Obtaining CDL Endorsement S (School Bus) for Commercial Bus

by Joshua on January 31, 2014

CDL is the Commercial Drivers License granted by Department of Motor Vehicles for people who like to drive truck or bus. CDL provides excellent opportunity for becoming a commercial driver for a bus or truck. People who want to become a school bus driver should also apply for CDL. If a commercial driver wants to drive a school bus, then he or she will have to apply for a school bus ‘S’ endorsement on your CDL license.

Department of Motor Vehicles

Every state has multiple DMVs assigned for each county. Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is a private body that issues drivers license, eye tests, photograph for drivers license, along with offering services like conducting written and behind the wheel exams for candidates wanting to apply for a "driver’s license ":https://www.dmvcheatsheets.com/dmv/drivers_license, address change requests, renewal of old licenses, distributing forms for exams, assisting students in getting to know DMV rules and exam format, distributing pamphlets, and many more. DMV also takes the responsibility to make sure that every student who comes to them is aware of Federal rules and regulations before they grant the drivers license. DMV makes this process smooth and quick. You can get more information about DMV if you click on this link Dmv.org

Who is supposed to have school bus endorsement?

A CDL endorsement of ‘S’ means that it is endorsed for school bus. A school bus has a seating capacity of 16 or more adults including the driver or has a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of more than 26,000 lbs. Private and public employees who operate school busses transporting children to and from school or home sponsored events are required to have a school bus endorsement on their license. A school bus driver who hasn’t endorsed the ‘S’ license, will be charged with violation of commercial driving rules.


  • Every CDL driver should be 18 years of age or more and should have a valid passport or residential status.
  • The candidate should be able to clear the eye exam. The candidate should also possess a valid driver’s license, especially a Commercial Driver’s license (CDL) before getting an ‘S’ – school bus endorsement on it.
  • If you have a CDL with ‘S’ endorsement from another state, you are not eligible to drive in any other state. You should apply for the permit again in whichever state you are planning to drive.
  • Carry all the necessary paper work such as your certificates indicating your date of birth, place or country born, Social Security Number, proof of Lawful presence in the country, etc.
  • Make sure you surrender the outside state license before you try applying a new CDL with ‘S’ endorsement in another state.

Process to obtain CDL with ‘S’ endorsement

  • The candidate should apply for a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) prior to getting the ‘S’ endorsement on their license. If you are a new applicant, then make sure you check this link Dmv.org and select the appropriate state where you are trying to apply for the CDL with ‘S’ endorsement permit.
  • After carrying a valid CDL license you are eligible to apply for a school bus (‘S’) endorsement license.
  • Make sure you pay the necessary fees required for the exam and give eye test at a counter in the DMV office. You may also have them take your headshot picture for the application.
  • Every candidate is supposed to take a written (knowledge) test to get a CDL permit with ‘S’ endorsement. Class ‘S’ endorsement is covered in the CDL handbook and School bus handbook. DMV also gives you an online written test preparation material for a nominal fee of $14.95.
  • Once you clear the " written test ":https://www.dmvcheatsheets.com/articles/commercial-drivers-license-test-endorsement-exams, you can book an appointment for behind the wheels test. On the day of the test, you may get your own school bus, or rent a bus. Make sure you reach way before the appointment time. Give the road test make sure you commit as less mistakes as possible. The DMV in all the states is very strict in giving you a permit unless you make flawless driving test. It is a great responsibility for you as a commercial driver to take care of not only you, but also the children you are carrying in your bus.
  • Every aspiring CDL driver needing school bus endorsement is expected to take Commercial driver education whether or not you were a CDL driver before.

Once you clear your behind the wheels test, you will be given a temporary Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) with school bus endorsement on it. A CDL driver will be tested for traffic signals and safety driving. In case you were not able to clear the behind the wheels test, you may have to come back another day with more practice and make sure this time you clear the test.

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