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School Bus

To be eligible to operate a School Bus in Rhode Island an applicant must be at least 21 years of age, a minimum of 3 years driving experience, a good driving record, and able to pass a background check (BCI). View the School Bus Manual.

Licensing Requirement

  • You must obtain a Commercial Driver's License (CDL) with the appropriate endorsements. The following written tests must be taken and passed at the DMV headquarters in Cranston, License Section, and a permit obtained: General Knowledge test; Passenger endorsement test; School Bus endorsement test; and Air Brakes test. The DMV recommends that you take and pass the Air Brake test, even though the school bus that you plan to drive may not have air brakes. More information regarding CDL Licences.
  • You must obtain a CDL permit.
  • Driving Skill Tests for the CDL license and for the School Bus endorsement must be taken.
  • The Driving Skills Test may be taken up to 120 days after conclusion of the School Bus Driver Training.
  • Requirements for a passenger or school bus endorsement.

Certification Requirement

Your employer or prospective employer must forward the application for School Bus Driver Certification to: the Division of Motor Vehicles, 600 New London Avenue, Cranston, RI 02920, Attention: School Bus

A criminal background check (BCI) and a driving record check is done on all applicants.

After the background checks have been performed, the DMV will inform the school bus company or school department that the applicant has been accepted to the School Bus Training class at CCRI or the applicant will be informed by letter that he or she will be required to appear for a hearing before the Coordinator for School Bus Safety. After the hearing the applicant is either accepted or denied admission to the school bus training program.

Applicants accepted into the school bus training program must attend 10 hours of classroom instruction at the Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) A written knowledge test will be administered at the end of the course.

The applicant must then pass a Driving Skills test and Pre-Trip Inspection test no later than 120 days from the last day of the classroom training.

Once the applicant has completed and passed all training and testing, the following documentation must be brought to the DMV headquarters in Cranston for processing.

  • Physical Examination form (must be done 3 months prior to certification)
  • Affidavit for CDL history check
  • Application for Commercial Driver's License
  • Commercial Driver License permit showing vehicle class and endorsements
  • Certification of road test
  • Commercial Driver License road test
  • CCRI School Bus Driver Training card showing class attendance and scores for both pre-trip inspection and driving skills test