Can Military Veterans Be School Bus Drivers?

Anyone can be a school bus driver, regardless of age, educational background, or previous occupation. But can military veterans be school bus drivers, as well?

Driving a school bus is an occupation like no other. It’s more than driving a large vehicle full of young students. School bus drivers can double or triple their responsibilities – disciplinarians, protectors, and second parents. No doubt, school bus drivers often play a crucial role in students, parents, and the lives in the community to which they belong.

And this is why the requirements of becoming a school bus driver differ considerably from those of a regular commuter bus driver because the safety of the students is always the top priority.

So, returning to the earlier question: can military veterans be school bus drivers? The answer is yes; they can. Several military personnel (current or former) now work as school bus drivers.

A commercial driver’s license (CDL) is one of the requirements to qualify as a school bus driver in Pennsylvania. But members of the military personnel can become school bus drivers without going through a CDL exam.

There’s a special program called the Military CDL Test Waiver. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) waives the CDL requirements for Pennsylvania residents actively serving, serving as reserve duty military, or honorably discharged veterans.

The Military CDL Test Waiver allows drivers with two years of experience safely operating a commercial vehicle (as part of their military requirements) to obtain a CDL without taking the skills test (driving test). This program is available in every state and applies to CDL applicants who choose to operate vehicles similar to those driven while in the military.

So, if you’re in the military on active or reserve duty or a military veteran applying for the school bus driver position in Pennsylvania, here’s how to avail of the CDL test waiver:

  • Fill in the form DL-31CD “Application to Add/Extend/Remove Commercial Driver’s License” (which can be downloaded as PDF).
  • Fill in the DL-11CD “Self-Certification Form.”
  • Return the DL-31CD and DL-11CD forms to PennDot along with the applicable fee.
  • You will receive the Knowledge Test Authorization Letter.
  • Upon receiving the Knowledge Test Authorization Letter, you may visit a Driver License Center and apply for a Knowledge and Skills Test waiver by submitting a completed DL-398 form, the “Military Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Test Waive Application” (PDF).

To learn more about the CDL Test waiver and whether you’re eligible for the program, please refer to the “Military Commercial Driver’s License Testing Waiver Fact Sheet” (PDF). For more information, you may visit the Locations Information Center to look for the nearest Driver License Center in your area.

Military veterans understand safety, and school bus drivers are tasked with keeping students safe. It truly makes sense for veterans to be school bus drivers.

Once you have obtained the CDL skills test waiver, you may start looking for the available school bus driver and other related positions at, and you’ll be on your way to a new career.