure that anyone needing to license their HDT Conversion as an RV, MH, Housecar or
Non-Commercial Vehicle in the future would Appreciate Forum Members Posting any and all
registration information about the state you registered your HDT conversions in.
If you post the information using the Contact Us button at the top
of any page, the information will be
entered into the Resource Guide.
Here is a list by Individual State that Mark & Dale Bruss (Mark) compiled from data he gathered from the
HDT and MDT forums that shows which type of registrations are or are not allowed in each
There might be some discrepancies in the chart therefore the information should only be used
as a reference until you confirm for yourself if your particular state allows HDT conversions
to be registered as a Motorhome or Private Truck in lieu of a Commercial Truck which requires
a higher priced registration fee plus a CDL is required if your truck is registered commercially
in all states.
Comparing Vehicle registration fees in SD, TX, FL and NC
discusses what members are paying yearly to register their Toters and 5th-Wheels in Various
The registration of your HDT will affext what type of license you will need to drive it.
Check State Listing of RV Drivers License for that information.
Motorhome and Private Truck Registrations Allowed by Each State
MH = Motorhome PT = Private Truck (No CDL) Click on state to go to details
Alabama = Yes to MH, Unknown to PT
Montana = Yes to MH, Unknown to PT
Alaska = Yes to MH, No to PT
Nebraska = Unknown to MH, Unknown to PT
Arizona = No to MH, Unknown to PT
Nevada = Unknown to MH, Yes to PT
Arkansas = Yes to MH, Unknown to PT
New Hampshire = Yes to MH, Unknown to PT
California = Yes to MH, Unknown to PT
New Jersey = Yes to MH, Unknown to PT
Colorado = Yes to MH, Yes to PT
New Mexico = Yes to MH, Yes to PT
Connecticut = Yes to MH, Unknown to PT
New York = No to MH, No to PT
Delaware = Unknown to MH, Unknown to PT
North Carolina = Yes to MH, Yes to PT
Florida = No to MH, No to PT
North Dakota = Unknown to MH, Unknown to PT
Georgia = Unknown to MH, Yes to PT
Ohio = Yes to MH, Unknown to PT
Hawaii = Unknown to MH, Unknown to PT
Oklahoma = Yes to MH, Yes to PT
Idaho = Unknown to MH, Yes to PT
Oregon = Yes to MH, Unknown to PT
Illinois = Yes to MH, Unknown to PT
Pennsylvania = No to MH, No to PT
Indiana = Yes to MH, Unknown to PT
Rhode Island = Unknown to MH, Unknown to PT
Iowa = Yes to MH, Unknown to PT
South Carolina = Unknown to MH, Unknown to PT
Kansas = Yes to MH, Unknown to PT
South Dakota = No to MH, Yes to PT
Kentucky = Unknown to MH, Unknown to PT
Tennessee = Yes to MH, Yes to PT
Louisiana = Yes to MH, Unknown to PT
Texas = Yes to MH, Yes to PT
Maine = Yes to MH, Unknown to PT
Utah = Yes to MH, Unknown to PT
Maryland = No to MH, No to PT
Vermont = Unknown to MH, Unknown to PT
Massachusetts = Yes to MH, Unknown to PT
Virginia = No to MH, Unknown to PT
Michigan= Yes to MH, Unknown to PT
Washington = Yes to MH, Unknown to PT
Minnesota = Yes to MH, Unknown to PT
West Virginia = Unknown to MH, Unknown to PT
Mississippi = Unknown to MH, Unknown to PT
Wisconsin = Yes to MH, Unknown to PT
Missouri = Yes to MH, Unknown to PT
Wyoming= Unknown to MH, Unknown to PT
Below are actual cut and paste's from individual forum members posts from various threads in
the HDT forum that were entered into The HDT Resource Guide which shows which state each
particular member was successful or unsuccessful in registering their converted HDT's in.
Alphabetical List of States:
Here is my experience in attempting to register an HDT as a RV in Arizona.
Purchased my 610 Volvo from an individual living in California who had, in turn,
purchased the vehicle from Larry Ziegler. The vehicle was equipped with 5 of the
famous 6 items required of a Motor Home as well as a Trailer Saver hitch & was
registered in California as a Motor Home.
When I attempted to register the vehicle in Arizona as a Motor Home I was informed
by two different MVD offices that if the vehicle has ANY kind of fifth wheel hitch
it is considered commercial.
I asked why the rules for this vehicle were different than those for a pickup and
was told "because they are". I did contemplate removing the hitch
for MVD purposes but decided that there was too much risk of a problem down the
road so, instead, went the LLC route Wyoming. License in Wyoming was cheaper
on both the truck and the fifth with the fifth plate permanent and the truck permanent
Recreational vehicles are exempted from any drivers license
requirements based on weight. Thus the 26,001 regulations do not apply to motor
homes or truck/trailer combinations in Arizona.
Evileyes, True -- you have been misled when you spoke to someone at the DMV
in Arkansas. Registering our HDT as a motorhome was a painless process,
but then again, I started at the top of the food chain, not the bottom.
Here's the text from an email that I received back from the state:
In order to convert a class 8 truck into a motorhome, it will have to be on a single
chassis and it must be the same chassis as the truck. You need to surrender
the truck title and a letter describing the changes made converting the truck into
a motorhome. The new title will show the model as (MH) motorhome.
The license fee will be $30.00. It will be registered with a Passenger tag.
Supervisor Motor Vehicle Records Unit
I have just registered it as a "housecar" or motorhome here in Ca.
Both the CHP Commercial Officer and I went to for VIN# verification, and the DMV
person I dealt with suggested I register it that way, since it qualifies completely
according to the Ca. Vehicle Code.
License fee was only $356 compared to $583 for my F350! It's actually very
easy to register it that way in California now as long as requirements are met.
The DMV said it's becoming very common here.
ScottE's Follow Up Post;
I went to 3 different CHP offices along with going to the Banning Scales and spoke with
several different officers and with Commercial Officers, too.
All said the exact same thing. The truck MUST be a 2 axle, must say
"NOT FOR HIRE" on it, and can never have any company logos or
signage on it.
It must be used only for RV use, i.e.. pulling your 5er or towing a boat. You can
never haul a trailer with a race car, show car, race bikes, motocross race items, etc.
You cannot even pull a trailer that has a wrap done to it, similar to the ones with
the Monster Energy Drink seen around the country.
If there is any compensation(including trophies, cash, sponsor items,
etc.) it is
considered to be "for profit", and thus commercial.
All of the CHP recommended removing the commercial fifth wheel and all trailer air
lines, so it doesn't even look capable of being used commercially.
All of them also state that the regulations state it "must be designed for human
habitation", so it is required that there be a toilet and
"cooking device"(no specifics required). A refrigerator is not
required, but you must have a way of storing food products, so an electric cooler
in the side box is acceptable.
Doing all of that meets the requirements for CVC362 as a "Housecar", and you
can legally register as a motorhome. My registration cost a total of $356 for
a year. My 2004 F350 dually costs my $588!
For retitling purposes, the DMV requires a certified weight ticket, VIN# verification,
and a statement of facts of construction.
I had my truck frame work, singling, brake controller, and fifth wheel hitch install
done by a local truck dealer collision center, which itemized everything on the invoice
and shows tax paid.
If you do the conversion yourself, keep proof of costs(receipts). You will
have to fill out a form showing what work was done and the costs involved.
You will then be taxed on the new value of the truck.
It was much easier and cheaper to have it professionally done.
Before getting the weight ticket, remove all you can. I removed my hitch,
rear fenders, and had the rear tires singled out, along with weighing with 1/8 tank
fuel level. My tractor weighed 14561#.
Ideally, you want to be under 15000#, or you do fall into a commercial weight fee,
which greatly increase your registration fees to about $833 per year.
Your title will then always show an unladed weight of 15001#, which is standard
in California with all commercial trucks, and does not reflect the trucks true weight.
It's done that way so the DMV will automatically know it's a commercial
weight fee registration. Anything less than 15000# will show true
I then took all of my paperwork to Bracken Tax and License Service(909-390-0024)
in Ontario, CA (ask for Teresa or Bonnie). They handled all of the DMV for me.
Their cost is $50. I've used them for years to handle all of my licensing,
permits, insurance and taxes for my trucking business.
If you choose to go to a DMV office and do it yourself, go to Redlands and deal
with Deanna Miller. She is very familiar with the requirements and process.
Personally, I'd rather spend the $50 and let them stand in line deal with the
DMV personnel! I only needed to go to the DMV office for VIN# verification
because the VIN# on the title didn't match the truck.
Sorry for the uncondensed version!
It sounds much worse than it actually was!
Just a word of caution, I know 3 people now who just recently bought HDT's in
hopes of registering them as MH's and couldn't.
They have tried just about every DMV known to man and have had no luck. It
seems the DMV is getting wise to the MH thing. Before it is "MH"
you need to have Class B CDL with air brakes endorsement to drive it. Two
of those people don't have it and are now stuck with a truck that they are
trying to sell but can't even legally drive.
CA is also on the start of a new emissions law as it sounds like you already know.
It says something like "Heavy-duty diesel trucks operating in California are required
by impending rules to demonstrate PM emission reductions, below the 2000 baseline,
of 75% by 2010 and 85% by 2020." You can do a search on " CA
particulate matter regulations".
It sounds like trucks will need to be upgraded at the cost of over $10,000.
I don't think MH's will be stuck with that but if you can't get MH
status, then your faced with that. My brother in-law who sells HDT's
has been telling me of the huge mess this is creating and how it is ruining the
used truck market here in CA. Most people don't want to stick 10 grand
in a truck and would rather buy a new one. Then there is all the maintenance
that follows, some say having the truck plugged in after every 16 hours of use for
a min. of 8 hours into a 220v outlet so the system can continue to "burn"
off the particulates?
Ok, I'm done venting my frustration towards CA's laws. (not really but
I'll stop now)
I'm just saying, be aware of what you may be facing and that it is getting real
hard to register here now. Try a search to see if anyone has got registered
lately. One of the guys I knew, got his truck inspected by a 3rd party, non
DMV or highway patrol verifier. It worked for a while. He was able to
get the DMV to buy his story since all the paperwork was correct, but then the
main Sacramento DMV kicked it back about a month later.
2nd Follow up by ScottE;
Let me shed some light on this subject and dispel some myths regarding the
legalities in California I spent several months researching this before
pulling the trigger, going to 3 different DMV's and also to the CHP inspection
stations and scales, talking with commercial officers, and talking to an officer
who did several BIT inspections for my company. I owned and operated a
flatbed/heavy haul trucking company for many years.
First off, it is perfectly legal and fairly easy to register your HDT as a MH here
in CA, as long as you do what is REQUIRED. Too many people are just going
to the DMV and hoping for a miracle. If you follow what I put here,
I guarantee every DMV will gladly register your HDT.
First off, the truck must be properly converted.
All officers I spoke to highly recommended removing all air lines and the replacing
the commercial hitch with an RV hitch instead. I removed my air lines and
added a quick connect to the Emergency side and put a plug into the Service side.
I also added a MaxBrake controller inside. All said appearance is everything
to them, (i.e.. "if it looks like a duck....")
It MUST be no more than two axles. 3 axles are considered a "Motor truck"
under the CA Vehicle Code(CVC). One other tidbit here is that when bobtailing
your HDT (no more than 2 axles), you may be in any lane on the highway and not
restricted to the 2 right lanes. CVC states "Vehicles with more than 3
axles and Trucks (you are a MH when legally licensed)
It was also highly recommended to have lettering such as
"NOT FOR HIRE/PRIVATE COACH" plainly visible in a contrasting color on
Both the DMV's and the CHP said the truck must be equipped as required under
Federal Law for habitation.
Here is the 2nd biggest issue besides converting to 2 axles; you must take the
converted truck for a VIN# verification and have the "Vehicle Type"
changed to "MH" by the person verifying! If this is not done, the
truck VIN# will always show it as a motor truck and MH registration will be illegal.
If it is changed, your truck will now show as a MH in the California DMV records, and
you are legal.
As for licensing, you must have at least a "Non-Commercial Class A" if
you are registered here. Air brake endorsement is not required unless your
fifth wheel is equipped with them. A Class B does not allow you to pull a fifth
wheel equipped vehicle ever.
Here is the link to the DMV showing the licensing requirements:
Now, to handle all of the DMV paperwork other than the VIN # verification, I
highly recommend using a licensing service. It costs about $50 but is well
worth not having headaches! LOL! For years I have used a Licensing
service in Ontario, Ca. for my trucking company. They are familiar
with doing these and handled everything for me. When they finished at the
DMV, they called me to come pick up my plate and new registration from them.
Their info is posted below.
Bracken Tax and License Service
1155 S. Milliken Ave #B Ontario, CA
Talk to Teresa and she'll get everything handled for you...LEGALLY!
If anyone has any other questions, please feel free to contact me at
I was waved in to a CHP roadside Commercial Vehicle Inspection that was happening,
and as I rolled up and the officer looked at the plate and the side of the truck,
he told me to go continue and have a great day, commenting "Nice setup!"
As far as the emissions go, HDT's legally registered as motorhomes here are
exempt from the particulate filters. The pending requirements are strictly
for commercial motor vehicles. I was sent all of the paperwork regarding
this by the State, and inquired about it as well. I was especially concerned
because the first rumors of the new emissions rules said that all diesels in
California will be required to have emissions equipment, and I have a 50'
Hatteras sportfisher that is powered by twin Detroit 8V71TI's, and don't
want to even think about the associated costs to do them! I was told that
the new requirements will be for busses and commercial vehicles only, and that
RV's, marine diesels, and diesel generators are not included.
The Ongoing California Registration Debate;
TruckNut who has been battling with the state of California for
several years to get his KW T-2000 registered as a MH/PT with little or no success to
As usual, most people including TruckNut say getting an HDT registered as a MH or
as a Private Truck is Next to IMPOSSIBLE in the Overly Regulated state of California,
however, ScottE continues to state it's Doable as Long As You Follow The Guidelines
that he Outlines in His Previous Posts mentioned above.
Here's my advice, I don't live in Great State of California, but if I did, I
would be Damn Well Sure that I had All My Facts In Order about the Current California
MH/PT Registration Regulations and Policies before I Purchased An HDT with Expectations
about having it Registered as anything other than a Commercially Licensed Truck or you
Might Just End Up With 17 Pounds of Rolling Scrap Metal that you Cannot Register as
Anything other than a Commercially Licensed Rig after YOUR PURCHASE.
From Raquel (Raquel):
I just got home and it's done! I met "the guy" ( a VIN verifier which eases the
change from tractor to motorhome) in an abandoned business
parking lot. He was really impressed with the truck and what our plans
are for it. A really nice guy whom I would recommend to anyone in N.
California who needs to have the body type changed on their truck.
Definitely cheaper than driving to Ontario, CA to have them do it down there.
Mobile Vehicle Verifier
He's in the greater Sacramento area (Auburn).
From MaxiOmega (Greg):
Colorado is fairly easy. Just stress "it is for recreational use,
Mine is a 97 FLD120SD Midroof.
It took 4 hours at the DMV, but I got it registered as a recreational truck.
Plates cost $120 per year, insurance $33 per month.
The only catch is I have to keep the paper in the truck, issued by the state,
stating it has a known tare weight of 17,800lbs, and is exempt from the 7000lb law.
From MCraven210 (Mike):
Ours is registered as a motor home. The lady a the DMV came out to the
truck to verify the VIN and it was no problem.
From DamianF (Damian):
My old Kenworth is re-titled as a Motorhome in Colorado. At the time I
did it, it wasn't so easily done, and Denver City & County wouldn't even
discuss the option with me. So even now, you may find some counties
are easier and more amenable to your request. In Colorado, it was,
and I believe it still is, an administrative procedure that allows a class
8 truck to be converted to a motorhome if the necessary minimum physical
requirements are met. I don't believe it's formally by state statute
yet, although the requirements are in line with the federal regulations
for the same conversion. I run standard passenger plates, stickered
on the rear plate. I think port of entries are easier and more clearly
understanding because it's technically a motorhome, but it principally is
still a class 8 truck for the DOT to inspect if they choose to, just like
any other truck, car, boat, or bicycle, etc. that they may choose to inspect.
So it doesn't drip, brakes are good, lights work, it holds air, all that fun
stuff. If you move here, I think a county with a lot of agricultural
activities would be easier to work with. Good luck.
From Mark Trumbell (Mark):
I just got home from the DMV with Camper plates for the 770!
I was expecting a nightmare retitling the HDT as a RV - it turned out to be easy.
They were sooooo nice and very helpful and it only cost about $80.
From Mark & Dale Bruss (Mark):
While the people below did successfully register their HDTs as motorhomes,
investigation of Florida TL-13 found a tripping point. You can convert a
Class 8 truck to a RV (motorhome), BUT that motorhome cannot have a fifth-wheel
hitch for a trailer. The converted RV can have a frame (bumper) hitch for a travel
Also, the provision for exemption to CDL drivers license is limited to a private
Florida is not good for HDTs.
From Fl Fireman:
Basically I walked into our county's DMV to do a one stop shop.
1st was to transfer title from Michigan where the truck was purchased and titled.
As that was being done they also registered it as a MH at the same time.
Now the girl didn't know what to do and as I'm sure others have done the
supervisor was called in. Her biggest thing was to ask me that the living
quarters are not a detachable item. I repeated no the interior of the cab
has been modified to be a Motor Home and is not detachable.
Here in Florida we only need one item installed to make it a motor home.
I chose the 110 electric route. Since it does not specify, I'm using
my inverters as my 110 supply wired to the electrical outlets that supply power
for my TV's and DVD players.
Read the state guide lines below:
E. Manufacturer's Certificate of Origin for Motor Homes and Van Conversions:
1.) The department will require a second stage MCO on units that have been
converted from a van type vehicle to a recreational type vehicle. In order for a
converted unit to qualify as a recreational vehicle, it must have at least one of
the following installed by a licensed recreational vehicle manufacturer:
a. 110 volt electrical wiring
b. LP gas piping
c. Plumbing system (consisting of permanently attached water-using toilet facility)
2.) The second stage MCO will bear the name and vin number assigned by the
converting manufacturer which must accompany the first stage MCO. The converting
manufacturer must be licensed and bonded by this department as a recreational
3.) The vin number shown on the second MCO, issued by the converting manufacturer,
must be identical to the vin number shown on the first stage MCO which was initiated
by the manufacturer of the vehicle, e.g., Ford, Dodge, and which is permanently
affixed to the vehicle.
4.) Motor homes and van conversions are to be titled in the following manner:
a. All 1981 and later model year motor homes and all model year van conversions:
Form HSMV 82040, Application for Certificate of Title with/without
Registration, or HSMV 82041, Application for Vehicle/Vessel Certificate of
Title and/or Registration, should show the make and year of the vehicle on
the second stage MCO and the vin number as shown on the first stage MCO.
Always show the year on the second stage MCO, even if NMVTIS
brings back a different year for the vehicle. However, there should never be
more than a two model year difference.
b. 1980 and prior model year motor homes:
Form HSMV 82040, Application for Certificate of Title with/without Registration,
or form HSMV 82041, Application for Vehicle/Vessel Certificate of Title and/or
Registration, should show the make, year and vin number on the second stage MCO.
The vin number shown on the first stage MCO is not to be used.
c. A motor home and van conversion previously titled in another state will be titled
in Florida using the same description of the vehicle as shown on the
out-of-state certificate of title. NOTE: If a "title only" is being
applied for on a recreational vehicle and will be tagged at a later date, an
affidavit is required. The affidavit must state that the recreational vehicle is
in dead storage and will remain in dead storage until it is properly registered.
Now since I did the modifications myself they required me to sign this affidavit below.
Now this allowed me to use the vehicles current vin as individuals will not have
access to the 2nd MCO VINs.
F. Conversion Affidavit:
In the case of an individual converting their own vehicle and requesting to have
the identity changed on the title in order to have it registered and licensed
as a recreational vehicle, the customer must submit an affidavit to the tax collector.
The affidavit must certify that the unit has been converted to the extent to include
one of the aforementioned items to qualify it as a recreational vehicle.
This is to certify that I, ______________, owner of a (Year) __________,
(Make)_______, (VIN) ___________________, hereby request the vehicle be classified
as recreational vehicle for the following reason:
( ) Installed 110 volt electrical wiring
( ) Installed LP gas piping
( ) Installed plumbing system
Now the truck needed to have proof of insurance.
Since it was not a MH yet I insured it as a commercial truck that was only to be
used locally. It was fairly cheap insurance and got the truck here from MI
and the ability to get it to and from the guy who modified the rear end for me.
The only 2 things they needed was the weight, which I obtained from the county
landfill scale for $2.50 and the length of the vehicle.
Now I will say this there is some state pictures of converted class 8's that
they show as being acceptable and not acceptable. The one they showed as not
acceptable was a Toterhome and they are saying these are not MH in FL as they have
a fifth wheel style hitch in place. Yet a tag along trailer hitch is fine to
them! OK so when I drove the truck in it had - NO - hitch on the back!
Get it? They did the rest and I walked out with temp title, registration and tag.
From Gunship Guy (Jim):
Mine is now sold, but when I registered it in FL (in 2005) I had zero problems once
I did my own research to counter the misinformation I was getting from Tallahassee.
The state office told me "no way, no how" in no uncertain terms.
I spoke with a supervisor who seemed quite sure of herself in saying that "once
a commercial vehicle, always a commercial vehicle". Well, I looked up
the statutes myself and found it clearly stated my truck could be registered as a
MH once it met certain requirements. They had numerous listed but I only had
to meet 3 of them. Eating and sleeping facilities and shore power. I also had
to have the VIN verified by a law enforcement officer.
I took all of my info the our local office and the only thing they asked me was the
weight of the truck and to sign an affidavit stating I would never tow commercially.
They never asked to see the truck or to view any of my supporting documents showing I
met the requirements. I was out of there in about 10 minutes with regular plates
and a new registration listing the truck as a MH.
From Lostinfl (Jim):
I registered mine in Florida with no problem at all.
I contacted a supervisor at the tax office who was familiar with HDT'S and Florida
Statutes. She walked me through the process and only required that I either bring
the HDT to the tag office or have a law enforcement officer merely validate the vin #
As stated, it is easier registering if the vehicle was previously registered as a
motorhome in any state.
Start research here - Florida Statute 320.01 along with procedure TL-13 used by the
Division of Motor Vehicles to determine whether or not a vehicle meets the requirements
to be titled as a recreational vehicle in the State of Florida. Also, look up
the definition of recreational vehicle in your county codes @ your county website.
I had discussion with code enforcement over my vehicle, provided copies of all info
I have listed and issue resolved in my favor by the end of the day.
That being said, Florida is tough on ANY fifth wheel hitch, must be a bumper hitch only.
Easier to register without any fifth wheel hitch and only a bumper hitch.
Keep calling your tax office, you may find someone familiar with the statute, but have
copies with you to show them. Also, may wish to contact the local DOT office for
their written definition as further support.
From Dave K (Dave):
I had my Volvo registered in GA as a private truck, all GA requires
for that is Class A, NON commercial driver's license to operate and insurance
as a private vehicle. GA DOT officer's I checked with around Dalton area
Northwest GA) confirmed I was not even required to have annual safety checks.
I had the truck inspected annually each year to shut up other states who may give
me grief, but it was not an issue in GA.
In order to get our vehicles all into one state for registration, we turned all
the titles over to John Bennett's office in Montana. (I own physical
property in Montana so I have a different situation than you will) Our 1996
Volvo is registered permanently for the cost of fees that a single year in GA as a
private truck would have cost us. I believe I was paying around $250.00 a year
for GA plates with 54,999 lbs. rating. Once you cross over the 54,999lb GVW
plates, the fees go up again, so I recommend you weigh your rig as a whole completely
ahead of time for accurate GVW requirements. The lower you go, the lower the
GA is big truck friendly. I don't know what the rules are on MH tags and title
anymore, but I am going to Dalton, GA within the week to get some DMV paperwork
taken care of on a non-related issue.
There used to be several GA titled trucks and/or MH plated trucks on this forum,
but I believe most owners have left the group, sold their trucks, or moved to
other states to get away from GA's high cost Ad Valorem Tax fees.
Well, you can register it in Idaho as a non-commercial truck at what ever GCWR you
want, as RV's in Idaho aren't added to the GCWR.
If you are going to pull any other type of trailer, the truck has to be registered
to cover the weight of both.
A truck registered @ 26,000 GCWR as non-commercial is about $70-80 a year depending
on the county.
If you aren't driving for hire no CDL or endorsements are needed, as they don't
issue non-commercial class A licenses, and no system to add an air brake endorsement
to a class D license.
Although through my conversations with the IDOT, they consider as commercial any
vehicle used in commerce, i.e. if you are selling crafts out of your RV, or using
it to travel from craft fair to craft fair to sell stuff you make. In this
instance you would have to registered commercial, which I think would be the case
in most states if they checked close enough.
From roadfitter (Ken):
In Illinois, you walk in with the title, cash, check or a Discover card in hand -
"NO Visa or Master Card" - and you walk out with your plates.
RV/Motorhome plates with NO Inspection, just answer the questions.
"Don't Expand on the Truth"!
From LLonearth (Larry):
A recreational vehicle is defined as "Every camping trailer, motor home,
mini-motor home, travel trailer, truck camper or van camper used primarily for
recreational purposes and not used commercially nor owned by a commercial
business" (625 ILCS 5/1-169).
A motor home, mini-motor home, or van camper displaying Recreational Vehicle
(RV) license plates must contain at least four of the following six equipment items:
1) a cooking facility with an on-board fuel source;
2) a gas or electric refrigerator; \
3) a toilet with exterior evacuation;
4) a heating or air conditioning system with an on-board power or fuel source
separate from the vehicle engine;
5) a drinkable water supply system that includes at least a sink, a faucet, and
a water tank with a an exterior service supply connection;
6) a 110-15 volt electric power supply.
If a van does not meet the RV equipment requirements, the applicant should purchase
either passenger or B-truck license plates, depending on the design and use of the
vehicle (625 ILCS 5/1-145.01).
From Dennis M (Dennis):
Here is the Illinois Secretary of State web site that explains what qualifies as a
"recreational vehicle" -
IL Sec of St
We are registered in Illinois and have had no problems whatsoever.
The main thing to remember is do not offer any more information than is required
at registration. I made sure that my Volvo had the minimum mods required,
took my paper work to the Elgin SOS office (DO NOT take the truck with you).
Handed the clerk the paper work, said "I need RV plates for this conversion
to a motor home", she looked it over, looked up the appropriate page in her
three ring binder, looked at me and said "so this is an over-the-road tractor
that has been converted to a motor home?" I answered "yes"
and walked out with RV plates.
My title says "Volvo Motor Home".
You will need a non-CDL class B operators license for a class 8 tractor (oops,
motor home) or a class A operators license if the trailer is over 10k.
The written test is a snap - I studied the CDL manual but when I went to take
the test (you do have to go to a commercial SOS facility) he asked if I had
studied the non-CDL manual. He handed me a small booklet that I read on
the spot and then took and passed the test.
When you come back for the driving portion of the test you HAVE to have a Class
A or CDL licensed driver with you. The driving test was also a snap, I
did not even have to back it up!
No walk around other than the examiner checking the lights and no questions on
I had been told you cannot float shift, but when I said I was bit rusty on double
clutching the examiner said to shift like I always do. Passed with no problem.
From John (C-IL):
Illinois is a snap to get a conversion like Dennis said.
If you have no need for the CDL just get the class A. In order for the CDL to
be valid you have to have a physical card and be on a random drug test list,
therefore, getting a CDL is just additional work with no benefit to you.
Conversion just means that you need to have the minimal things for life support,
but they do need to be in the truck.
A generator that is permanently attached to the truck, heat, running water, microwave
and a dorm fridge will get you there.
While you are doing it the shore power with a couple of outlets to run the microwave,
heater and fridge will be a great convenience and also add to the usefulness of the
The toilet is the hardest part because in Illinois it is supposed to be permanently
attached and have the fittings for outside evacuation which means you would probably
need a holding tank.
BTW, your running water also needs to have an external fill fitting.
From WildJohn (John):
I second everything posted above.
I live in the far south of Illinois and our local Sec of State office is great.
I went in with all the information related to the laws and a list of the conversions
I had done and walked out with the registration.
I had taken the written 'class a noncommercial test' previously in Champaign
so all I had to do as to take the driving test.
Now that was interesting since the tester was not sure what test to give so since
she was trained as a commercial tester (that facility doesn't offer them) she
gave me the complete cdl test. Over 45 minutes on the road test.
She loved the truck (OOPS RV) and that may have influenced how much time she spent
..LOL.. got dinged for shifting going over railroad tracks at about 10mph..oops...
You won't have any problem with it. My only problem was when I upgraded
they took off my M rating so I had to end up going through the rider training
coarse to get my Motorcycle classification back.
The class was very well worth it. After YEARS of riding I was surprised to
learn several points.
From Dennis M (Dennis):
I am not aware of any inspection requirement in IL. I never had one done
and, as I noted above, don't offer any more info than needed.
From HD_RIDER (Jess):
Having just re-titled my Volvo in Indiana last month, I can say with authority
that it is a cake-walk if you follow the instructions that have been posted
previously about this.
I, to, had asked at the local BMV six months ago, and got the same CDL story,
and figured I was in for a fight.
Download the "change of body" form from the BMV website (in Indiana,
anyway), make enough of the changes needed to convince the officer that must
fill out the form that you are serious about what you are doing, and it doesn't
hurt to also have the legal definition (as defined by the state) of what
constitutes an RV to show him at the same time.
It took the officer about 15 minutes in his squad car to fill it out & check
on whatever he needed to, then charged me the legal amount ($10.) for the inspection.
I took that form, along with the out of state inspection form, and the Georgia
title to the BMV. If not for a glitch pertaining to the odometer, it would
have taken all of 20 minutes at the BMV.
They're not equipped, nor trained to answer questions about what needs to be
done to make this conversion, but if you do your homework, present them with the
proper paperwork (that they are trained to respond to), they will do their job
If you are a legal resident of Indiana, you can do this at any license branch in
the state, but I believe you will have to do this in person, as the vehicle must
be inspected by the local law enforcement.
Good luck, and don't get discouraged. From the time I bought the truck,
it was less than two weeks that I had the RV plate on it!
The following information was current back in Early 2005 so it MAY or MAY NOT be
correct for registering a converted HDT in Louisiana now.
Most Importantly, only speak with someone in the - Specialized Plate and Title Unit -
as others will probably lead you astray when it comes to information about registering
a converted HDT as a Motorhome in Louisiana.
The vehicle application form number you need is -
This is a 2 page form but the state only sent me page 1 of 2 so evidentially page
2 is not needed.
The person who faxed me the form plus the 5 pages of information titled ( MOTOR
HOME CONSTRUCTED FROM 18-WHEELER OR SCHOOL BUS ) that I couldn't find
online was Karlus in the Specialized Plate and Title Unit at Louisiana Department
of Public Safety and Corrections.
Their phone numbers and fax number is as follows:
Phone: 1-225-925-6381 or 225-925-6382
BTW, here is a cut and paste from a post that another forum member
posted in a Thread way back when about registering an HDT as a Motorhome in Louisiana.
I live in West Monroe, La. and have a 1999 Volvo 610 that I have registered here in
Louisiana as a Motor Home. I was lucky, when I bought mine it was already
registered as a motor home in Virginia. I got my title and tags from a Auto
Title Company rather than LA DMV.
I did get information from Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections
Office of Motor Vehicles Specialized Plate & Title Unit before I purchased
my truck. They sent me all the information required to title a Motor Home
constructed from 18-wheeler or school bus.
You can contact them at the Special Plate Unit at 225-925-6381 or 225-925-6382.
I talked to a lady by name of Emily ( NOTE: Emily no longer worked in that
when I contacted them so I spoke with an employee by the name of Karlus in the
same department ) and she was very helpful and prompt in sending the information
One thing the regulations states is the converted 18-wheeler must have at least
four of the following permanently installed systems.
A. Cooking facilities
B. Ice box or mechanical refrigerator
C. Potable water supply including plumbing and a sink with faucet either
self-contained or with connections for an external source, or both.
D. Self-contained toilet or a toilet connected to a plumbing system with
connection for external water disposal, or both.
E. Heating or air conditioning system., or both, separate from the vehicle
engine or the vehicle engine electrical system.
F. A one hundred ten/one hundred fifteen volt alternating current electrical
system either with its own power supply or with a connection for an external
source, or both, or a liquefied petroleum system and supply.
BTW, the 6 items listed above (you only need 4 of the 6) are
the standard items one needs to qualify as a MH per the Federal Government.
My HDT is registered in Maine as a 'Motor Home"
Maryland State Registration Code Issues
From DIYGuy (Mark):
I have a full page of info on Mass Registration,
MH plate =Yes.
From Brad Dandles (Brad):
Good Afternoon Everyone,
I went to the Michigan SOS office in Benton Harbor for my first attempt to get the
Volvo registered as a motorhome and guess what? I got it done on the first try.
Thank you for everyone's advice on what to take along. I even had another VIN
number (Thanks Gary) but I did not need to use it. I took along my
I had written a deposition ahead of time telling what is in the truck and mentioned
that this was what the Federal standards required to be considered a motorhome.
They copied all my papers and receipts and one hour after I walked in I walked out with
the plates and registration.
I went to Volvo in Grand Rapids yesterday and had some computer setting changed and now
I don't have to learn French. Plus 688,700 miles looks better than 1,108,xxx kilometers.
I'm still working on cleaning and painting the frame. Jacolyn has already cleaned
the interior and is in the process of 'Girlifying' it. Matching sheets and coverlet
(whatever the hell is that??), a throw pillow and throw rugs. What have I gotten
From Dale G (Dale):
I'm the new kid on the block here and I just went thru this process
in May (2013). I went thru the Secretary of States office in Romeo
and they had done this in the past and were some what familar with
what was being done. If the truck is titled as a motorhome currently
it will be no problem as they will accept it's current
classification. The hard part was establishing the value of the
motorhome because the registration is based on the the original
value. When they run the VIN it will come up with the original value
of the truck and you do not want to pay for the plates based on
this. After a phone call to the States office in Lansing they agreed
that the truck had been re-purposed from it's original intent to
it's current classification and they accepted the purchase price as
the new value. It took a couple of calls but I had looked into all
of this before the purchase and this was what was told to me in
advance of my purchase. There is no special drivers licence for a
motorhome in Michigan unless you are double towing and then you
would have to get what they call a recreational doudle licence. Good
My Arizona 90 day permit was getting close to expiring;
I finally jumped through the hoops to get my HDT licensed as an RV in
It was a surprisingly easy and painless process.
I don't think the DMV staff see many of these; the staffer said a
few times "this doesn't look like an RV to me; but I guess you are
following the rules so it must be ok".
Anyway; I have new shiny plates and all the HDT paperwork is now
I recently (08-2008) got the revised statutes for the state of Missouri from the St.
Joseph Highway patrol in response to my phone inquiry. They are shown in the
link below. When you get there you have to click on each to make it
readable size (no geek card) sorry.
From Mcouncil (Mike):
I just registered mine in Missouri a couple of months ago so I will tell you what
I had to do. There is a Federal list of requirements that Missouri follows.
The unit must have 5 out of the 6: Separate heating/cooling controls; Potable water;
Shore power; Toilet facility; Refrigeration; Cooking.
My sleeper had separate heat/cool controls, shore power, frig. and I added a
microwave and a porta-potti making 5 out of 6.
I took my papers (not the truck) to my local DMV and about 10 minutes later left
with an RV registration.
From J.W. Morgan
Come to Richland County, in Sidney, MT. The vast oilfields are a great state
revenue source for selling the MT license plates.
No questions asked, no lines to wait in, and you are on your way. I recently
bought plates for 4 vehicles in less than 20min.
I registered my FL112 at 16k lbs. for around $120.
Several others have posted information in that thread, in and
Registering HDT as motorhome in Montana about Montana RV/PT registrations.
I am a resident of Nevada. I notice in the sticky thread about truck
registration that Nevada information is not listed.
My HDT is registered as a private truck.
Nevada DMV declined to register my "truck" as a MH.
From hjsdds (Henry): New Hampshire will register
converted HDTs as motorhomes and there is no CDL requirement to drive them,
only regular driver's licence. Registration is done at the local town
clerk's office. Those who don't know it and balk, will be
"straighten out" by the state DMV office. There are at least two HDTs
I know registered as motorhomes in NH, registered through three different
From Dennis Doyal:
We tow with a 2001 International 9400i. I read all of the information
available on the forum pertaining to the registration of a HDT as other
than a commercial truck and I was frankly scared to death to even try it.
We looked at the SD registration option but that window of oppertunity has
closed because most states are now sharing information and every state wants
to maximize it's oppertunity to collect taxes and registrations from it's
residents. We installed the invertor, fridge, microwave and other items
mandated by the federal regulations and then contacted our local DMV to see
what the next step would be. After debating (arguing) with the head of
the local DMV and seeming to have the upper hand I was given the direct
phone number of the head of the New Mexico DMV network. Much to my
surprise I was told that all I had to do to register our truck as an RV was
to take the commercial equipment (5th wheel, glad hands, 7 pin DOT wire
harness and any numbers or decals off of the truck and just "tell" the
person at the DMV that I wanted an RV registration and they would do it for
me, no questions asked. He even gave me his personal cell number so I
could have them call him for verification if there was any problems. It
all worked just as he told me it would and now we have an RV, not a motor home
or a personal truck, plate on the front bumper of our Binder. To continue
the conversation that I had with the head of the NM DMV he did go on to explain
in no uncertain terms that the fines and penalties for being caught with RV
tags and doing commercial work were SWIFT and STEEP. The loss of your
license, your truck and your freedom were several things that he mentioned to
me. I was shocked that any government agency would just "trust" it's
residents to be honest but such seems to be the case in New Mexico. I
can't speak as to how this might work in the future but that is how it
transpired for me when we registered our Class 8 HDT as an RV. I hope
this information will be helpful to others.
From Donnie Barnes (Donnie):
You have to have the BIG FW hitch (Commercial Hitch) off of it, but you can have
the smaller hitch (RV) that a camper would use and be fine. You do not need
to "permanently alter" the truck in any way.
I had one done a few months back. I put all the "stuff" in it that
the "house car" regulation requires and I just unbolted and removed the
big hitch. The inspector didn't like it at first, quizzed me pretty hard
about my intent with it, and finally relented and took some pics and took the
paperwork back to his boss.
I'm in the Triangle area of NC. He called me the next day and said
"yeah, we can do it." And he did it. Mine is a Volvo 670,
still tandem, etc.
Be VERY polite with the inspector, but be persistent. Remove that big FW.
You REALLY need an air ride hitch for a normal fifth wheel camper anyway to
keep from tearing it up as the ride will be bone jarring to the trailer otherwise.
Anyway, the regs are clear on this and they sort of have to abide by them even
if they don't really want to. But the only way to "make"
them would cost a lot in lawyers fees, so a little honey will go a long way to
getting it done. I think it was news to my inspector that I could just
register the thing in Montana if I really wanted to circumvent my own state,
but all that would do was cost me AND the state of NC money (and me a lot of
aggravation), so he helped me out.
Remember that NOTHING was done other than a microwave added when I got it
registered as a "house car" in NC (it already had bed, fridge, and
shore power connection).
From Donnie follow up;
Inspector Hooks did mine, but I'm not sure if he works that far over (North
Raleigh) or not. I'm actually just barely in Chatham County, but
really near Orange and Alamance. And yeah, I had *no* hitch on mine and
am only planning to do a ball since I pull race trailers, not campers, with mine.
Generally speaking they are fine with any hitch other than the big FW, but I have
heard of them getting picky about any FW. Might be worthwhile to fab a plate
and borrow a ball to put on it for the inspection. Sort of sucks to have to
do that, but sometimes reasoning only goes so far. Oh, and make sure the FW
camper isn't around where the inspection happens.
And FWIW, they acted like there was just NO WAY they could do what I was asking
Both on the phone before seeing it and then after coming out to see it. No
way this could happen. They had turned down many before me, they said.
But I gave them no reason to believe it would ever be commercial and they relented
after much politeness. But remember, too, that these "inspectors"
that do this are sworn officers of the state that carry guns and handcuffs and put
people in jail almost every day for something.
They are the same guys that "inspect" anyone with a car dealer's
license and they are REALLY busy right now thanks to the economy. Be patient,
be ice, and be persistent without being insistent. That's my best advice.
Ohio just has an Affidavit For Titling A Motor Home Modified From A Commercial Tractor.
The only conditions they had for a tractor is: permanently installed facilities for cold
storage, cooking and consuming of food, and for sleeping, and can not have a fifth wheel,
which to me, means a fifth wheel to pull a commercial trailer?
From Ann N Gene (Gene):
It is really easy in Oklahoma.
I live in Stillwater and as Jack said have an HDT registered as a motorhome.
You DO NO HAVE to convert anything to get a private vehicle registration and
tag--the same tag as on a car or 1/2 ton pickup.
I CHOOSE to
convert mine to a motorhome to avoid hassles when I travel by having a registration
certificate that says "RV" on it as a body style. You have to have
3 of the 5 listed items (sleeping facilities, running water, cooking facilities,
toilet, and shore power connection. I put a microwave, fridge,
and Porta potty in mine, of course it already had sleeping facilities. Then
you just fill out the form.
NO INSPECTION NECESSARY BY ANYONE -- take it to the DMV along with your title
and get a new title, registration and tag.
I recommend that you use the tag agent on 25th just Northeast of the capital as they
just take the paperwork (are familiar with it), ask no questions, process it, take
you cash and give you a tag and registration.
Title will be mailed in a few days. It is really easy and NO HASSLE.
Most small tag agents will have no idea what you are talking about and will
complicate the process by call the state and questions being asked that you MIGHT
not want to answer. Just my experiences.
If you go to the tax commission or the tag agent I recommended they will get you the
proper form and instructions to fill it out so that it will qualify as an RV.
From kblackav8or (Kevin):
Mine is registered as a RV there.
But I have always been a legal resident - I am another active duty military guy who can
call anywhere home if I so choose.
RV registration there is solely based on length. Max is 45' per licensed unit
be it a bus or trailer.
My entire family still lives there and I will probably end up retiring there or ID
or WA which will probably be a chunk of change to move everything in.
All HDT conversions for private use can be registered as either Commercial or
Non-commercial in SD, however there are currently No Registrations Offered in SD
as an RV or Motorhome for converted HDT's.
Strictly registrations as a Non-commercial truck.
I work in Nashville near the state DOT offices so I went down there a couple times
and talked to them before I bought my T2. I found out that it was very easy
to re-title it as a motor home and they have never asked to see it. They
don't give out a packet of instructions, but verbally they said that "as
long as I am not using for ANY commercial use that I could re-title it".
The department manager said they have many things re-titled as MH's - vans and
other things, etc.
My insurer (Progressive) was much more insistent that I meet several things, and
they do not consider it a MH, but a HD truck. To make it a MH in their eyes
they say it has to have "a full bathroom, including shower, not just a
Porta-potty in a cabinet, plus the normal, heat, air, 110 volt power, bed, etc.
They also have never asked for photos, or inspection.
Mine still has the tags that give the class 8 capacities, but after singling I
will be making a reconstructed tag with the new vehicle weights - it needs to
be done before I get that little detail attended to. After learning the facts
from T-DOT I got my title in my local county (they didn't know anything about
all this and had to call Nashville office for instructions).
I got my insurance over the phone and Internet and off I went to Knoxville to
drive my used T2 home. But I selected New Years day for driving so the
State Weigh Stations were closed so I didn't have to do a long explanation
about glad hands, commercial hitch, my not having anything but a normal drivers
license - oh yea - I have a motorcycle endorsement.
I think the plates are just under $25 for the state, plus county fees that bring
it up to about $75 a year and I've had it tagged for a couple years.
From Phil D (Phil):
With the most recent (black characters on a plain white
background) plates now being issued, there is no longer any such
thing as a "Truck" plate. Unless it's an Apportioned,
Combination, or some other special type of truck registration,
all trucks, regardless of size or weight, receive the same plate as
a car. Only the fees paid and the classification shown on the
Registration Receipt that you receive from the Assessor/Collector's
office are different, so it's now impossible to tell, just from
looking at the plates, whether a Texas-registered RV hauler is a
Motor Home or a Private Truck. Once you're issued a "new" set
of plates, you'll have to carry your Receipt (something not
otherwise required by Texas law for non-commercial vehicles) if you
want to document for a LEO that you're operating a Motor Home
instead of a Private Truck.
Also, please note that the procedure for "converting" a retired
truck-tractor to a Motor Home has changed. The procedure
outlined in Bulletin 069-02 is no longer in effect -- and that page
can no longer be found on the State of Texas' web site -- although
the requirements are unchanged. The new procedure involves the
completion of an additional form. Here is the excerpt of the
pertinent section from the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles'
Motor Vehicle Title Manual, the "bible" by which all County
Assessor/Collector office work when titling and registering motor
Converted Trucks and Buses
trucks, truck-tractor and buses, which have been reconstructed or
converted to contain living quarters, should be titled as Motor
Homes and register with passenger plates. Owners should support the
title application with a photograph of the interior and exterior, a
weight certificate verifying the gross weight, and a Rebuilt Vehicle
Statement, Form VTR-61, explaining the alteration. The make, year
model, and vehicle identification number should be the same as that
shown on the title covering the truck, truck-tractor or bus.
When the certificate of title is issued for this type of vehicle,
the notation "Reconstructed" appears.
The use of Form VTR-61 should eliminate the calls to Austin that
were an inevitable part of the "experience" when attempting to
register as a Motor Home in counties such as mine
(Hidalgo), which were unfamiliar with the procedure, since the
availability of the Motor Home registration is explicitly stated and
the procedure for doing so is clearly described. The only downside
is that as noted, the title is forever branded as "Reconstructed",
as if the vehicle had been rebuilt from a total loss, but it
accomplishes the ultimate goal of legally establishing our former
truck-tractors as motor homes for the purpose of titling and
Presumably, since I haven't heard from Austin about my Kenworth,
nor has anybody that I know of been contacted, that those of us that
retitled under the Bulletin 069-02 procedure, while it was in
effect, are grandfathered in, and the Form VTR-61 procedure is only
required for newly converted and retitled Motor Homes.
TxDMV Title Manual:
TxDMV Registration Manual:
From Robert Trim:
Utah is one of them. In fact, it's the easiest state to get it done
in. They don't even inspect it for that classification and have no
base criteria for what makes something a motorhome. You walk in and
say ' I want to change this HDT to a Motorhome classification...
I've removed the commercial hitch and pull my 5er with it.' You get
a blank stare (typical at the dept of motor vehicles in most states
I think), then they go 'supervisor!' and the supervisor hands you a
few forms, you hand them a check and a new title arrives a few weeks
later. Painless stuff here.
From Lightingbug (Mike):
As a WA state resident I can tell you first hand you do not need a
CDL as long as the truck is registered as an RV. The trick is making
the truck RCW compliant. Start by looking at WA RCW 43.22.335
"recreational vehicle" means a vehicular-type unit primarily
designed for recreational camping or travel use that has its own
motive power or is mounted on or towed by another vehicle. The units
include travel trailer, fifth-wheel trailers, folding campers, truck
campers and MOTOR HOMES. The WA WAC 308-100-210 definition of
recreational vehicle is "shall include vehicles used exclusively for
noncommercial purposes which are: (1) Primarily designed for
recreational, camping or TRAVEL USE" WA RCW 46.04.305 states "Motor
Homes" means motor vehicle originally designed, RECONSTRUCTED, or
PERMANENTLY ALTERED to provide facilities for human habitation,
which include lodging and cooking or sewage disposal, and is
enclosed with a solid body shell ith the vehicle, but excludes a
camper like unit constructed seperately and affixed to a motor
Simple the tractor is a enclosed solid body shell, reconstructed or
permanently altered, I left the bed but will be adding a jack knife
sofa, as when open is lodging, and I added a small micro and a small
camper cooking unit from camping world. I now have lodging and
cooking and am a motor home per WA RCW definition. In WA state you
are required to complete a certification of fact that can be found
on the WA DOL web site. Complete the form noting the state RCWs that
pertain (noted above), have it notarize. Go to DOL and license as a
RV no CDL required, no air brake endorcement required. One thing you
will need is a current weight ticket. I ran the fuel below a quarter
tank so it was fuel light and had it weighed. The registeration will
show the ticket weight.
Read the RCWs noted and you will have the facts.
From Les Laub:
Registered my Singled 2001 Volvo as a Motor Home in Wisconsin. I did all the
work myself. No inspection or Medical Card was required. Title cost was
$90.13. Person behind the counter said it was my responsibility to register my