Overview

If you have a Class 1, 2 or 4 driver’s licence and want to drive a school bus in Alberta, you must take the School Bus Driver Improvement Program to get the S endorsement on your driver’s licence.

As part of this program’s new requirements, the definition of a school bus has changed. If your organization uses vehicles that meet the definition of a school bus, anyone who drives these vehicles must have an S endorsement on their commercial driver’s licence. See the School Bus Policy for more information.

New school bus drivers

Effective March 1, 2019, all new Class 1 or Class 2 school bus drivers must:

Existing school bus drivers

If you drive a vehicle that meets the new definition of a school bus, you must have an S endorsement on your commercial driver's licence by July 31, 2020. See the School Bus Policy for more information.

How it works

Step 1. Complete classroom training

You must participate in a classroom training session delivered by a licensed driver training school in Alberta.

The classroom training is a minimum of 15 hours and includes 5 series:

  • Series 1: School Bus Inspection and Maintenance
  • Series 2: Loading, Unloading and Transporting Passengers/Passenger Management
  • Series 3: Bus Manoeuvres/Defensive Driving
  • Series 4: Emergencies, Bus Evacuations, First Aid, Emergency Equipment and Mechanical Breakdown
  • Series 5: Passengers with Disabilities, Mobility Aids and Child Safety Seats

Each student is provided with a copy of the School Bus Operator’s manual as a reference and study guide.

Step 2. Pass knowledge assessments

Knowledge assessments are completed under the direct supervision of the driving instructor after each series. You have 3 attempts to pass each knowledge assessment.

Step 3: Complete practical training

Once you complete the classroom training and pass all 5 series knowledge assessments, you must participate in the practical training session.

Step 4. Pass pre-trip inspection assessment and on-road assessment

You must pass a pre-trip inspection assessment.

You must pass a 45-minute on-road assessment.

Only one on-road re-assessment is allowed before additional training is required.

The re-assessment must be conducted on a different day.

The licensed driver training school and the student will determine additional training requirements.

Once you pass the on-road assessment, you will be issued a Notice of Driver Education Course Completion form.

Step 5. Go to registry agent

Bring the Notice of Driver Education Course Completion form to any Alberta registry agent to get the S endorsement added to your driver’s licence. A government fee and a service charge will apply. The S endorsement will appear on your driver’s licence card.

There is no renewal requirement for the S endorsement.

You must have a valid Alberta driver’s licence to get the S endorsement. You are not eligible if you have a suspended driver's licence.

MELT extension for school bus drivers

Thank you for your interest in the School Bus Extension. The deadline to apply has now passed and applications for the School Bus Extension are no longer being accepted. New school bus drivers must refer to the “Overview” section of this page for information on the Class 2 MELT requirements.

Additional training

In addition to the S endorsement training, school bus drivers can complete the Pre-employment School Bus Operator eLearning Program which consists of the following topics:

  • Pre-Trip Inspection and Maintenance
  • Loading and Unloading Passengers
  • Passenger Management
  • Defensive Driving
  • Emergencies

Resources

School Bus Driver Improvement Program School Bus Operator's Manual

Review of School Bus Collisions in Alberta

Ensuring the Safety of our Children: a Report on School Bus Safety in Alberta

School Bus Policy

Contact

Connect with Driver Education and Examination Standards:

Edmonton office

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-427-8230
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
Email: trans.driver.prog@gov.ab.ca

Address:
Driver Education and Examination Standards
Alberta Transportation
1st Floor, Twin Atria Building
4999 98 Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta  T6B 2X3

Calgary office

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-427-8230
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
Email: trans.driver.prog@gov.ab.ca

Address:
Driver Education and Examination Standards
Alberta Transportation
1st Floor, Willowglen Business Park
803 Manning Road NE
Calgary, Alberta  T2E 7M8