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.

S endorsement extension for existing school bus drivers

The Registrar of Motor Vehicle Services has issued a permit that will give existing Class 1, 2 or 4 school bus drivers until July 31, 2020 to get their S endorsement. School bus drivers transporting students are required to print and keep the dated permit below in the school bus:

By July 31, 2020 all school bus drivers must have the S endorsement on their driver's licence, regardless of the class of licence they hold.

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