Get a CDL “S” endorsement for school bus drivers

 This page was updated for COVID-19.

How do I get an “S” endorsement for a school bus driver?

A school bus driver with a NY State 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 NY State 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.

Office procedures have changed due to COVID-19.

We recommend you conduct your DMV business at the office or by mail in the County where you are a resident.

See instructions and reservation information for your county



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 NY State 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 NY State DMV 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 NY State. Can I receive the S endorsement from the NY State DMV?

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