In order to drive a school bus, a person must acquire a commercial driver's license with passenger vehicle and school bus endorsements, have a clean driving record, pass a knowledge and skills test and provide a drug and background check. Formal training programs available provide state and federal rules and regulations training and customer service and clerical skills.
A commercial driver's license, or CDL, is required to operate a school bus. A CDL can be obtained through the state's Department of Transportation. Obtaining a CDL requires passing federally regulated skills and knowledge tests. Federal regulations require random drug testing and may also include a background check or physical exam. A school bus driver must also earn a passenger vehicle endorsement and a school bus endorsement. A written and driving exam are needed to obtain these endorsements and are administered by a certified examiner. Additionally, bus drivers need customer services skills, patience, good eyesight, hearing and hand-eye coordination. Licensed bus drivers must pass federally regulated hearing and vision testing. These additional requisites are enforced and a full list of medical conditions that may prevent someone from becoming a licensed bus driver can be viewed at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's website.