School Bus Driver Requirements
The 1977 Indiana General Assembly enacted Public Law 123 mandating the training and certification of school bus drivers. In conjunction with the Indiana State School Bus Committee, the following policy statement is used by the Division of School Safety and Emergency Planning to implement the training and certification requirements of the statute.
The current requirements consist of twenty (20) hours of pre-service classroom instruction, four (4) hours on-bus observation of a certified bus driver, eight (8) hours behind-the-wheel supervised by a certified bus driver. The observation/behind-the-wheel portions are completed in cooperation with the employer and documented to the division on the attached form.* By statute, the training provided by the Department of Education may not exceed (40) hours. However, each employer is encouraged to supplement these requirements with local policy philosophies and procedures.
Pre-service classes are conducted throughout Indiana and scheduled quarterly by the Division of School Traffic Safety and Emergency Planning.
* The form is available from the Division of School Traffic Safety and Emergency Planning.
Certificate of Enrollment
The certificate of enrollment is a temporary training card that authorizes the school bus driver to transport passengers while completing the certification process. Statue requires the certificate to be in the driver's possession when transporting passengers. It is used in conjunction with a commercial driver's license.
Obtaining a Certificate of Enrollment
The certificate is issued by the Division of School Traffic Safety and Emergency Planning upon written notification. The request may be by mail, facsimile, or email. Telephone requests cannot be accommodated.
The request must state:
- The driver's name as it is to appear on the certificate; and
- Their social security number.
Enrollment certificates are not issued at the pre-service training class.
Previously Certified Driver
Previously certified school bus driver is eligible for one enrollment certificate. It is valid for 90 days from the date of issue. The request must be in writing from the employer. For reinstatement of the standard certificate refer to Standard Certificate, Failure to Attend Annual Safety Meeting.
The standard certificate indicates completion of the training requirements, replaces the enrollment certificate and authorizes the driver to transport passengers. State statute requires the certificate to be in the driver's possession when transporting passengers. It is used in conjunction within one year from the date of initial attendance at a pre-service course. The observation and behind-the-wheel driving requirements are four (4) and eight (8) hours respectively. The hours must be documented on the division's form, be an Indiana-certified school bus driver, and may be returned by mail, facsimile, or email.
Expiration and Renewal
Standard certificate cards expire on December 31 of each calendar year. A driver who attends a pre-service class prior to June is required to attend the annual safety meeting. A driver who completes a pre-service class after May will be issued a standard certificate valid through December 31 of the next year.
Every school bus driver is required by state statute to attend the annual safety meeting. Attendance at this meeting re-certifies the driver for the next calendar year. The standard certificate for each driver is mailed to the employer indicated on the annual safety meeting roster.
The annual safety meeting agenda and schedule are published by the division approximately six weeks in advance of the first meeting.
Failure to Attend Annual Safety Meeting
There are two methods to reinstate the standard certificate, notwithstanding the penalty contained in IC 20-9.1-3-11, which addresses nonattendance at an annual safety meeting. They are:
- The driver attends a pre-service class equivalent to the length of the annual safety meeting. The hours may be completed on any day of a pre-service class. This option is only available following the last annual safety meeting. The observation and behind-the-wheel driving hours are waived: or
- The driver attends an annual safety meeting in the next calendar year.
There is no waiver available from the State School Bus Committee or the division.
A driver who has failed to attend the annual safety meeting for three consecutive years is required all training requirements for certification. Refer to: Training Requirements and Certificate of Enrollment.
Previous experience may be substituted in lieu of training requirements. To be eligible a person must have a minimum of 30 days of school bus driving experience in Indiana for a public or private school accredited by the State Board of Education. The experience must be within the three years immediately preceding the effective date of the person's assignment as a school bus driver.
Inquiries should be directed to the Division of School Traffic Safety and Emergency Planning.
Persons with school bus driving experience in agencies, not-for-profit organizations, or out-of-state school districts are not eligible.
Contacting the Division
- Indiana Department of Education
- Division of School Traffic Safety and Emergency Planning
- Room 229, State House
- Indianapolis, IN 46204-2798
Indiana Code References
- IC 20-9.1-3-7 Annual Safety Meeting; Attendance Required
- IC 20-9.1-3-7.5 Pre-service School Bus Driving Safety Education Training Course
- IC 20-9.1-3-8 Annual Safety Meeting; Time and Place
- IC 20-9.1-3-9 Annual Safety; Responsibility to Conduct
- IC 20-9.1-3-10 Annual Safety Meeting; Non-attendance; Penalty
- IC 20-9.1-3-11.5 Training Certification
- IC 20-9.1-5-6.5(D) Use of School Buses; Day Care Centers; Developmentally and Physically Disabled Persons
- IC 20-5-2-7 Policy Mandate for Criminal History Information of Non-Certified and Contracted Employees