State Board Policy

DESCRIPTOR TERM: Minimum Qualifications
CODE: 7906
REVISION: March 27, 2012


The school bus driver is the most important element in the safe transportation of students. To ensure the safety of students transported on school buses, bus drivers must meet certain minimum qualifications.

To qualify as a school bus driver a person must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age.
  • Possess a valid Class A, B, or C CDL with a “P” and “S” endorsement.
  • Have at least 20/40 corrected or uncorrected visual acuity in each eye.
  • Demonstrate sufficient strength, agility, hearing and visual acuity to exercise safe control over the school bus and passengers at all times. All bus drivers must pass a pre-employment agility test administered as part of the SDE bus driver certification process. The agility test requirements are as follows:
a. The student driver did climb and descend the front steps of a passenger bus without pausing.

b. The student driver did open and close a manually operated full size bus entrance door without difficulty while seated in the driver's seat.

c. The student driver did activate the brake pedal with the right foot in 3/4 of a second or less after removing the right foot from the throttle pedal.

d. The student driver did move from a seated position in the driver's seat of a full size bus to the rear of the bus, open the emergency door and exit the bus all within 20 seconds.

e. The student driver did operate the driving controls using both arms simultaneously and quickly. For example, activate master panel switches or shift gears while keeping one hand on the steering wheel of a full size bus traveling twenty-five (25) miles per hour.

f. The student driver demonstrates ability to perform steering, shifting. maneuvering, braking, use of mirrors and negotiate each of the following:

Ninety degree (90°) left hand turns
Ninety degree (90°) right hand turns
Straight ahead
Irregular surface maneuverability at appropriate speeds
Backing ability using mirrors only
Spatial awareness
NOTE: Full size bus for ability testing purposes means a 59, 65 or 71 passenger school bus.
Activities (e.) and (f.) are completed only after (a.-d.) are successfully completed.

  • Have an acceptable driving record with no convictions deemed disqualifying under the MS Commercial Drivers License Law. Sections 63-1-73 through 63-1-90, MS Code as amended.
  • Receive SDE bus driver certification during a one-day training course which includes classroom instruction, agility testing and behind-the-wheel driving.
  • Not currently use illegal controlled substances or engage in the illegal use of prescription drugs.
  • The local school board may require additional qualifications, such as drug testing or a physical examination following an offer of employment.
Mississippi Department of Education     P.O. Box 771     Jackson, MS 39205-0771     General Information: 601-359-3513

Copyright © 2012 Mississippi Department of Education
Website Accessibility StatementAgency Web DisclaimerNotice of Non-Discrimination