School bus driver shortage; Wisconsin DOT to implement waiver

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation Division of Motor Vehicles on Tuesday, Jan. 18 announced it will implement a temporary waiver to get more bus drivers behind the wheel and encourage former drivers to reinstate.

The move comes in response to what WisDOT called a strain on school districts amid a shortage of school bus drivers.

"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 Boardman said in a news release.

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Drivers seeking their school bus license will have the portion of the test that identifies "under the hood" engine components waived until March 31, 2022. All other components of the written and road tests will remain.

A recent waiver from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration temporarily allows states to modify the CDL test for school bus drivers.

"Wisconsin’s CDL 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," Boardman said.

Drivers receiving a CDL under this temporary waiver are permitted to operate intrastate school buses only, they are not authorized to operate trucks, motor coaches, or any other type of commercial motor vehicle requiring a CDL.

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