WisDOT testing waiver extension aims to increase number of school bus driver license applicants
For the Tomahawk Leader
WISCONSIN – The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) announced on Tuesday, Feb. 14 that it extended a testing waiver in an effort to increase the number of school bus license applicants.
In a release, WisDOT said the portion of the test that identifies “under the hood” engine components will be waived through Nov. 27, 2024.
All other components of the written and road tests will remain.
Wisconsin is one of six states taking advantage of a long-term extension enacted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). FMCSA initially issued this as a three-month waiver in Jan. 2022.
The waiver allows states to modify the Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) test so more commercial drivers can add a school bus license (S endorsement) to their credentials.
Drivers seeking this credential will not have to identify engine parts during the pre-trip vehicle inspection portion of the skills test.
“Knowing the components of a bus engine does not necessarily impact a driver’s safe driving skills, so we’ll follow FMCSA’s guidance,” said DMV Administrator Kristina Boardman. “By removing this potential barrier, we hope that more drivers will apply to add the school bus license to their credentials and, hopefully, help their community and school district.”
Between January and September 2022, 69 individuals used this exemption to obtain their school bus license in Wisconsin, according to WisDOT.
“In a very tight labor market, WisDOT is supporting every effort to help to get qualified drivers behind the wheel and get kids to school,” Boardman stated.
“Drivers receiving a CDL under this waiver are permitted to operate intrastate school buses only,” WisDOT said. “They are not authorized to operate trucks, motor coaches or any other type of commercial motor vehicle requiring a CDL.”
To view DMV’s list of driver training schools that offer the option to get a CDL and school bus license, visit www.bit.ly/3S0ZMZ6.