Bus drivers operate a motor vehicle, defined as a 'Bus' in the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law, to transport passengers to pre-planned destinations.
Bus drivers must pass a qualifying physical examination, and be able to see at least 20/40 in each eye. Bus drivers must demonstrate good eye-hand-foot coordination, and good spatial (three-dimensional) perception to enable good judgment of distance for safe and precise passing, braking and parking. Bus drivers must be able to interact well with both adults and children.
Bus drivers must possess a Commercial Driver's License (CDL), with a Passenger (P) endorsement (certain school bus drivers also need a School Bus (S) endorsement). The motor carrier company that employs a bus driver must file an application for qualification on behalf of the prospective bus driver with the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles. . In order to drive a school bus, new applicants have to pass a criminal background check.
New York State bus drivers must be 18 years of age. Bus drivers that drive interstate and school bus must be at least 21 years of age.
Non-mandatory training is available from commercial driving schools.
No minimum work experience is required to become a licensed bus driver in New York State.
$40 -- Skills test
License -- Up to $164.50, depending on exact type, and up to $180.50 for an 8-year renewal.
Written Examination -- Multiple choice; 80 percent passing criteria.
Vision Examination -- Standard Snellen; 20/40 in each eye, with or without corrective lenses.
Skills Examination -- On-the-road Driving Skills, plus Pre-Trip Vehicle Inspection.
A waiver of the Skill and Written Examinations is granted if a domestic, out-of-state license is surrendered for reciprocity.
Article 19-A of the NYS Vehicle and Traffic Law requires employers of bus drivers to obtain the following from bus driver applicants: a current physical exam, an employment background check, a current abstract of driving record. For questions regarding Article 19-A, contact the NYS DMV Bus Driver Unit at 518-473-9455 or via mail at:
Bus Driver Unit
6 Empire State Plaza, Room 331
Albany, New York 12228
In 2017, there were 11,059 licenses issued for Article 19-A Bus Driver.
As of October 31, 2018 there were 85,020 active licenses in New York State.
New York State Department of Motor Vehicles
Various state and county Motor Vehicle Offices located throughout New York State.
53-3021 - Bus Drivers, Transit and Intercity
To learn more about this occupation search the Occupational Information Network (O*Net).
Fees stated and other information contained in this report are subject to change. Please contact the licensing authority listed above for the most current information.
This page was last updated on 11/7/18.
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