Bus Drivers in Southern California
Among the most trusted professional drivers in California are Bus Drivers. Each day, several thousand commuters and children place their safety in the hands of the driver operating multi‐passenger transit and school buses. Whether the driver is moving passengers as part of a rapid transit system, or is moving developmentally handicapped children to school, we have the right to expect the driver to be well trained and to perform his job with great care.
Requirements to Operate a Bus
Generally, all bus drivers must possess a valid Commercial Driver License (Class A or Class B) before they are allowed to operate a multi‐passenger bus on public roadways. Some drivers are required to possess special endorsements to their license and some are required to possess a Special Certificate. For example, before a driver is permitted to operate a School Bus, he or she must possess a valid Commercial Driver License with school bus endorsement (“S”), as well as a school bus driver certificate.
To apply for a Bus Driver Endorsement and/or Special Certificate, the driver must begin with the possession of a valid Class “A” license or Class “B” license, depending upon the class of bus to be driven. Also, the applicant must:
- Be at least 18 years of age/21 if transporting children across State lines.
- Complete a specified segment of instruction and participate in on‐going training.
- Pay an issuance fee.
- Maintain a current medical certificate.
- Pass an FBI/DOJ background check. Drivers are also subject to on‐going criminal review.
- Pass a “behind the wheel” performance test.
Categories of Bus Drivers
When you think of a bus driver, we all can imagine the professional driver who works for a city’s transit system. Here are a few additional categories of bus driver who all require specialized licensing, endorsements, and certificates:
- General Purpose Paratransit Vehicle (GPPV). This is your standard city bus or shuttle bus.
- School Bus (SCH)
- School Pupils Activity Bus (SPAB).
- Vehicle for Developmentally Disabled Persons (VDDP).
- Youth Bus (YOB).
Losing your Bus Driver Certificate
Because of the trust given to bus drivers, the People of the State of California and the California Department of Motor Vehicles will hold this class of driver to a higher standard than nearly every other class of driver. Because of this, a driver may have his application for a Special Certificate refused or, may have an existing Special Certificate suspended or revoked if:
- Failure to pass an FBI/DOJ background check or, after the certificate is issued, if found to have committed any act which endangers the vulnerable nature of passengers. This includes issues of moral turpitude.
- Is named a Negligent Operator. An accumulation of too many moving violations within a specified period of time or any conviction which assigns two points to the driving record.
- Involvement in 3 accidents within 12 months.
- Involvement in a serious or fatal accident.
- Violation of any law involving the use of vehicle covered by a Special Certificate.
- Making false statements.
- Irrational behavior. Any demonstrated behavior which would lead a normally prudent person to believe the driver could not perform the duties required by a Special Certificate.
- Use or addition to alcohol or drugs.
- Physical and Mental Conditions.
- Sex offenses.
- Felony convictions.
There are numerous means by which the DMV can move to refuse, suspend, or revoke a Special Certificate. Many times, a driver’s Special Certificate may be endangered over false or inaccurate information and therefore, the driver is permitted to protect himself. In these instances, it is necessary to conduct a Special Certificate Hearing.
Call CDA immediately, we can help you keep your professional driving career.