Requirements for Becoming and Remaining a School Bus Driver
State and Federal Resources
Recommended Hiring Process
1. INTERVIEW DRIVER
Be sure to give the applicant the facts concerning physical requirements, C.D.L knowledge teat and C.D.L skills test requirements. THE DISTRICT MUST DO A DRIVER RECORD AND A CRIMINAL RECORD CHECK OF THE APPLICANT BEFORE HIRING.
2. DRUG AND ALCOHOL TESTING
All school districts participate in drug and alcohol testing for staff with a Commercial Drivers License (C.D.L.). Testing includes pre employment, random, post accident, reasonable suspicion, return to duty drug and/or alcohol testing. A drug test only (pre employment tests) must be completed before the employee provides a safety-sensitive service to the district. Applicants that have a C.D.L. must sign the
3. PROVIDE APPLICANT WITH C.D.L. MANUAL AND STUDY MATERIALS
The school should develop a C.D.L. pre-test the applicant should take and pass before proceeding.
4. SEND APPLICANT TO SECRETARY OF STATE FOR COMMERCIAL LICENSE PERMIT
The applicant takes a vehicle class type and endorsement written tests and will be given a TIP/TOP. Drivers must have a chauffeur and C.D.L. (B or C with a PS- possible airbrake) license to drive a school bus. This allows the applicant to drive the appropriate vehicle when accompanied by an appropriately licensed C.D.L. driver. No passengers are allowed on the vehicle (257.1849 Sec 49 (2)).
5. SEND APPLICANT FOR A PHYSICAL
Doctor certified to preform D.O.T. physicals will provide a signed Medical Examiner's Certificate card to qualified drivers. The school must retain a copy of the Medical Examiner's Certificate in the driver file. The D.O.T. cards are valid for a maximum of 24 months. The driver will show their D.O.T. Medical card to the Secretary of State office.
6. DO PREREQUISITE TRAINING
Be sure to complete training including pre-trip inspection, basic skills, student stops, and behind the wheel training. The skills test is described in Sections 10, 11, 12, and 13 of the Commercial Driver’s License Manual available at the Secretary of State’s office.
7. APPLY FOR A SKILLS TEST
The Secretary of State can provide a list of Third Party Examiners.
8. TAKE THE C.D.L SKILLS TEST
The appointment will take about three hours to complete. You must send another driver with the appropriate C.D.L. endorsements to accompany your applicant. The applicant is not licensed to drive the vehicle alone until the Secretary of State has applied the endorsements onto the license. The applicant must hold their permit for 14 or more days before testing.
9. GET C.D.L. ENDORSEMENT ACTIVATED
Retain a copy of the Drivers Skills Test Certificate for the driver’s file. Take the Drivers Skills Test Certificate to the Secretary of State office to activate the new endorsements.
10. ENROLL PERSON IN NEW BUS DRIVER TRAINING CLASS
Discuss with the driver the available class dates to avoid a scheduling conflict. When enrolling the driver, you can request a Course Enrollment Card (C.E.C.) and submit a Prerequisite Training Certificate. The driver must have the appropriate endorsements on their license (257.1849 Sec 49 (2)), a negative pre-employment drug screen, a current D.O.T. Physical card, meet the standards described above, and posses a C.E.C. before they can transport students. The C.E.C. is not transferable and will expire 10 days after the last date of the scheduled class, or within 90 days of enrollment (whichever occurs first).
11. RECEIVE COURSE COMPLETION CARD
Upon successful completion of the Beginning School Bus Driver training program, the district will receive the driver’s Certificate of Course Completion card. This card will expire on the first available 9/30 of the odd numbered year. A Continuing Education class must be taken prior to the expiration date to keep the driver’s certification valid.
12. CONTINUING EDUCATION
Each driver must complete 6 hours of additional training prior to their card expiring on 9/30 of the odd numbered year. This training must meet the state approved curriculum and be taught by an approved education agency. Drivers that fail to attend the training and allow their certification to expire can not transport students until they enroll into the Beginning School Bus Driver Program to once again become certified. A driver may substitute the Eaton Proving Grounds program as a Continuing Education credit, once in their career.