• Requirements To Be A School Bus Driver

    Welcome to Cleburne ISD. This information is provided to help you in the process and requirements of being able to drive a school bus for the district. We are here to help you. Please contact us at any time you have a question.

    Tammy Rodriguez and Angie Sandel will assist you through the process of becoming a school bus driver. Refer to the staff directory for contact information. 

    Mrs. Rodriguez will handle all documents and paperwork related to your file. She will schedule your certification class and can assist you with your physical/drug screen. 

    Mrs. Sandel will handle your assignment to a trainer and any questions related to your license.


     Items needed for a completed file:

    • Driving record check
    • Current DOT physical and new employee drug screen
    • Current 20-hour bus driver certification
    • Behind-the-wheel training for non-CDL or non-P/S endorsement holders
    • CDL with P/S (passenger and school bus) endorsements
    • Driver evaluation
    • Current copies of all related forms and documents
    • Cleared by the director to operate a bus with students

    We must have all required documents for your file for you to be able to drive. To start a file the transportation department must have a copy of your current D.L. and Social Security.


    Acceptable driving record check

     A driver record check will be done now and at least annually. State rules for driver qualification will be followed. Any driver that does not meet state qualifications for eligibility will not be allowed to operate a district vehicle. Once you have a CD, state law requires written notification to your employer if you are involved in a traffic accident or receive a citation. Notification applies to any type of vehicle not just a commercial vehicle. Written notification is to be sent to the Director of Transportation.

    Transportation must have a current copy of your driver license with appropriate endorsements.


     DOT Physical

    To operate a school bus in Texas requires an individual to pass annually a DOT physical. The Transportation Department will pay for the physical. These are done through Family Medicine on Ridgeway in Cleburne. You are responsible for setting up the time for this. Do not have a physical performed until a Purchase Order has been issued by the District. Any physical done without a purchase order will be the responsibility of the employee. Contact Tammy Rodriguez for information and to allow time to have a purchase order issued. Check for verification of an issued PO before having the physical performed.

    The physical must be completed prior to any behind-the-wheel training. An initial drug screen is to be performed with the first or pre-employment DOT Physical. Physical performed at locations other than Cleburne Family Medicine will be the financial responsibility of the employee.


     Drug Screen

    All new employee to the district or current employees obtaining a CDL must have an initial Drug Screen before operating a school bus. The Drug Screen is done only with the first or pre-employment DOT physical. Subsequent DOT physical do not require a drug screen and are not to be performed. (See DOT physical)

    A purchase order must be issued prior to an initial drug screen.  Check for verification of an issued PO before having an alcohol/drug screen performed.

    All CDL holders are subject by law to random drug and or alcohol testing throughout the year. These are done without notice and participation is mandatory. An outside company manages the drug and alcohol program for the district. The costs for the random tests are covered by the district. When contacted an individual must make themselves immediately available. Failure to take a random drug screen is considered a positive test. District CDL holders are held to all aspects of drug and alcohol testing as prescribed by law and policy.


    20-hour certification class 

    The state of Texas requires a 20-hour bus driver certification class. These are held around the region at participating school districts. A driver must have completed the 20-hour course before they will be allowed to operate a district bus. Cleburne does not issue temporary permits. The only exception would be for a previously certified individual that has an expired certification. This exception is only at the discretion of the Transportation Director.

    The certificate is up for renewal every 3 years and requires an 8-hour refresher course. A purchase order must be issued by the district before attending the course and is processed through the Transportation Department. The enrollment process is the same as that of the 20-hour class.

    Transportation will make the registration for the 8 and 20-hour class and send you notification of enrollment.

    If an employee fails to attend a course or cancels or changes venue less than 14 days before the class the district will still be billed.

    The employee will be responsible for any rescheduling and payment for a reschedule course or class. The certification course can be taken at any time and is recommended to be taken as soon as one can be scheduled.


     Behind-the-wheel training

     A trainer will work on driving skills and prepare you for the driving test performed at DPS. No behind-the-wheel training can take place until all sections of the written test have been passed and the appropriate permit is issued.

    A current DOT physical and initial drug screen is also required. Contact Angie Sandel to be assigned to a trainer.

    Training dates and times are to be worked out between you and the trainer. Behind-the-wheel training will consist of at least 20 hours of drive time for drivers without a CDL. Drivers with a CDL but missing the P/S endorsement will be required to have at least 15 hours of time behind the wheel.


    CDL with passenger and school bus endorsement

    A CDL handbook is available from the DPS office or online at http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/DriverLicense/documents/DL-7C.pdf  The Transportation tab on the district web page has training links to assist with the written test.

    The CDL consist of 3 parts. Written, Skills and a Driving test. (5 written tests, Pre-Trip Walk Around/Skills Tests {Parallel Parking, Backing, Off-set backing} and the Road Test. The 9 sections covered on the written tests are applicable to the type of CDL needed to drive a school bus. The sections are 1, 2, 4, 5, 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14. They do not have to be taken at the same time but there is a time window of 180 days for passing all sections.  Once all sections are completed the driver will be issued a CDL permit.

    Part 1: Tests

    Test-1 is the Permit Test over Commercial Rules-section14 and the cost is $11.00.

    Test-2. General Knowledge- section 1, 2, 11, 12 and 13 & Pre-Trip section 11 the cost is $61.00, which will cover the rest of your written tests.

    Test-3. Air Brakes- section 5

    (The next two tests may be taken in any order.)

    Test-4. Passenger Bus-section 4 

    Test-5. School Bus-section 10

    Any single test must be passed within three tries. If any single test cannot be passed in 3 tries all test will have to be retaken. An additional fee of $61.00 will have to be paid to start over. The district will only reimburse the license fee once.

    This permit is good for 90 days. The permit allows you to drive with a trainer and no passengers. Failure to complete all hands-on tests in the 90-day timeframe will require the individual to start over.

    Part 2: Behind the Wheel Training:

    Drivers will be scheduled by Angie Sandel with the Mobile DPS unit by appointment.  Drivers will need to go to the DPS office on Granbury St. in Cleburne, within 72 hours of their DPS Drive Test and pay a $25.00 fee.  On the day of your Behind the Wheel Testing, The DPS Officer on site will issue you the pass or failure information you will need to either reschedule or complete your license.

    Drivers will be assigned to their trainers.  Trainers and Trainees will set times to meet for training sessions.  Trainees must attend all times set down (within reason) to ensure all areas of the DPS BTW are covered before the test date or the 90-day expiration.

    Part 3: DPS Examination/Driving Test: 

    (This will be over the pre-trip, light inspection, physical air brake test, skills and driving test on the route designated by the examiners.  All of this will be taught by the trainers prior to testing.)

     The test procedure could take all day, please notify your administrator of your testing date upon receipt. 

    The district will reimburse you for your CDL. You must have a purchase order in place prior to taking any of the tests if you want reimbursement. You must turn in a copy of your receipts to Lisa Wallace to be reimbursed.

    The purchase order is processed through the transportation department. Check for verification of an issued PO before taking any test.

    Renewals of your CDL will be reimbursed as long as you are driving for the district. 1 month prior to the renewal submit a copy of your renewal notice to Lisa Wallace so a purchase order can be issued.

    Reimbursement will only be done if a proper purchase order is in place prior to renewing.  


     Individuals already possessing a CDL

    Individuals already possessing a CDL but needing the P and S endorsements to drive a school bus will need to follow the same procedure for behind-the-wheel training.

    The School Bus and Passenger endorsement requires a written test over chapters 4 and 10. A driving test with a DPS official will also be needed. A trainer will prepare the individual for the test and work on any skill improvement determined by the trainer.

    The district will reimburse you for your CDL. You must have a purchase order in place prior to taking any of the tests if you want reimbursement. 

    Check for verification of an issued PO before taking any test. The purchase order is processed through the transportation department.

    Times for the driving test appointments are to be coordinated with the trainer to ensure there is a bus/trainer available for that time and date.

    Individuals new to the district and already possessing a CDL with a P and S endorsement will be required to have a behind-the-wheel evaluation.

    A trainer may deem that addition skill enhancement is needed. A trainer will not sign off until they are satisfied with the skill and performance of the driver.


    Excepted and non-excepted license status. The requirement of the district is for a driver to be classified as excepted interstate. This will exempt the driver from having to send a copy of the yearly DOT physical to Austin. The driver will still be required to pass a yearly DOT physical. Licensed drivers will need to change their status if not already changed. It is imperative that the CDL-1 and CDL-10 form be filled out correctly. The Transportation office is available to provide guidance.



    Behind-the-wheel evaluation

    After the CDL driving test has been passed the employee is to have a driver evaluation done. The evaluation will be done by a different trainer than the one that trained the employee. This trainer will note any area(s) that may still need to be addressed. New employees to the district already having a CDL with P/S endorsement will be required to have an evaluation.


    Copies of documents

    The Transportation Department must have on file copies of all related documents for the operation of a district bus. These include copies of

    • valid driver license with endorsements
    • current bus driver certification
    • current DOT physical
    • drug screen if new to driving for the district
    • social security card
    • current driver record check
    • evaluation
    • Behind-the-wheel training documentation as applicable

    Cleared by the Director

    Once all requirements have been satisfactory met the Director of Transportation will sign off and approve the employee to operate a school bus with student passengers. The Director of Transportation has the final authority for authorizing an employee to operate a district school bus.

    If an employee fails to maintain driver eligibility they will not be allowed to operate a bus until the issue is resolved. Employees are subject to additional evaluations or training as deemed necessary. An approved driver is subject to be removed from driving eligibility if it is deemed warranted by the Transportation Director or is in the best interest of the district.