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

That depends! Driving a bus requires a Commercial Driver’s Licence (a CDL), which first requires a Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP). You are free to take the process at your own pace; a CLP is good for six whole months, but it is nonrenewable. In addition, under the law, you must hold a CLP for, at minimum, fourteen days before applying for full licensure.

What are the Requirements to Drive a Bus?

These vary from state to state. In Minnesota, you must apply for a Commercial Driver’s Licence (CDL) before you’re able to operate commercial vehicles such as school buses. For more information on this process, click here.

To get a CDL, you must have held a commercial learner’s permit for at least fourteen days and have valid proof of U.S. citizenry (passport, social security number, etc.). You must also be over eighteen years of age; if the job requires you to cross state lines in your commercial vehicle, you must be over 21 years of age.

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

First, you’ll need your Commercial Learner’s Permit (a CLP). You’ll need to hold a standard, noncommercial driver’s licence in order to apply for said permit. You’ll take a written test and file the according paperwork. After holding your CLP for at least fourteen days, you’ll be eligible to take the road test for your CDL. For more information on this process, click here.

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

In Minnesota, you cannot apply for a school bus endorsement if you have had a DUI conviction in your driving record in the past five years. Penalties for a DUI conviction after you’ve achieved your CDL are also much more severe if you’ve previously been convicted, regardless of what licensure you carried at the time. Drivers are also not allowed to consume alcohol for four hours before they will be driving a commercial vehicle.

The laws are tight in Minnesota regarding commercial vehicles and DUIs; you can be charged with a DUI with a blood alcohol content at 0.04% if you are driving a commercial vehicle. For context, this is half the BAC required to convict someone who drives a noncommercial vehicle.

What Qualifications Do You Need to Be a Bus Driver?

A cheerful, gregarious attitude is the most important thing! In addition to this, you will first need a Minnesota Commercial Learning Permit, which eventually progresses to a full Commercial Driving Licence that allows you to drive a school bus. You’ll need to get a special endorsement to carry passengers, which involves taking an additional written test. For more information on how to become a bus driver, click here.