This endorsement is required for driving a school bus. To receive this endorsement, applicants must pass a test. The test consists of 20 multiple choice questions. To pass, the applicant must answer at least 16 questions correctly. Each question has three possible answer choices. Test questions come from the Maine Commercial Driver License Manual. Questions come from chapters covering School Buses, Pre-Trip Vehicle Inspection Test, Basic Vehicle Control Skills Test and On-Road Driving. The School Bus endorsement can be used with the Class A, B or C CDL.
1. Doors should be closed while a school bus is being driven, except when:
The doors of a school bus must be kept closed any time the bus is moving, except when it is crossing railroad tracks.
2. When dropping off students at a school, a driver should:
When unloading students at a school, a bus driver must secure the bus by turning off the engine. If they must leave the driver's compartment, they should remove the key from the ignition. The driver must supervise the unloading process.
3. During the driving test, when encountering a railroad crossing, you should:
During the on-road driving test, do not stop, change gears, pass another vehicle, or change lanes while any part of your vehicle is in a railroad crossing.
4. If you must back up at a student pick-up point, you should:
If you must back up a school bus at a student pick-up point, do not put the bus in reverse until all students have boarded. Watch for late-comers at all times.
5. If a bus must be evacuated, it is safest for students to:
After evacuating a school bus, students should be led to a safe place at least 100 feet away from the road in the direction of oncoming traffic. This will keep them safe from flying debris if another vehicle hits the bus. Students should be upwind of any fires and as far away from railroad tracks as possible.
6. With the exception of the straight line backing exercise, a driver may exit their vehicle and check its position during testing exercises up to:
A driver is allowed to exit their vehicle to check its position during any basic vehicle control skills test exercise. This action is called a "look." During the straight line backing exercise, a driver may not exceed one look. During any other exercise, a driver may not exceed two looks.
7. Before evacuating a bus in response to a hazard, a driver should:
If time permits, before deciding to evacuate a school bus, the driver should contact their dispatcher to explain the situation. The decision to evacuate must be a timely one.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Obtain a Maine Commercial Driver's License (CDL) by passing the required knowledge and skills tests for the class of vehicle you wish to operate.
2. Complete a Maine Department of Education-certified school bus driver training course, which includes at least 20 hours of classroom instruction and 10 hours of behind-the-wheel training.
3. Pass a Maine Department of Education school bus driver physical exam to ensure that you meet the physical requirements for driving a bus.
4. Pass a written knowledge test that covers the rules and regulations specific to operating a school bus.
5. Pass a skills test that includes a pre-trip inspection, basic vehicle control, and an on-road driving test with emphasis on safe and defensive driving techniques.
6. Once you have passed the knowledge and skills tests, your CDL will be issued with the Bus endorsement.
It is important to note that additional endorsements may be required for certain types of buses, such as those carrying hazardous materials or double-decker buses.
1. Be at least 18 years old to drive within the state of Maine or at least 21 years old to drive interstate.
2. Have a valid Maine driver's license.
3. Pass a medical exam and obtain a Medical Examiner's Certificate.
4. Obtain a learner's permit by passing a written test on general commercial driving knowledge.
5. Hold the learner's permit for at least 14 days before taking the skills test.
6. Pass a skills test that includes a pre-trip inspection, basic vehicle control, and an on-road driving test.
7. Provide proof of citizenship or legal presence in the United States.
8. Pay the required fees for obtaining a CDL Bus license.
Additionally, if you are applying for a CDL Bus license with certain endorsements, such as for carrying hazardous materials or for driving double-decker buses, you will need to meet additional requirements and pass additional tests.
In addition to this, you will also need to pass a written knowledge test that covers the rules and regulations specific to operating a school bus and pass a skills test that includes a pre-trip inspection, basic vehicle control, and an on-road driving test with emphasis on safe and defensive driving techniques.
It is important to note that you may also need additional endorsements for certain types of buses, such as those carrying hazardous materials or double-decker buses. In these cases, you will need to complete additional training and pass additional tests specific to the type of endorsement you are seeking.
The three main classes of CDL Bus licenses are:
1. Class B: This allows you to operate a single vehicle with a weight of 26,001 or more pounds, or a combination of vehicles with a total weight of less than 26,001 pounds. You can also tow a vehicle with a weight of less than 10,000 pounds.
2. Class C: This allows you to operate a single vehicle with a weight of less than 26,001 pounds that is designed to carry 16 or more passengers (including the driver), or a combination of vehicles with a total weight of less than 26,001 pounds that is designed to carry 16 or more passengers (including the driver).
3. Class A: This allows you to operate any combination of vehicles with a total weight of 26,001 pounds or more, provided that the vehicle being towed weighs more than 10,000 pounds.
It's important to note that in addition to these classes, there may be additional endorsements required for certain types of buses, such as those carrying hazardous materials or double-decker buses.
The vehicle you use for the driving test must also meet certain requirements, such as having a valid registration, insurance, and safety inspection. It must also be equipped with all the necessary safety features, such as functioning brakes, turn signals, and headlights.
If you are taking the driving test as part of a CDL Bus driver training program, your training school will likely provide a suitable vehicle for the test. If not, you can rent or borrow a suitable vehicle from a commercial driving school or training program.
It's important to make sure that you have enough practice time in the specific type of vehicle you will be using for the test before taking the CDL Bus driving test.
1. Pre-Trip Vehicle Inspection: You will be required to complete a pre-trip inspection of your bus to ensure that it is safe and in proper working order.
2. Basic Controls: You will be tested on your ability to operate the bus's basic controls, including starting and stopping, shifting gears, and steering.
3. Straight Line Backing: You will be required to back the bus in a straight line for a certain distance.
4. Offset Backing: You will be required to back the bus into a space that is offset from your starting position.
5. Parallel Parking: You will be required to park the bus parallel to a curb or other vehicle.
6. Alley Docking: You will be required to maneuver the bus into a simulated loading dock or other tight space.
7. Road Driving: You will be tested on your ability to safely drive the bus on public roads, including obeying traffic laws, signaling turns and lane changes, and interacting with other drivers.
It's important to practice these skills and maneuvers before taking the CDL Bus driving test and to make sure that you are familiar with the specific requirements for your test.
Some of the requirements include:
1. Vision: You must have at least 20/40 vision in each eye with or without corrective lenses, and your vision must be able to be corrected to at least 20/40.
2. Hearing: You must be able to hear a forced whisper from at least five feet away, with or without the use of a hearing aid.
3. Blood Pressure: Your blood pressure must be below 160/100.
4. Diabetes: If you have diabetes, you must have it under control through diet or medication.
5. Sleep Apnea: If you have sleep apnea, you may be required to undergo testing and treatment to ensure that you can safely operate a bus.
6. Other Medical Conditions: You may be required to provide additional medical information or documentation if you have certain medical conditions that could affect your ability to operate a bus safely.
It's important to note that these requirements may vary depending on the state and the type of bus endorsement you are seeking. It's best to check with your local DMV or commercial driving school for specific information on the medical and physical requirements for obtaining a CDL Bus endorsement in Maine.
If you are caught operating a bus without a valid CDL Bus endorsement, you could face fines, license suspension, or other penalties. Additionally, if you are involved in an accident while operating a bus without the proper endorsement, you could be held liable for any damages or injuries that result.
It's important to obtain the necessary endorsements and meet all requirements before operating a commercial motor vehicle to ensure your safety and the safety of your passengers.
To add the CDL Bus endorsement to your license, you will need to:
1. Meet the medical and physical requirements: As I mentioned earlier, you will need to meet certain medical and physical requirements set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). This includes passing a DOT physical examination.
2. Pass the CDL Bus endorsement knowledge test: You will need to pass a written knowledge test specific to the CDL Bus endorsement.
3. Pass a skills test: You will also need to pass a skills test that includes a pre-trip inspection, basic vehicle control, and on-road driving test in a vehicle that requires the CDL Bus endorsement.
Once you have met these requirements, you can apply for the CDL Bus endorsement at your local Maine BMV office. You will need to bring your current CDL license, proof of identity, and any other required documents or fees. The BMV will then add the CDL Bus endorsement to your existing license.
Here are some common restrictions and limitations for drivers with a CDL Bus endorsement:
1. Passenger limit: Depending on your specific endorsement, you may be limited to transporting a certain number of passengers. For example, if you have a Passenger (P) endorsement, you are limited to transporting 16 or more passengers.
2. Endorsement type: There are different types of CDL Bus endorsements, including School Bus (S), Passenger (P), and Combination (C). Your specific endorsement will determine the type of vehicle you are authorized to operate.
3. Vehicle type: Your CDL Bus endorsement will specify the type of vehicle you are authorized to operate. For example, if you have a School Bus (S) endorsement, you are only authorized to operate a school bus.
4. Time of day: Depending on your specific endorsement, you may be restricted from operating a bus during certain times of the day. For example, if you have a School Bus (S) endorsement, you may be restricted from operating the bus outside of school hours.
It's important to be aware of any restrictions or limitations that apply to your CDL Bus endorsement and ensure that you comply with them at all times. Violating these restrictions can result in fines, license suspension, or other penalties.