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How to Become a School Bus Driver in Florida

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School bus drivers in the state of Florida begin as substitutes. School districts may give preference to permanent drivers during the summer. Drivers usually operate their school buses in a particular county. Applicants do not need a high school diploma if they obtain employment as attendant drivers. The minimum educational requirements may vary slightly by county. Applicants who wish to work in rural counties need the equivalent of at least a ninth-grade education, while metropolitan counties require the completion of 10th grade.

Obtain a certified copy of your motor vehicle record. Contact the county's courthouse for additional information regarding processing time and applicable fees. Ensure that you have a copy of your Florida-issued driver's license and Social Security card issued under the same name. Obtain a copy of your high school transcripts, reflecting diploma completion or minimum education requirements. Apply for and obtain a commercial driver's license (CDL) if the local county requires it prior to securing employment.

Submit an employment application through the local school district where you wish to work. Contact the school district's administration office to obtain information on what days and hours you may submit an application. Ask a district representative about hiring requirements and eligibility since they might vary among counties. Keep in mind that any history of criminal convictions, including felonies, DUIs, or physical battery charges may bar you from securing a position.

Attend an interview with district officials. If offered a position, submit to a conditional fingerprinting and a physical exam. Pay any applicable fees related to fingerprinting, physical exam, CDL license and fingerprinting monitoring fees. Pass all physical exam requirements, including tests for diabetes, manual dexterity and blood pressure readings. Attend training for one to two weeks or 62 hours. Pass all exams and skill tests administered during the training process.

Accept assignment as a probationary driver for up to six months. Receive a recommendation for a permanent route assignment once the probationary period ends. Attend all mandatory training update sessions, which typically occur at least three different times during the school year. Complete annual review training. Maintain Florida state CDL license requirements and keep a relatively clean driving record. Keep in mind that the district will check motor vehicle records on a regular basis during employment and that suspended licenses could lead to dismissal. Comply with the district's drug- and alcohol-free policy and agree to submit to random tests as necessary.


Helen Akers specializes in business and technology topics. She has professional experience in business-to-business sales, technical support, and management. Akers holds a Master of Business Administration with a marketing concentration from Devry University's Keller Graduate School of Management and a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Antioch University Los Angeles.