Our new bus driver certification consists of a comprehensive 20-hour course and exam usually provided over the course of 3 consecutive days. The experienced bus driver course consists of an 8-hour refresher class offered on Saturdays. Both courses include experienced instructors, related materials, scheduling, and training sessions.
Applicants must satisfy each of the following prerequisites before their employer may request approval for the issuance of an enrollment certificate.
At least 18 years of age;
Possess a valid driver's license designating a class appropriate for the gross vehicle weight rating and manufacturer's designed passenger capacity of motor vehicle to be operated;
An acceptable driving history record from the Texas Department of Public Safety (determined in accordance with the provisions of the most current Texas Department of Public Safety publication entitled School Bus Driver's Driving Record Evaluation);
An acceptable Criminal History Record from any state law enforcement agency (reviewed in accordance with the current provisions of Texas Education Code Annotated, Section 22.084);
An acceptable physical examination conducted by a licensed physician and evaluated in accordance with all qualifications and standards specified on the most current Texas Department of Public Safety form titled Medical Examination Report for School Bus Drivers, and pre-employment/pre-duty drug testing evaluated in accordance with current federal law; and
A school district or contractor must ensure drivers have an acceptable level of knowledge and skill regarding the safe operation of school buses. It is the employer's responsibility to ensure that the driver understands the contents of Chapters 2, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, and 11 of the current Texas School Bus Driver Certification Course.
20-Hour Certification - $105
8-hour Renewal Certification - $55
Payments can be made with a credit card or Purchase Order.
Applications must be submitted to your district's transportation director and/or supervisor prior to registration. Application deadlines vary per class. Registration for your bus driver certification course can be made through our workshops page. The 20-hour course will take 3 days to complete and one day to complete the 8-hour course. Please speak with your transportation director and/or supervisor for more details.
Do I have to have a CDL?
A CDL depends on the passenger capacity of the bus. Each bus is designed to carry up to a certain amount of passengers (this info is found inside each bus on the body data plate).
There are 3 Classes of CDLs: Class A, Class B and Class C
24 passengers including the driver or more needs at least a Class B CDL with both P & S endorsements
16 – 23 passengers including the driver would need at least a Class C CDL with both P & S endorsements
15 passengers including the driver or less does not need a CDL. No endorsements required because they only go on a CDL.
Some districts have the real small school buses that might only be designed to carry like 10 passengers or less.
That size bus doesn’t need a CDL but it does still require the driver to have the certification. A passenger van is not going to be required to have a CDL or the certification course. Regardless if its special ed or regular ed.
The Class A CDL, which is like the best of the best, will cover any size school bus.
- Passenger vans (15 people or less): no CDL, no medical card, no certification course.
- School bus and multifunction school activity bus (15 passengers or less): no CDL, yes medical card, yes certification course.
- School bus (16 - 23 passengers): Class C CDL with P&S Endorsements, yes medical card, yes certification course.
- Multifunction school activity bus (16 - 23 passengers): Class C CDL with P endorsement, yes medical card, yes certification course.
- School bus (24+ passengers): Class B CDL with P&S endorsements, yes medical card, yes certification course.
- Multifunction school activity bus (24+ passengers): Class B CDL with P endorsements, yes medical card, yes certification course.
What are the rules for someone who has driven buses out of state and plans on moving to Texas and wants to continue driving buses?
They should have a Class B CDL with both P & S endorsements. If they are moving here permanently, they will need to transfer the CDL to Texas.
They are also required to take our 20 hour certification course. We don’t honor other states certifications. They will also need to have a valid medical card to drive as well.
When someone has a bus driver certification that expires, can they complete a recertification course or do they need to do another 20 hour certification course?
Once they expire, they have up to 1 year from the expiration date to be eligible to take the 8hr. Recertification course. After that year, they must take the 20hr Certification over again.
How do I get an Enrollment or temporary bus card?
Your transportation department may submit a completed SBT-8 to request an E-card to firstname.lastname@example.org.