How to Get a School Bus Driver's License in Ohio

Growth Trends for Related Jobs

careertrend article image

If you enjoy driving and working with kids, school bus driving might be for you. To obtain a school bus driver's license in Ohio you must have a high school diploma or equivalent and at least two years of driving experience. School bus drivers work for schools and districts transporting students in the morning and afternoon, and they occasionaly drive children for field trips. Day-care programs also hire school bus drivers to transport students.

Enroll in and complete the pre-service school bus driver training program through the Ohio Department of Education. The training program consists of 12 classroom hours and 15 hours on the road.

Obtain a commercial driver's license (CDL) from the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles. The license must allow the holder to drive a vehicle that weighs 26,000 pounds, and both Class A and Class B licenses meet this requirement. Passing a skill test is required to obtain the CDL, and practice CDL exams are available online through Your pre-service school bus driver training program will cover the training needed to apply for a CDL.

Add an endorsement for passengers on your CDL, and that can be done through the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles. Passing more skill and knowledge tests is required, and a fee of approximately $27 will be charged.

Visit the district for which you intend to work to obtain a school bus driver certificate. The district will perform a criminal background check, a driver record check, drug and alcohol assessments and will provide more training for you. These checks are usually performed annually. Copies of the qualifications requirements for on-vehicle transportation staff are available through the Ohio Department of Education pupil transportation office.


Obtain first aid certification. You may have received this with your pre-service school bus driver training program. The American Red Cross offers first aid certification, which your prospective employer will require.