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School Bus Yellow okay or not okay - What says the law? Michael 5-2-03  
Hi All!

I got stopped by a police officer, who gave me a citation for driving on an Arizona highway in a former school bus, which does have nothing on it that says SCHOOL BUS, but is yellow.
To my surprise he gave me a lesson about a law, which does not apply to my bus, since it was neither purchased in the state of Arizona nor from the state of Arizona or an official representation of the state of Arizona. I bought my bus in Michigan from a private person. The bus is registered as a motorhome and was accordingly licensed in the state of Arizona, where I live. When I got it registered as a motorhome, I got no information on the repainting part.
Now, the big question is there a law which applies to the US and says, that no (former school) bus can be yellow?

To all the folks, who might think children could mix up my bus with a real school bus: I have no insignia saying School Bus on the bus, but a long horn skull with horns on the hood.
All the windows with the exception of the windshields, door windows and the driver's window are tinted black.

Every information is greatly appreciated. Court Date May 21st 2003 ;-)

Thanks in advance for your help,
Re: School Bus Yellow okay or not okay - What says the law? Lee 5-7-03  
I recently tried to have my schoolie registered here in Alaska. Everything was going well until they asked me the color. The lady showed me the regulations that stated that no part of the bus could be the original school bus yellow. Not a big problem since I was just waiting for warm weather to paint the beast, but a slight delay for registration. It also has to have all of the normal RV stuff permanetly (sp?)installed.
Good luck in your court case. You should be able to claim that the state should not have registered your bus until it met their expectations. Might even work!
Re: School Bus Yellow okay or not okay - What says the law? Roger Walling 5-2-03  
I have painted many school busses and there are many different yellows that are chose by different manufactures. I don’t know how a state law could cover all of the different colors in a law. Ask for the specific color number or name of the color that is banned by the law. Take note that different paint manufacturers call the same color by different names. Also either the bus maker or the paint maker may call a specific color different names.
General Motors will call the same color on a Chevy, a different name on a Cadillac.
Re: School Bus Yellow okay or not okay - What says the law? Michael 5-9-03  
Hi Folks,

Here is a quick update. I have not got word from the US Department of Transportation but our former Justice of the Peace wrote me a message.
I quote:

"... As for the violation, my interpretation is that the law reads: 'If a motor vehicle... that is owned or operated by this state..." should be a crucial consideration. I, (bare in mind, this is me and I am not a judge anymore) would have to consider if you have a 'technical' defense where you can prove that the 'motor vehicle' was not owned or operated by this state. [Note: in this situation, the key words are motor vehicle, not bus or motor home]

Too often judges are more interested in making money for the government coffers rather than reviewing the law as it is written, which is a judge's duty. But different judges have different opinions.

You can plead "not responsible" and take the matter to a hearing and also ask for a different judge since it appears he appears to have a made a "plea bargain" and may have already 'decided' on his position.

If you contest the citation, one of two may result:
1. You may be found responsible for the violation and a fine imposed against you;

2. You could be found not responsible and the violation could be dismissed..."

Well, as soon as I have more information, I will let you know, if you would like. May be the one or the other can profit of my experience.

Once again thanks for all your thoughts,
Re: School Bus Yellow okay or not okay - What says the law? Steven 9-17-16  
School bus yellow is legal to have on a motor home conversion in Oregon and Washington states. Nevada is legal also. How about California? Idaho? Utah? Colorado? I know of bus conversion owners driving in those states and they have not been stopped. Being my bus conversion is registered in Oregon where it is legal, how does that work driving through a state where the color isn't legal? Seems like they could fine me, but the bus could be driven out of the state with an attorney appearing for the court date later, stating that the bus in no longer in the state and has returned to the state where it is legal. To me, this feels like a violation of personal freedom of expression/ free speech, and the state can't prove that it has any compelling interest to force an artist to change the color of his/her work of art simply because of a particular color used on a vehicle. There is no compelling safety issue, or any other legitimate reason, such as public safety, as can be shown by the safe use of the color in other states where it is allowed. It could be argued that the color actually improves the visibility of the vehicle and enhances safety. I plan to add some artwork using the yellow as the base color and register it as a work of art. Free speech and the right to harmless self expression are rights worth fighting for in my view. I would call the ACLU and challenge any state law that can't give any compelling interest in the enforcement of laws such as this. I doubt that the law is commonly enforced in states where the color is illegal other than if you live in a state where you can't register it as a motor home before changing the color. It's a silly outdated law that should be removed from the books, and states that enforce it apparently don't need our tourist dollars. I will avoid any state with this law before I will repaint my conversion. This is clearly a free speech/ freedom of expression issue in my view. It makes me glad I live in a state that respects and protects harmless freedom of expression and free speech, and my artistic freedom of expression. Perhaps I will add some of my favorite political slogans to the side of the bus conversion also. No I will not paint my bus without a state showing me it has a reasonable compelling interest in my doing so. !!! End of rant. LOL
Re: School Bus Yellow okay or not okay - What says the law? Don Mason 5-15-03  
Michael, I have not even read the responsis to your question yet!!!! But... I WANT to keep my school bus YELLOW... I plan on a darkroom in the back of the bus, as I travel. HMMMMM???? DUH..! What else is yellow? YES !! A box of KODAK FILM !!Seeing my buss will be yellow, when I buy one, I plan on asking Kodak, to Sponsor at least signs for the bus, in big Black letters. This bus sponsored by Kodak, etc... Don Mason
How much does a decent paint job for a school bus cost? John 5-16-07  
I just bought aa '95 Carpenter International and want to have it painted. Anyone know the estimates for a nice job?
Re: School Bus Yellow okay or not okay - Indiana Sarah 8-5-03  
I called today and was told in no uncertain terms that in Indiana you cannot get a former school bus titled as anything but a school bus if it is "school bus yellow". It absolutely has to be repainted (along with other modifications) and inspected by a state police officer, who fills out a body change form, which you then bring to the license branch, and they will issue a new title for the bus, listing it as whatever the state police officer inspected it as (motorhome, moving van, etc.)
Re: School Bus Yellow okay or not okay - What says the law? buslady 6-7-03  
Each state has it's own law but generally it's all the same, you CAN NOT run a ex-schoolbus, converted or not, with National Schoolbus Yellow on it, you can paint her a different yellow but I would just repaint it to a nice blue with a few other colors thrown in so people can say that's a nice lookin schoolbus conversion!
Re: School Bus Yellow okay or not okay - What says the law? david 5-26-03  
Anyone out there know about montana,washington state,or.,idaho laws regarding school bus yellow
There is a specific "NSBY" yellow... kd5kfl 5-3-03  
A google search for

"school bus yellow" and regulation

returned many state laws about this.

There is a specific National School Bus Yellow, AKA NSBY.

I have heard this elsewhere, that private owners can't have their schoolies in original NSBY. Not because kids would voluntarily get in the bus on their day off. It's because of the traffic regs pertaining to operation around schoolies.

If the Man can't cite a specific statute, he may be talking out his tailfeathers.
Re: School Bus Yellow okay or not okay - What says the law? RoadHOG 5-3-03  
Since you own and drive a motorhome the law does not apply to you. It only applies to a *bus*, which is used to carry passengers. Since your vessel is not equipped to carry passengers therefor you do not have a *bus* and a law saying what color buses can be painted does not apply.
Re: School Bus Yellow okay or not okay - What says the law? zaki f hasan 7-1-03  
Needed to buy school buses chevy

model 1985 to 1994

thank you

Re: School Bus Yellow okay or not okay - What says the law? Michael 5-6-03  
Hi Roger, RoadHog & kd5kfl,
Thanks for your comment.

The Arizona law which was used as base for the citation says:
28-902. Repainting government vehicle
If a motor vehicle that is painted yellow and that is owned or operated by this state, a county, city, town or political subdivision of this state, a school district or a school is sold or transferred to a private owner, the private owner shall repaint the motor vehicle a different color and obliterate all official painted insignia before the motor vehicle is driven on a public highway.

The law can be found here:

What I bought is a former school bus registered in Michigan as a motorhome from a private person. The vehicle was bought in Michigan. I drove it to the local DMV (in Arizona) had it inspected and the vehicle was registered as a motorhome in the state of Arizona.

What do you think?

Best regards,
Re: School Bus Yellow okay or not okay - What says the law? Michael 5-6-03  
Hi Roger,

that's an interesting thought.
Thanks for your input.

Re: School Bus Yellow okay or not okay - What says the law? Paula 7-21-03  
Please send me information about where I can obtain insurance on a school bus to motorhome conversion.
More: Illegal in Iowa... kd5kfl 5-3-03  
Like I care about Iowa. A google search for

"school bus yellow" and regulation and private retutned this:

Use an editor to find school bus yellow. It clearly states that private schoolies can't be NSBY.
Re: More: Illegal in Iowa... Michael 5-6-03  
Hi kd5kfl!

Thanks for your time searching and of course for the results.

I contacted the US Department of Motorvehicles to get information from their side in regards to a nationwide law which could apply to former school buses not being allowed to be yellow.
On their website, they promise a response within 48 hours. So far, no feedback, after 96 hours. I guess, they have different watches than I have ;-)

Best regards,
Re: School Bus Yellow okay or not okay - What says the law? Greg 5-15-03  
My wife has a '82 Crown, and I would prefer it be left yellow as does she. My reasoning is that it will probably cost $1000 in paint alone to change. I contacted the Nevada Highway Patrol and the DMV. Both have assured me there is no Nevada state law dictating the color of our ex-bus/ motorhome; and neither are they aware of any federal laws relating to same. Of course, the state where you have yours registered may vary. Nevada, what a great place to live.
Re: School Bus Yellow okay or not okay - What says the law? Michael 5-23-03  
Hi Don,
I like that idea. Sounds excellent.
Re: School Bus Yellow okay or not okay - What says the law? Michael 5-18-03  
Hi Greg & of course Greg's wife ;-)!
I looked everywhere and it really seems there is no specific law which applies to all 50 states that says a former school bus can not be yellow.
I drove my yellow "Beast" for nearly two years and even had it registered as a motorhome and therefor inspected without any complaints in regards to the color of the bus.
I would leave the Crown (that was my dream but I needed an emergency door in the rear for my kayaks and canoe to load easy) yellow. As long as it doesn't say School Bus, it should be okay.
Greetings from Arizona to Nevada ;-),

PS: I am originally from Germany (country without yellow school buses), so please excuse my improvable English.
Re: School Bus Yellow okay or not okay - What says the law? freebird 5-23-03  
Maine law is; a school bus being used for carrying passengers can remain Yellow, however a school bus being used for any other purpose must be painted another color...
So my dilemma is how to prep the bus for painting? Is there an acid etch? or do I have to remove the old paint?
Re: School Bus Yellow okay or not okay - What says the law? Aaron 8-11-03  
If the paint is in good condition, no rust comimg through, do not remove it.
You can use Scotch Brite, which is a soft sanding mesh to scuff the paint, and it is basically ready to repaint.
If rust is present you will need to sand and primer those areas.
Re: School Bus Yellow okay or not okay - What says the law? Don 6-3-03  
Michael!! Thank You...
I want a photo platform on it. See link on party platforms.)
I will have a darkroom in it! Don
Re: School Bus Yellow okay or not okay - What says the law? Michael 7-3-03  
To all who wonder what ever happened to the court date.
I showed up and the judge told me, he doesn't care about the law. Okay, he put in different words but the message was pretty much clear: $187 fine and paint the bus, show the result 4 weeks later.
I painted the bus: Star-spangled banner. If there is one thing nobody complains about these days is a german driving a bus painted just like the star-spangled banner. Before the court date, I had the pleasure to meet a former judge and asked him about his ideas. He told me that he would request another court date with a different judge. When I showed the bus to the judge who didn't care much about the laws as they are written, I requested some information from him in regards to getting an additional court appointment with another judge. Pretty shocked, he told to call his "girls" to another date. Next day, I called his "girls" and got another appointement with the judge again. We talked a lot and he told me, that he is sorry, that he decided the way he did. The $187 however which I paid already at the first appointment, could not be given back since the county is broke.
I told the judge, that I am not really surprised that I got ripped off by governmental officals. The judge changed after all and realized that the vehicle should have never been registered as a motorhome after it was inspected and the inspector saw that the bus is yellow.
Since the bus looks like the star-spangled banner anyway, I will participate in the 4th of July parade. After all my children are Americans and my former school bus is one of the all-American vehicles ;-)
To all you out there: Have a happy 4th of July. And if you ever see a bus painted like the star-spangled banner, don't expect the driver to talk English without a strong accent ;-)

Happy 4th of July,
Re: School Bus Yellow okay or not okay - What says the law? Michael 7-31-03  
Hi Paula,

I am covered with GMAC.
No problems so far.

I hope it helps you as well.

Have fun busing around,
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