All New Jersey school bus drivers, regardless if they are employed by DOE or not, must get both P (Passenger) and S (School bus) endorsements.
You must be at least 21 years old and meet the following requirements:
- 20/40 vision in each eye (with our without corrective lenses)
- 70 degree peripheral vision in each eye
- Be able to recognize red, green and amber colors
- Be physically fit; submit a copy of a completed federal Medical Examiner's Certificate [pdf] and a copy of a Medical Examiner's Certificate every two years or as indicated by your physician
- Pass a background check and fingerprint requirements; follow procedures for S endorsement
- Complete a declaration form to select DOE, Non-DOE or public transporation of school-age children
A commercial license school bus S endorsement is required for drivers transporting school-age children. Endorsement applicants are subject to background checks to drive a commercial vehicle to and from:
- School or school-related activity
- Preschool center or nursery school
- Day care or seasonal residence camp
- Child care center
To be eligible for a S endorsement, drivers operating under the jurisdiction of the Department of Education (DOE) must pass a state and federal background check (N.J.S.A. 18A:39-19.1):
- Fingerprint forms are available from your employer or by download from DOE
- Schedule an appointment with the state fingerprint vendor IdentoGo
- Submit a copy of the DOE Criminal History Review Unit Blue Seal Approval letter issued no more than 90 days prior to S endorsement application.
To renew a license, DOE drivers must:
- Pass a background check; you may begin the Archive Submission Process as early as 90 days prior to the expiration of your "S" endorsement to ensure you will have the results of your criminal history check and Approval Letter prior to your expiration date.
- DOE disqualification will result in suspension of your school bus endorsement. A clearance letter from DOE is required for restoration
- Upon renewal of your S endorsement, submit a copy of the DOE Criminal History Review Unit Blue Seal Approval letter issued no more than 90 days prior to license expiration.
Non-DOE school bus drivers - including day care and summer camp drivers - are not under the jurisdiction of the Department of Education.
To be eligible for an endorsement, drivers must pass a state background check (N.J.S.A. 39: 3-10.1):
- Download fingerprint form for Non-DOE drivers
- Schedule an appointment with the state fingerprint vendor, IdentoGo
- Submit a copy of the MorphoTrak application and receipt as proof of background check
- Submit a copy of a current letter from your employer confirming that you are employed as a school bus driver or that you are transporting school children to a day care or summer camp; letter must be presented both at initial licensing and renewal
If you change employment for a passenger-carrying commercial vehicle from commercial transit operator to school bus or from DOE to Non-DOE school bus operator or vice versa, you may need to be refingerprinted under the appropriate statute. Please check your CDL Manual or call the Bus Application Unit at (609) 292-7500, ext. 5039, 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.