The California Highway Patrol (CHP) partners with the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and the California Department of Education (CDE) to assist with the testing school bus driver applicants and farm labor transportation drivers. The CHP takes school bus and farm labor vehicle safety seriously. As such, the CHP works to promote safe driving practices through a combination of partnership, public education, and enforcement efforts.
Generally, to obtain a special certificate from the CHP, applicants must:
1. Obtain a commercial learner’s permit with a (S) School Bus and/or (P) Passenger endorsement (DMV), or Class B commercial driver’s license with (P) endorsement for General Public Paratransit Vehicle and Farm Labor Vehicle. 2. Obtain a Special Driver Certificate from the CHP. This includes completing:
a. Application (CHP 295)b. Live Scan (background check).c. Written Test.d. First Aid Examination.
a. Application (CHP 295)
b. Live Scan (background check).
c. Written Test.
d. First Aid Examination.
3. Completion of behind-the-wheel training (CDE/School District). 4. The CHP checks the Entry Level Driver Training in the DMV’s automated system to verify required training has been completed. Applicants should confirm with their certified school bus instructor that all required information has been entered into the Training Provider Registry prior to the behind-the-wheel drive test.To verify your own training has been entered in the TPR, use this link: Training Provider Registry (dot.gov)
5. Complete the practical examinations, which includes a successful demonstration of a pre-trip inspection and the completion of a behind-the-wheel test. This practical examination satisfies requirements for the CHP Special Driver Certificate and the CLASS B commercial driver license.
NOTE: There are six catagories of Special Driver Certificate, including: School Bus Driver, Youth Bus Driver, School Pupil Activity Bus Driver, General Public Paratransit Vehicle, Farm Labor Vehicle and Vehicle for Developmentlly Disabled Persons.
Contact your local CHP office for additional information.
CHP 295, Special Certificate Application(PDF)CHP 295J - Applicant/Carrier Document Checklist (PDF)CHP 296 - Application for School Bus Contractor's License (PDF)CHP 296A - How to Obtain or Renew a School Bus Contractor's License (PDF)
Portions of the CHP 295 may be completed prior to an interview with a CHP school bus officer or coordinator, or the form may be completed with the school bus officer or coordinator during the interview process.
The applicant may complete the personal and driver license portions only. The rest of the sections are for CHP use only.
Must be reviewed with the CHP school bus officer or coordinator prior to the applicant signing the document, and must be signed in the presence of the CHP school bus officer or coordinator.
The applicant may complete the Convictions and Residency History portions. This information must be explained and reviewed by the school bus officer or coordinator.
The applicant may complete the Work History portion. This page must be signed and dated in the presence of the CHP school bus officer or coordinator.
To receive a copy of the
Applicant Study Guide (Highway Patrol Handbook 82.7, Passenger Transportation
Safety Handbook), please email ResearchAndPlanning@chp.ca.gov.
The California Highway Patrol’s 2021 School Bus Drivers of the Year are: Northern Region: Mr. Luke Case of the Trinity Alps Unified School DistrictSouthern Region: Mr. Manuel Macias of the Bassett Unified School DistrictCongratulations to you both for your outstanding achievement!
Past School Bus Drivers of the Year
Proposed Regulatory Actions:
The regulatory action for Title 13, California Codes and Regulations Section 1222; Smoking on School Buses is open for public comment until June 15, 2020. Please follow the link to the Office of Administrative Law’s Regulatory Notice Register to view the full text and public comment contact information.
First Aid Examination: As part of the certification process, school bus and youth bus driver applicants must pass a first aid examination. Applicants may be administered a first aid examination and certified by the American Red Cross or any of the approved providers for school bus drivers listed on the Emergency Medical Services Authority’s (EMSA) website, or by the CHP. You may access EMSA’s web site at emsa.ca.gov/childcare External link . Then scroll down and click on School Bus Driver First Aid Training Programs.
The CHP revised its first aid examination in July 2015. The criteria for this examination are based on all chapters of the 2014 American Red Cross, First Aid/CPR/AED Participants Manual (Item #656756). The manual may be purchased at any American Red Cross online bookstore for a nominal fee, or other bookstores in your area.
2020 Notice Register Number 14-Z, April 3, 2020 (ca.gov)
The CHP convenes a panel of specified members to advise the CHP when drafting regulations affecting school pupil transportation buses and school pupil transportation operations. Meetings are generally held twice a year, in conjunction with the California Association of School Transportation Officials (CASTO) Annual Conference, and the CASTO State Board Meeting. Agenda topics may be submitted for consideration to ResearchandPlanning@chp.ca.gov, or to any of the SPTAC members.
In-Person Meeting, in conjunction with CASTO Manager’s ForumWhen: Friday, October 21, 2022Where: Delta by Marriott Garden Grove/AnaheimAddress: 12021 Harbor Blvd, Garden Grove, CA 92840Phone: (714) 867-5555 See CASTO website for more information on the 2022 Manager’s Forum:California Association of School Transportation Officials - Home (castoways.org)
American Academy of Pediatrics Member/RepresentativeRural School District RepresentativeSchool Pupil Transportation Operations other than School Bus Representative