Amid a hiring challenge that puts qualified drivers in school buses, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation Division of Motor Vehicles has extended a testing waiver so more drivers apply for a school bus license.

The portion of the test that identifies “under the hood” engine components is now waived until Nov. 27, 2024. All other components of the written and road tests will remain.

Wisconsin is one of six states taking advantage of this long-term extension enacted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. This waiver lets states modify the Commercial Driver’s License 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,” DMV Administrator Kristina Boardman said. “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.” 

Drivers receiving a CDL under this waiver are permitted to operate intrastate school buses only. They are not authorized to operate trucks, motor coaches, or any other type of commercial motor vehicle requiring a CDL.

Wisconsin DMV maintains a list of driver training schools that offer the option to get a CDL and school bus license.