REQUIREMENTS TO DRIVE A SCHOOL BUS IN ALABAMA
HOW TO GET CERTIFIED TO DRIVE AN ALABAMA PUBLIC SCHOOL BUS
HOW TO GET A CDL
In order to receive a CDL to drive a school bus, a prospective school bus driver must secure a CDL Permit. This permit
can be secured from any CDL office in Alabama. The permit is given to drivers who do not currently hold a CDL, need
to upgrade their CDL, or need to add passenger (P) or school bus (S) endorsements. In order to be issued this permit,
prospective school bus drivers must pass four written CDL tests at the CDL office. These tests include General
Knowledge, Air Brakes, Transporting Passengers, and School Buses.
There is a fee for taking the written tests and the permit. Upon passing these written tests, the prospective driver will be
issued a CDL Learners Permit. The prospective driver must have this Permit for two (2) weeks before attending the
New School Bus Driver Certification Class. You must have this permit with you at the SDE New School Bus
Driver Certification Class.
HOW TO OBTAIN CERTIFICATION TO DRIVE AN ALABAMA PUBLIC SCHOOL BUS
In order to receive certification to drive an Alabama public school bus, a prospective school bus driver must meet the
1. Complete an Alabama School Bus Driver Certificate application and discuss with local supervisor.
2. Receive training from local school system transpo11ation officials before enrollment in the SDE School Bus
Driver Certification Class. Only drivers who receive this training and produce a properly signed training
certification form will be scheduled for performance testing.
3. Hold the CDL Learners Permit for two (2) weeks
4. Attend a 12-hour SDE New School Bus Driver Ce11ification Class taught over a period of three days.
Normally, a portion of a fourth day is required for performance testing.
5. Score at least 80% on a written test given at the conclusion of the three-day class.
6. Pass a three-part performance test including:
(A) Pretrip inspection of a school bus.
(B) Basic Control Skills Tests. These are straight-backing, off-set backing, and alley docking.
(C) On-the-road Driving Skills Test with at least 80% mastery.
All CDL performance testing for public school bus drivers is done by the SDE.
1. Take a pre-employment drug test. This is paid for by the board.
2. Pass a fingerprint/background check. The fee for this is $49.65
3. Pass a Alabama School Bus Driver Physical Examination OR a DOT Physical.
HOW TO KEEP YOUR ALABAMA SCHOOL BUS DRIVER CERTIFICATION
In order to maintain their school bus driver certification, school bus drivers are required to participate in a 4-hour
recertification class. These classes are scheduled in all school systems and are taught between January 1 and November 15
annually. All bus driver certificates expire annually on December 31. Drivers who have attended a recertification class
are ce11ified for the next calendar year. Drivers who fail to attend a recertification class must repeat the new driver
training. An Alabama school bus driver may have his/her Alabama School Bus Driver Certification suspended and/or
revoked when there is a danger to the public safety or welfare of school children or when the certification holder has been
guilty of immoral conduct or unbecoming or indecent behavior. This includes, but is not limited to, confirmed improper
drug use, criminal convictions, failure to use the driver seat belt, unsafe driving history, inability to pass or maintain a
current Alabama School Bus Driver Physical Examination Report, being uninsurable, or other just cause as
determined by the state superintendent of education.
If you have any questions please call the Transportation Depaiiment at 387-2155.