• Bus Driver Training

    Bus Drivers are carefully selected from top applicants who must submit to drug/alcohol testing, criminal records checks, and national driving records checks. All drivers are required to obtain a commercial drivers license. Training is completed with sixteen hours of coursework in the classroom and another eighteen hours behind the wheel training. Each school year every driver completes eight hours in service training in areas such as defensive driving, maintenance, behavior management, emergency procedures, first aid, railroad crossings, fire safety and standard operating procedures. Each school also conducts monthly safety meetings with the department to keep drivers informed.

    School Bus Endorsements

    To operate a school bus in North Carolina, an individual must be at least 18 years old, have at least six months of driving experience, have a School Bus Driver's Certificate and hold a commercial driver license with both "S" (school bus) and "P" (passenger) endorsements.

    To obtain a School Bus Driver's Certificate, an individual must be specially trained and pass an examination by a Driver Education Program Specialist that demonstrates the fitness and competency required to operate a school bus.

    The requirements for the driver of a school activity bus are the same except a School Bus Driver's Certificate is not required.


    Driving Record

    An individual must certify at the time of application that they do not hold more than one driver license and that their license is not suspended, disqualified or revoked. 

    Some convictions will make a driver ineligible to operate a school bus. Individuals interested in operating a school bus should contact their local school system for further qualifications, requirements or restrictions.

    The below documents and training are required. Contact the transportation department of any local school system for a list of school-bus driver training classes.

    Medical & Physical

    School bus drivers must meet federal qualifications to be certified as being physically and mentally competent to operate a school bus.

    If questions arise about a driver's physical condition, the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles may require the driver to submit a completed medical report (provided by the NCDMV Driver License Section), before or after certification.

    Training & Testing

    School bus drivers must:

    • Successfully complete the required three-day school bus driver training class
    • Pass up to four different knowledge tests with a score of 80 percent or better on each test
    • Successfully complete the required behind-the-wheel training with a driver education program specialist
    • Pass a skills test


    Table Caption
    Driver License Description Fee
    Application fee This fee applies each three attempts of knowledge tests. $40
    Commercial driver license endorsement $4 per year per endorsement
    ​Commercial driver license ​$20 per year


    Under North Carolina law, the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles does not issue or renew a commercial driver licensing with a "P" or "S" endorsement to anyone required to register under sex offender and public protection registration programs.

    Suspensions & Revocations

    In addition to the rules that apply to the driving public, commercial driver license holders are required to follow rules specific to commercial motor vehicle drivers and comply with the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act to maintain their commercial driver license and keep their school-bus driver certification.

    Last updated Jul. 10, 2018
Last Modified on November 17, 2021