If you are licensed as a non-commercial driver in Pennsylvania and want to obtain a CDL, you need to be at least 18 years of age. You would apply for your permit(s) using a DL-31CD, Application for Commercial Learner's Permit. In addition, you must also self-certify the type of driving in which you intend to engage using a DL-11CD.
When completing an application for the permits needed to upgrade your non-commercial driver's license to a CDL, you will need to pay an increased annual license fee and a photo fee, in addition to the permit fees for any privileges requested. The fee for your CDL permit(s) will be based on how many privileges you apply for as part of your application. (Drivers who will be engaging in “Non-excepted” transportation will also be required to submit a valid Medical Examiner’s Certificate prior to the issuance of a learner’s permit.)
You will also need to pass a physical examination admistered by your health care provider. Please use form DL-704.
The physical examination consists of: 1. A vision screening and a check for hearing loss. 2. A check for physical impairment(s). 3. A semi-annual test for driver’s with diabetes mellitus. 4. An annual stress test for driver’s with cardiovascular conditions. 5. A check for uncontrolled hypertension and respiratory dysfunction. 6. A check for rheumatic, arthritic, orthopedic, muscular, neuromuscular, or vascular disease. 7. A check for seizure disorder(s). 8. A check for drug or alcohol abuse. 9. A check for mental, emotional or psychiatric disorder(s). 10. A check for tuberculosis in a transmittable stage. 11. A check for any other condition likely to impair the ability to drive a school bus safely.
To initially obtain a school bus endorsement, the driver must complete a minimum of 20 hours of instruction, which includes 14 hours of classroom instruction and 6 hours of in-bus training. The training may be broken down into two sets of 10 hours. The driver becomes eligible to take the driving skills examination administered by a PennDOT Driver’s License Examiner or a Third-party Tester after he or she has passed all applicable knowledge tests, waited the mandatory 15-days if applicable, and has completed the first 10 hours of instruction. On successful completion of the driver’s examination, the driver will be issued an S endorsement. The driver will have 120 days from the issue date of the S endorsement to complete the second 10 hours of training.
1. Comply with Pennsylvania Department of Health and any local school district regulations and policies regarding communicable diseases. 2. Pass a Federal criminal history check conducted by the FBI. 3. Pass a criminal history check conducted by the Pennsylvania State Police. 4. Pass a child abuse history check conducted by the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare. 5. Be drug and alcohol free when driving, and not consume any alcoholic beverages within 8 hours prior to operating a school bus. 6. Submit an annual School Bus Driver’s Physical Examination Form (DL-704) to PennDOT. The physical requirements are listed above. 7. Pass an FBI Federal Criminal History check. 8. Submit a Medical Examiner’s Certificate for school bus drivers engaged in “Non-excepted” transportation.
Every four years, a school bus driver must: 1. Complete a minimum of 10 hours of refresher training, which includes 7 hours of classroom instruction and 3 hours of in-bus training. 2. Pass the school bus endorsement knowledge examination. 3. Pass a skills evaluation in a school bus representative of the class school bus the driver is licensed to operate.