Bus Driver

Department of Transportation


Bus drivers transport passengers over specified routes to local or distant points according to a time schedule; collect cash fares and make change, collect and issue tokens, tickets, and transfers; regulate heating, lighting and ventilating systems for passenger comfort; comply with local traffic regulations; report delays or accidents; record cash receipts and ticket fares; may load or unload baggage from baggage compartment or freight checked by passengers; may have to check tires, oil, water, and fuel and make minor repairs; answer questions about schedules, routes and transfer points; and, announce stops and other information concerning trips. All drivers operating buses carrying 16 or more passengers, including the driver, must apply for a CDL with a Passenger Endorsement (P).

Code Citation IC 321.1 (8 & 11), IAC 761-607

Who Applies All bus drivers operating vehicles designed to transport sixteen or more persons, including the driver, including redesigned or modified vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 10,001 or more pounds used to transport less than 16 persons with disabilities.

When To Apply Before transporting begins.

Initial Requirements To obtain a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) to drive a passenger bus or school bus, applicants must be at least 18 years of age for in-state (intrastate) operation and 21 for out-of-state (interstate) operation. Applicants must first pass a general commercial knowledge exam, a passenger knowledge examination, and a school bus knowledge examination (if applicable) and be issued a Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP). After holding a CLP for 14 days, an applicant is eligible to complete the three-part skills test to be issued a CDL. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) establishes medical qualifications for drivers engaged in commerce, the movement of people or property, and depending on what type of driving a person does, they may be required to maintain a medical certificate and pass a physical examination at least every two years. Employees may have more stringent requirements, especially if they are a registered motor carrier.

Duration License duration is eight years for persons age 18 through 66, then the validity period will proportionally decrease until age 72, at which point a two-year license is issued (age 67, seven year license; age 68, six year license; age 69, five year license; age 70, four year license; age 71, three year license; age 72+, two year license). Beginning September 1, 2020, license duration will be eight years for persons age 18 through 72, then the validity period will proportionally decrease until age 78, at which point a two-year license is issued (age 73, seven year license; age 74, six year license; age 75, five year license; age 76, four year license; age 77, three year license; age 78+, two year license).

Processing Time Four hours for vision, knowledge, and three-part driving test.

Fee Structure License Application: $8 per year. Fees for CDL endorsements: *Passenger (knowledge & skills exam) $10 (one time fee) *School Bus (knowledge & skills exam) $10 (one time fee) Fees for lifting restrictions: *Remove Airbrake Restriction – L (skills exam) $10 (one time fee) *Remove Automatic Transmission Restriction – E (skills exam) $10 (one time fee)

Renewal Requirements There are no continuing education requirements for license renewal.

Exam Applicants must pass knowledge and skills tests, demonstrating the ability to drive a passenger vehicle in order to qualify for the Commercial Drivers License (CDL). These tests are given at driver license stations and most Iowa county treasurer\’s offices. The CDL driving and written tests may be waived for drivers transferring a CDL from another state to Iowa.

Additional Information Schedule your appointment to start the CDL process at https://iowadot.gov/mvd/driverslicense/service-selector. The following links may be helpful for persons interested in obtaining a CDL: o What do I need to get a CDL? https://iowadot.gov/mvd/cdl/Commercial-drivers-licenses o CDL classification guide: https://iowadot.gov/mvd/cdl/CDL-Counter-Reference.pdf o Self-certification and medical requirements – https://iowadot.gov/mvd/cdl/medical-cards-and-certification

Services Provided

Service Category

  • Service SubCategory
Contact Information
Ronee Slagle
Central Programs Bureau
6310 SE Convenience Blvd.
Ankeny, IA 50021