How to Become a School Bus Driver in Ontario

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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.

References

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