Commercial Drivers License (CDL) School Bus Endorsement

Requirements for a CDL School Bus Endorsement.

An applicant for a school bus endorsement must satisfy the following three requirements:

  • Qualify for passenger vehicle endorsement. Pass the knowledge and skills test for obtaining a passenger vehicle endorsement.

Knowledge test. Must have knowledge covering at least the following three topics:

  • Loading and unloading children, including the safe operation of stop signal devices, external mirror systems, flashing lights and other warning and passenger safety devices required for school buses by State or Federal law or regulation.
  • Emergency exits and procedures for safely evacuating passengers in an emergency.
  • State and Federal laws and regulations related to safely traversing highway rail grade crossings.

Skills test. Must take a driving skills test in a school bus of the same vehicle group (see 167;383.91(a)) as the school bus applicant will drive.

Exception. Knowledge and skills tests administered before September 30, 2002 and approved by FMCSA as meeting the requirements of this section, meet the requirements of paragraphs (a)(2) and (a)(3) of 49 CFR 383.123.

Substitute for driving skills test. (1) At the discretion of a State, the driving skills test required in paragraph (a)(3) of this section may be waived for an applicant who is currently licensed, has experience driving a school bus, has a good driving record, and meets the conditions set forth in paragraph (b)(2) of 49 CFR 383.123.

An applicant must certify and the State must verify that, during the two-year period immediately prior to applying for the school bus endorsement, the applicant:

  • Held a valid CDL with a passenger vehicle endorsement to operate a school bus representative of the group he or she will be driving;
  • Has not had his or her driver’s license or CDL suspended, revoked or canceled or been disqualified from operating a CMV;
  • Has not been convicted of any of the disqualifying offenses in 167;383.51(b)     while operating a CMV or of any offense in a non-CMV that would be disqualifying under 167;383.51(b) if committed in a CMV;
  • Has not had more than one conviction of any of the serious traffic violations defined in 167;383.5, while operating any type motor vehicle;
  • Has not had any conviction for a violation of State or local law relating to motor vehicle traffic control (other than a parking violation) arising in connection with any traffic accident;
  • Has not been convicted of any motor vehicle traffic violation that resulted in an accident; and
  • Has been regularly employed as a school bus driver, has operated a school bus representative of the group the applicant seeks to drive, and provides evidence of such employment.

For more complete details and information on obtaining a CDL School Bus Endorsement please refer to 49 CFR 383.123[67 FR 49760, Jul. 31, 2002; 70 FR 56589, Sept. 28, 2005; 71 FR 2898, Jan. 18, 2006]

Source: 49 CFR 383

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