How Do I Get a School Bus Operators’ License In New York?

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by Joshua on May 20, 2013

Statistics describe a “Bus Driver” as anyone who operates a motor vehicle designed to carry passengers from one destination to another. In the state of New York, this can be considered a public transport such as the local bus transit, or a school bus which is a more specific mode of public transport for children. There is no education requirement to become a school bus driver, but you will have to follow specific steps in order to receive your school bus operator’s license in New York.

Receiving your Commercial License

In order to operate a school bus in the state of New York, you must first acquire a commercial operator’s license. You can apply for this at your local DMV operation, and will be a series of written and driven tests similar to that of your regular license. The following are required in order to apply for a commercial license:

  • A $10 charge for the permit
  • Your present New York driver license
  • Your Social Security card
  • You will also be required to list any states other than New York where you have held a drivers license in the last ten years.
  • A completed permit.
  • Take a pledge that your license has not been suspended or revoke in New York or any other state.
  • Proof of a clean driving record.

Your Learners Permit

After you have satisfied the requirements and turned in your application, you will be issued a temporary learners permit. This permit allows you to practice driving the type of commercial vehicle in which you applying to drive, in this case a school bus. You must be accompanied at all times by a licensed commercial driver in order to operate the bus on roads.

In addition to this practice, you will also want to take the commercial Drivers course, which is the best way to learn the skills necessary to pass your road test.

Sign up for your Road Test

Once you are satisfied you have the skills and practice to complete the road test, you may schedule to take it with a trained licensing professional. You may find a list of companies who are authorized to administer the test on the New York Department of Motor Vehicles website. There is a non-refundable 40 dollar fee for the testing that you may pay in advance.

Your temporary CDL License

If you pass the Drivers road test for your commercial license, the state will calculate the cost of your temporary CDL based on your birthday, date of expiration and the class your
License will be. The fee will also be based on any additional endorsements your CDL will need. The temporary CDL is good for 90 days. This will allow you to drive for several weeks until the permanent CDL license with your photo comes in the mail. In some cases, if you already have your CDL from another state, it is possible to transfer over your existing Commercial License without taking the tests, however fees will still apply.

Federal and State Laws and Adhering to Them

The purpose of the federal Commercial class license is to ensure the safety of vehicle on the roads and assure that drives using a CDL are properly trained and capable of handling the type of motor vehicle they operate. Federal Regulations necessitate you to have a physical examination every two years to continue having a valid license. Make yourself familiar with some of the laws regarding the operation of a passenger transport vehicle from both the state of New York and the federal regulations.

There are many state-specific regulations you may also need to be familiar with. In New York City you must be at least 18 years old to operate a school bus and receive your CDL, and must be able to read and write fluent English. This is to assure you can properly read road signs and communicate with people and law enforcement officers. In New York, your CDL is broken down into a specific class, based on the physical tick points of the commercial vehicle you will operate. A school bus falls into the Class C vehicle. A Class C vehicle is a vehicle, which is designed to transport 16 or more passengers.

Receiving your additional Endorsements

Depending on the school district and are of New York you wish to operate a school bus, you will need specific endorsements on your license. In the state of New York you will need the special “S” endorsement on your Commercial License, which stands for school bus, but some areas may require the “P” endorsement as well, stating you’re endorsed to carry passengers. Each of these endorsements will require an additional one to five tests in order to receive it and operate a school bus. Ask your local DMV how to apply for testing and what the applicable fees will be per test.

Once you have received all of your certifications and are carrying your photo issued Commercial Drivers License with a specific endorsement for school buses, you can begin applying for positions you desire. Each school will require its own application process which will include a mandatory Criminal back ground check. Be sure to pay attention to all traffic laws while training and eventually driving with this license , as you will not only have your own life in your hands, but those of children as well.

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