How to Become a School Bus Driver in Ontario


Working as a school bus driver appeals to people who interact well with children and enjoy driving. School bus driver's work part-time hours and have the option of bringing up to two young children with them on the bus. This allows parents to earn a weekly income without having to pay for daycare. To become a school bus driver in Ontario you need complete an unpaid training process and acquire a school bus driver's license. In order to drive a school bus you must have a good driving record and pass a criminal background check.

Things You'll Need

  • School bus driver improvement course (SBDIC)
  • Official MTO bus driver handbook
  • Class E or B driver's license
  • Research the requirements necessary to become a licensed school bus driver. School bus drivers must meet high standards. Those with criminal records related to driving, narcotics or sexual offenses may not qualify for a job as a school bus driver. Make sure you meet the full list of requirements before pursuing a school bus driving career.

  • Apply for a school bus driver job at a school bus company such as First Student Canada. Bus companies provide free school bus driver training to accepted applicants. Training consists of both driving and classroom instruction and lasts a minimum of three weeks. Make sure your school bus training includes the School Bus Driver Improvement Course (SBDIC).

  • Prepare for your knowledge test. Decide which bus driver's license you wish to obtain. A class E license will enable you to drive a school-purpose vehicle which carries a maximum of 24 passengers. A class B license will enable you to drive any size school-purpose vehicle. Purchase a copy of the Official MTO Bus Driver Handbook and study the information given in your licensing category until you feel ready to take the written driver's test.

  • Take the class E or B driver's knowledge test at one of the Ontario Drive Test Centre locations. You do not need an appointment to take the written test. You must pass a quick vision test before you begin writing the test. If you fail the knowledge test you can take it again after a 10-day waiting period.

  • Book your bus driver's road test. Once you have passed the knowledge test, make an appointment for your class E or B road test. You can book your road test on line at the Ontario Drive Test website or by calling your nearest Ontario Drive Test Centre.

  • Take your class E or B driver's road test. You should arrive at the Drive Test Centre 30 minutes before your appointment time with the correct-size bus. If you fail the road test you can book another road test appointment after a 10-day waiting period. Once you pass the road test you will receive the driver's license needed to begin working as a school bus driver in Ontario.

Tips & Warnings

  • School bus drivers must be 21 years of age or older.
  • The driver's license knowledge test is available in multiple languages. Call the Ontario Drive Test Centre for information on taking the written test in another language than English or French.

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  • Photo Credit Square School Bus image by steverts from woman with computer in the office image by Oleg Berlov from call-center image by Patrizier-Design from
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