How Long does it Take to Become a School Bus Driver?

The short answer is anywhere from fourteen days to six months. You’re free to take the process at your own pace; however, your commercial learner’s permit (CLP) is only good for six months, and it’s nonrenewable. Under the law, you must hold this CLP for at least fourteen days before you are eligible for a full Commercial Driver’s Licence (CDL).

What are the Requirements to Drive a Bus?

State laws are variable. Federal law states that you must hold a CDL—a Commercial Driver’s Licence. For information on this process and how to obtain your CDL, please click here.

In all cases, to be eligible for a CDL, you must have held your Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP) for 14 days and provide proof of a valid U.S. citizenship. At the minimum, you must be 18 years old, but you must be 21 to cross state lines or to drive a vehicle containing hazardous waste.

How do You Get Your CDL to Drive a School Bus?

The first step to this process is to obtain a Commercial Learner’s Permit (a CLP); to do so, you’ll take an on-paper exam and pay a small fee. After fourteen days of holding this pre-licensure, you’ll be allowed, under federal law, to take the road test to obtain a full CDL. To drive a school bus specifically, you’ll need to also obtain what’s called a school bus endorsement, a special permit that allows you to carry large amounts of passengers. For more information on the CDL process, please click here.

Can you Drive a School Bus if You’ve had a DUI?

That depends on your state. In Minnesota, a DUI on your record in the past five years will disqualify you from a school bus endorsement. Being convicted of a DUI after you obtain a CDL yields severe consequences if you’ve previously been convicted, even in a noncommercial vehicle.

What Qualifications Do You Need to Be a Bus Driver?

Being sociable and providing service with a smile are the foremost qualifications! In addition to this, you’ll need to get a Commercial Learning Permit, which, with time and practice and a few examinations, will eventually progress into a full Commercial Driver’s Licence. To drive a school bus specifically, you’ll also need to get an endorsement to carry passengers. To further understand the qualifications you need to be a bus driver, please click here.