WisDOT cuts portion of school bus license test amid driver shortage

MADISON, Wis. — The Department of Transportation is making it easier to get a school bus license.

From now until March 31, drivers looking to get their S endorsement will not have to take the portion of the test that covers ‘under the hood’ engine components, thanks to a temporary waiver. The written and road sections of the test remain unchanged.

Those who receive their license using the waiver can only drive school buses.

The move comes as the state faces a school bus driver shortage.

“WisDOT is taking every available opportunity to ease the strain on communities struggling to recruit drivers by removing barriers that might keep prospective drivers from applying,” DMV Administrator Kristina Broadman said in a statement. “Examiners will focus on the testing requirements that are critical to safety in order to help school districts and communities struggling to recruit qualified school bus drivers.”

Officials also sent nearly 1,000 letters to drivers who let their school bus license lapse, urging them to renew and find bus driving jobs in their communities.