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Get a CDL “S” endorsement for school bus drivers

How do I get an “S” endorsement for a school bus driver?
A school bus driver with a NYS commercial driver license (CDL) must have an "S" (school bus) endorsement. The “S” endorsement is required to drive specific types of school buses. A school bus driver may not apply for the “S” endorsement unless they already have a “P” (Passenger) endorsement or are applying for both the “S” and the “P” endorsement at the same time.

For the purposes of the “S” endorsement,  the term “school bus” is defined as:

  • A vehicle that is defined in Section 142 of the NYS Vehicle and Traffic Law and 1

    • the school bus has a seating capacity of 16 or more adults (that includes the driver) or
    • the school bus has a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of more than 26,000 pounds 2

You must apply for the S endorsement at a DMV office and pay the required fees.

You must pass a written (knowledge) test to receive a CDL permit with the S endorsement. The written test is based on the information in Section 10 of the CDL Manual (CDL-10). 3

You must then pass a road (skills) test to receive the S endorsement.  You must take the road test on a school bus.


I have a NYS CDL Class C driver license, with a P (passenger) endorsement. My CDL has an N1 or N2 restriction. Do I need the CDL S endorsement?

No. You cannot drive a school bus that has a seating capacity of 16 or more adults (that includes the driver) or that has a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of more than 26,000 lbs. The CDL S endorsement is not required for the vehicles that you are allowed to drive.

 

I drive students on trips, in a bus of the coach type, but not between home and school or between school and home. Do I need the CDL S endorsement?

The CDL S endorsement is not required for these trips.

 

If I only drive children to and from a day camp, am I required to have the "S" endorsement?

No, you are not required to have the "S" if you only drive children to and from a day camp, even if the bus you drive is a yellow school bus. 

 

I am a school bus mechanic or I deliver school buses. Do I need the S endorsement?

 No. The federal government has advised the NYSDMV that an S endorsement is not required if a person operates a school bus as:

  • a school bus mechanic, or
  • a person who delivers school buses and the school bus does not carry passengers at the time of operation.


I have a CDL issued by another state, but I drive school buses in NYS. Can I receive the S endorsement from the NYS DMV?

 No. Contact the state that issued the CDL to receive the S endorsement. The NYS DMV can issue the S endorsement only to a qualified driver who has a NYS CDL.

 

If I receive the S endorsement, must I take additional tests in the future to maintain the CDL S endorsement?

 No. You can renew the CDL with the S endorsement without additional tests.

 

I have a CDL Class B driver license, with a P (passenger) endorsement. I do not plan to get the S endorsement. How does this affect my status under Article 19-A of the VTL?

There will be no change to your status under Article 19-A of the VTL.

  • 1. Section 142 of the NYS Vehicle and Traffic Law: 142. School bus. Every motor vehicle owned by a public or governmental agency or private school and operated for the transportation of pupils, children of pupils, teachers and other persons acting in a supervisory capacity, to or from school or school activities or privately owned and operated for compensation for the transportation of pupils, children of pupils, teachers and other persons acting in a supervisory capacity to or from school or school activities.
  • 2. You are not required to have the “S” endorsement if you drive a coach bus and you do not transport students between the home and the school or the school and the home. To determine if you are exempt from the requirement for the “S” endorsement, contact your employer.
  • 3. The written test has 20 multiple-choice questions about the knowledge and skills required to drive school buses. You must correctly answer 16 of the 20 questions to pass the written test.