On January 1, 1995, a federal act came into effect, which applies to church-owned or leased vans or buses used for interstate church-related functions. In particular, this would apply when your churches use church-owned or leased vehicles to cross state lines on church activities.
The act states that the vehicle must carry over sixteen (16) passengers including the driver or have a gross weight of over 10,001 pounds in order to apply.
There are numerous requirements under the act, including qualified drivers with commercial driver's licenses. Certain amounts of insurance must be maintained, and certain methods of operation must be used to operate the vehicle. The vehicle must have certain markings and certain parts and accessories. The driver may only drive certain designated numbers of hours of services, and the vehicle must have regular inspections, repair and maintenance.
The bottom line is that you should be careful when sponsoring an out-of-state church-related trip, to ensure that the vehicle meets these detailed specifications. If you need a telephone number for the United State Department of Transportation in your state, which will provide you with copies of these regulations, please contact me, and I will be glad to share same with you.