Public and private school employees who operate school busses transporting students from home to school, school to home, and school-sponsored events are required to have a school bus endorsement on their license. Any school bus driver who has not obtained the new S endorsement may be charged with a violation of driving a commercial motor vehicle without the required endorsement.

Per the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), mechanics operating an empty school bus are not required to have the S endorsement. They are only required to have the proper class of CDL with passenger vehicle (P) endorsement.

You may take the school bus endorsement written test, or any additional CDL written and skills tests, at any Missouri State Highway Patrol driver examination station.

If you currently hold an out-of-state CDL document, you must meet the requirements for the S endorsement in your state of record and obtain the S endorsement on your CDL to be eligible to drive a school bus for a Missouri school.

To obtain a school bus endorsement on a current CDL, you must:

  1. Pass the written test for obtaining a CDL with passenger vehicle (P) and school bus (S) endorsements at a Missouri State Highway Patrol driver examination station.
  2. Take your written test results to your local license office to apply for a new commercial learner's permit in the class of passenger vehicle/school bus you will be operating and hold such permit a minimum of 14 days prior to skills testing.
  3. Pass a driving skills test in a school bus of the same vehicle group, as the school bus applicant will drive.
  4. Take your permit and skills test results to your local license office to apply for a new CDL with the P and S endorsements.
  5. Meet driving history review requirements specific to school bus operators in Missouri (completed at the time of application).
  6. Pay the applicable fees for a new CDL license, and the required fees for the CDL test(s).

The determination of employability is the responsibility of the local school district or employer.

Drivers transporting pupils for a public school district must have a statement on file from a medical examiner that indicates he or she is physically qualified to operate a school bus. This information may be retained in the employee files as determined by the district or contractor. New school bus drivers must have the medical statement on file with the district or contractor prior to initial operation of a school bus.

The medical statement shall be be made on a biennial basis. The medical statement required by the employer is a separate requirement from the medical certification self-certification and possible Medical Examiners Certificate requirement by commercial drivers as part of commercial learner’s permit and commercial driver license issuance and records requirements

If you are less than 70 years of age, you are not required to submit proof of testing upon renewal of a license with an S endorsement.

If you are age 70 or over, you are required to submit proof of a school bus skills test, at time of renewal, to retain the S endorsement on your driver license. The license and skills test fees are waived, but a $6.00 office processing fee will still apply. For renewal applications processed on or after August 28, 2018, the pre-trip inspection portion of the commercial skills test will be waived for individuals age 70 or over completing annual testing to retain a school bus endorsement The basic controls and on-road portion of the driving skills examination are required. The pre-trip waiver does not apply to applicants adding a new school bus endorsement.

NOTE: State law requires drivers transporting pupils for a public school district to complete training, at least 8 hours in duration, providing special instruction in school bus driving. This training must be completed annually. It is the responsibility of the employer or school district to verify the required training has been completed.

The responsibility for obtaining fingerprints for school bus drivers falls on local school districts and DESE. Drivers (district and contracted) should obtain fingerprint cards from the local school district and submit the completed cards to the school district to initiate the background checks. The school district will submit the information on DESE’s website and mail the cards and cover letter to DESE.

Adding a new endorsement or upgrading CDL class requires a new license transaction.  Based on Federal regulations defined by the USA PATRIOT Act, any applicant for a new or renewal license with a hazardous materials (HazMat) endorsement must have an approved security threat assessment response from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) prior to issuance. If you do not have a current security threat assessment on file, you will be required to apply and obtain approval from the TSA prior to issuance of a full-term CDL with a HazMat (H or X) endorsement. This also includes applicants adding a motorcycle endorsement.

Missouri statute 302.275, RSMo requires employers of individuals who have been issued a school bus endorsement to notify the Department of Revenue when the employed driver has failed a drug, alcohol, or chemical test.

Notification should be made to the Department using the Notice of Failure to Pass A Drug, Alcohol or Chemical Test Regarding Persons Possessing School Bus (Form 4684). As the employer, you must provide the following information regarding the employee:

  • Name;
  • Address;
  • Date of Birth; and
  • Driver License Number

You must certify that the employee failed to pass either a drug, alcohol, or chemical test. You (the employer or officer of the employer) must sign and date the Form 4684. Results of the failed test must accompany the notification to the Department. If any information is omitted, or if the test results are not submitted with the report, the documentation will be sent back to the employer for correction.

Upon receipt of acceptable notification, the Department of Revenue will suspend the school bus endorsement for one year for failing to pass the drug, alcohol, or chemical test. An individual who is aggrieved by the decision of the Director may appeal this decision in the circuit court of his or her residence. The appeal must be filed pursuant to statute 302.272, RSMo.

An individual's school bus endorsement may be reinstated upon completion of the one-year suspension period and payment of a $20 reinstatement fee to the Department of Revenue. You may pay your reinstatement fee on-line at using the following debit/credit cards: Visa®, MasterCard®, Discover®, and American Express®.

The completed Form 4684 (from the employer or officer of the employer) and any reinstatement fees should be mailed to the following address:

Missouri Department of Revenue
301 West High Street - Room 470
Jefferson City MO 65105-0200

If you still have questions, please check out other Driver Licensing FAQs.