Administrative Code

Virginia Administrative Code
6/23/2024

Part III. Requirements for School Bus Drivers

8VAC20-70-280. Requirements for school bus drivers both for employment and continued employment.

Section 22.1-178 of the Code of Virginia requires drivers of school and activity buses to:

1. Have a physical examination of a scope prescribed by the Board of Education with the advice of the Medical Society of Virginia and furnished on a form prescribed by the Board of Education showing the results of such examination.

a. No person shall drive a school bus unless that person is physically qualified to do so and has submitted a School Bus Driver's Application For Physician's Certificate signed by the applicant and the doctor or a licensed nurse practitioner for the applicable employment period.

b. The physical form describes the basic physical qualifications for school bus drivers; however, the examining physician or licensed nurse practitioner shall make the final determination of the individual's physical capacity to operate a school bus based upon their assessment of the individual's overall physical condition.

2. Furnish a statement or copy of records from the Department of Motor Vehicles showing that the person, within the preceding five years, has not been convicted of a charge of driving under the influence of intoxicating liquors or drugs, convicted of a charge of refusing to take a blood or breath test, convicted of a felony, or assigned to any alcohol safety action program or driver alcohol rehabilitation program pursuant to § 18.2-271.1 of the Code of Virginia or, within the preceding 12 months, has not been convicted of two or more moving traffic violations or has not been required to attend a driver improvement clinic by the Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles pursuant to § 46.2-498 of the Code of Virginia.

3. Furnish a statement signed by two reputable persons who reside in the school division or in the applicant's community that the person is of good moral character.

4. Exhibit a license showing the person has successfully undertaken the examination prescribed by § 46.2-339 of the Code of Virginia.

5. Be at least 18 years old.

6. Submit to testing for alcohol and controlled substances that is in compliance with the Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act of 1991 (Public Law 102-143, Title V) as amended and that is in compliance with 49 CFR Parts 40 and 382.

Statutory Authority

§§ 22.1-16, 22.1-176, and 22.1-177 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR270-01-0006 § 4.1, eff. February 18, 1987; amended, Virginia Register Volume 4, Issue 14, eff. June 1, 1988; Volume 6, Issue 4, eff. January 1, 1990; Volume 10, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 1994; Volume 20, Issue 7, eff. January 14, 2004; Volume 28, Issue 26, eff. September 28, 2012.

8VAC20-70-290. First aid course.

Any school board may require successful completion of the American Red Cross first aid course or its equivalent as a condition to employment to operate a school bus transporting pupils as required by § 22.1-178 of the Code of Virginia.

Statutory Authority

§§ 22.1-16, 22.1-177, and 22.1-178 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR270-01-0006 § 4.2, eff. February 18, 1987; amended, Virginia Register Volume 4, Issue 14, eff. June 1, 1988; Volume 6, Issue 4, eff. January 1, 1990; Volume 10, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 1994; Volume 20, Issue 7, eff. January 14, 2004.

8VAC20-70-300. Required documents.

The documents required pursuant to subdivisions 1 and 2 of 8VAC20-70-280 shall be furnished annually prior to the anniversary date of the employment to operate a school bus.

Statutory Authority

§§ 22.1-16, 22.1-176, and 22.1-177 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR270-01-0006 § 4.3, eff. February 18, 1987; amended, Virginia Register Volume 4, Issue 14, eff. June 1, 1988; Volume 6, Issue 4, eff. January 1, 1990; Volume 10, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 1994; Volume 20, Issue 7, eff. January 14, 2004; Volume 28, Issue 26, eff. September 28, 2012.

8VAC20-70-310. (Repealed.)

Historical Notes

Derived from VR270-01-0006 § 4.4, eff. February 18, 1987; amended, Virginia Register Volume 4, Issue 14, eff. June 1, 1988; Volume 6, Issue 4, eff. January 1, 1990; Volume 10, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 1994; repealed, Virginia Register Volume 28, Issue 26, eff. September 28, 2012.

8VAC20-70-320. Forms for applicants.

The Department of Education shall furnish to the division superintendents the necessary forms for applicants to use to provide the information required by this section. Insofar as practicable, such forms shall be designed to limit paperwork, avoid the possibility of mistakes, and furnish all parties involved with a complete and accurate record of the information required.

Statutory Authority

Article VIII, § 4 of the Constitution of Virginia; §§ 22.1-16, 22.1-176, 22.1-177, and 22.1-178 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR270-01-0006 § 4.5, eff. February 18, 1987; amended, Virginia Register Volume 4, Issue 14, eff. June 1, 1988; Volume 6, Issue 4, eff. January 1, 1990; Volume 10, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 1994.

8VAC20-70-330. Health certificate.

As a condition to employment, every school and activity bus driver shall submit a certificate signed by a licensed physician or nurse practitioner stating that the employee appears free of communicable tuberculosis. The school board may require the submission of such certificates annually, or at such intervals as it deems appropriate, as a condition to continued employment.

Statutory Authority

§§ 22.1-16, 22.1-176, and 22.1-177 of the Code of Virginia.  

Historical Notes

Derived from VR270-01-0006 § 4.6, eff. February 18, 1987; amended, Virginia Register Volume 4, Issue 14, eff. June 1, 1988; Volume 6, Issue 4, eff. January 1, 1990; Volume 10, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 1994; Volume 28, Issue 26, eff. September 28, 2012.

8VAC20-70-340. Highway driving.

No person shall drive a school or activity bus upon a highway in the Commonwealth unless such person has had a reasonable amount of experience in driving motor vehicles, and shall have passed a special examination indicating the ability to operate a school bus without endangering the safety of pupil passengers and persons using the highway as stated in § 46.2-339 of the Code of Virginia. To prepare for the examination required by this section, any person holding a valid operator's license and Commercial Driver's License (CDL) Instruction Permit issued under the provisions of § 46.2-325 of the Code of Virginia, may operate, under the direct supervision of a person holding a valid school bus license endorsement, a school bus that contains no pupil passengers. The Department of Motor Vehicles is required to adopt such rules and regulations as may be necessary to provide for the examination of persons desiring to qualify to drive such buses in this Commonwealth and for the granting of permits to qualified applicants.

Statutory Authority

§§ 22.1-16, 22.1-177, and 22.1-178 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR270-01-0006 § 4.7, eff. February 18, 1987; amended, Virginia Register Volume 4, Issue 14, eff. June 1, 1988; Volume 6, Issue 4, eff. January 1, 1990; Volume 10, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 1994; Volume 20, Issue 7, eff. January 14, 2004.

8VAC20-70-350. Training.

No person shall operate a school or activity bus transporting pupils unless the person has:

1. Received classroom, demonstration, and behind-the-wheel instruction in accordance with a program developed by the Department of Education pursuant to § 22.1-181 of the Code of Virginia.

2. For persons not currently possessing a commercial driver's license, the individual shall complete a minimum of 24 hours of classroom training and six hours of behind-the-wheel training on a school bus that contains no pupil passengers. For persons currently possessing a commercial driver's license, the individual shall complete a minimum of four hours classroom training and three hours of behind-the-wheel training on a school bus that contains no pupil passengers. Behind-the-wheel training shall be administered under the direct on-board supervision of a designated bus driver trainer. All drivers shall receive training in the operation of buses representative of the type used in the school division in which they will be employed and in the transportation of students with special needs. Classroom instruction means training provided by a qualified driver instructor through lectures, demonstrations, audio-visual presentations, computer-based instruction, driving simulation devices, or similar means. Instruction occurring outside a classroom qualifies as classroom instruction if it does not involve actual operation of a school bus and its components by the trainee. Behind-the-wheel training does not include time spent riding in a school bus or observing the operation of a school bus when the trainee is not in control of the vehicle.

The superintendent or his designee shall maintain a record showing that the applicant has completed the training and has been approved to operate a school or activity bus.

3. New transportation directors/supervisors employed by school divisions shall complete the "New Director/Supervisor" class conducted by the Department of Education within a year after being employed in this position.

4. Each local school board employee who assists in the transportation of students with autism spectrum disorders on school buses, including individuals employed to operate school buses and school bus aides, shall participate in a training program on autism spectrum disorders established by the Board of Education. Such training shall include the characteristics of autism spectrum disorders, strategies for interacting with students with autism spectrum disorders, and collaboration with other employees who assist in the transportation of students on school buses.

Statutory Authority

§§ 22.1-16, 22.1-176, and 22.1-177 of the Code of Virginia.  

Historical Notes

Derived from VR270-01-0006 § 4.8, eff. February 18, 1987; amended, Virginia Register Volume 4, Issue 14, eff. June 1, 1988; Volume 6, Issue 4, eff. January 1, 1990; Volume 10, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 1994; Volume 20, Issue 7, eff. January 14, 2004; Volume 28, Issue 26, eff. September 28, 2012; Volume 35, Issue 9, eff. January 23, 2019.

8VAC20-70-360. In-service training.

In-service training (at least two hours before the opening of the school year and at least two hours during the second half of the school year) devoted to improving the skills, attitudes, and knowledge, including orientation to maximize benefits of using safety programs and safety components shall be provided to all school or activity bus drivers. In-service training should include, but is not limited to, the following topics: basic motor vehicle laws, related administrative codes, pre-trip inspection procedures, student discipline and conduct, drug and alcohol testing procedures and policies, fuel conservation, safety, emergency procedures, student information and confidentiality, and local policies and procedures as required by the division's transportation department. A copy of the agenda for each in-service training event shall be on file in the school division.

Statutory Authority

§§ 22.1-16, 22.1-176, and 22.1-177 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR270-01-0006 § 4.9, eff. February 18, 1987; amended, Virginia Register Volume 4, Issue 14, eff. June 1, 1988; Volume 6, Issue 4, eff. January 1, 1990; Volume 10, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 1994; Volume 20, Issue 7, eff. January 14, 2004; Volume 28, Issue 26, eff. September 28, 2012.

8VAC20-70-370. Supervision.

The drivers of school and activity buses shall be under the general direction and control of the division superintendent or designee, and shall also be accountable to the principal of the school to which pupil transportation is provided.

Statutory Authority

§§ 22.1-16, 22.1-176, and 22.1-177 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR270-01-0006 § 4.10, eff. February 18, 1987; amended, Virginia Register Volume 4, Issue 14, eff. June 1, 1988; Volume 6, Issue 4, eff. January 1, 1990; Volume 10, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 1994; Volume 20, Issue 7, eff. January 14, 2004; Volume 28, Issue 26, eff. September 28, 2012.

8VAC20-70-380. Pre-trip safety inspection.

Prior to the initial transporting of children each day, the drivers of school and activity buses shall perform a daily pre-trip safety inspection of the vehicle. The items checked and recorded shall be at least equal to the pre-trip inspection procedure in the Preventive Maintenance Manual for Virginia School Buses (September 2012) issued by the Department of Education.

Statutory Authority

§§ 22.1-16, 22.1-176, and 22.1-177 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR270-01-0006 § 4.11, eff. February 18, 1987; amended, Virginia Register Volume 4, Issue 14, eff. June 1, 1988; Volume 6, Issue 4, eff. January 1, 1990; Volume 10, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 1994; Volume 20, Issue 7, eff. January 14, 2004; Volume 28, Issue 26, eff. September 28, 2012.

8VAC20-70-390. (Repealed.)

Historical Notes

Derived from VR270-01-0006 § 4.12, eff. February 18, 1987; amended, Virginia Register Volume 4, Issue 14, eff. June 1, 1988; Volume 6, Issue 4, eff. January 1, 1990; Volume 10, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 1994; repealed, Virginia Register Volume 20, Issue 7, eff. January 14, 2004.

8VAC20-70-400. Evaluation.

Each school and activity bus driver shall be evaluated by the transportation director or designee at least once each year. The results of the evaluation shall be discussed with the driver and included in the driver's personnel file.

Statutory Authority

§§ 22.1-16, 22.1-177, and 22.1-178 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR270-01-0006 § 4.13, eff. February 18, 1987; amended, Virginia Register Volume 4, Issue 14, eff. June 1, 1988; Volume 6, Issue 4, eff. January 1, 1990; Volume 10, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 1994; Volume 20, Issue 7, eff. January 14, 2004.

8VAC20-70-410. Emergency equipment.

The driver of activity or extracurricular trip buses shall advise the pupils and/or sponsors of the location of the required emergency equipment and exits prior to the beginning of any such trip.

Statutory Authority

§§ 22.1-16, 22.1-177, and 22.1-178 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR270-01-0006 § 4.14, eff. February 18, 1987; amended, Virginia Register Volume 4, Issue 14, eff. June 1, 1988; Volume 6, Issue 4, eff. January 1, 1990; Volume 10, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 1994; Volume 20, Issue 7, eff. January 14, 2004.

8VAC20-70-411. Driver trainers.

Behind-the-wheel driver trainers must meet the requirements of 8VAC20-70-280 and 8VAC20-70-350 and must have maintained a Class B license for two years prior to functioning as a behind-the-wheel driver trainer.

Statutory Authority

§§ 22.1-16, 22.1-176, and 22.1-177 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 28, Issue 26, eff. September 28, 2012.

8VAC20-70-420. Instructor course certificate.

Local school bus driver training instructors shall hold a certificate for completion of an instructor course conducted or approved by the Department of Education and shall attend a recertification course every five years. Certification expires at the end of calendar year five.

Statutory Authority

§§ 22.1-16, 22.1-176, and 22.1-177 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR270-01-0006 § 4.15, eff. February 18, 1987; amended, Virginia Register Volume 4, Issue 14, eff. June 1, 1988; Volume 6, Issue 4, eff. January 1, 1990; Volume 10, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 1994; Volume 20, Issue 7, eff. January 14, 2004; Volume 28, Issue 26, eff. September 28, 2012.

8VAC20-70-430. Driver data.

The names and driver license numbers of persons operating school and activity buses and other vehicles used to transport pupils shall be submitted to the Department of Motor Vehicles annually as required by § 46.2-340 of the Code of Virginia.

Statutory Authority

§§ 22.1-16, 22.1-176, and 22.1-177 of the Code of Virginia.  

Historical Notes

Derived from VR270-01-0006 § 4.16, eff. February 18, 1987; amended, Virginia Register Volume 4, Issue 14, eff. June 1, 1988; Volume 6, Issue 4, eff. January 1, 1990; Volume 10, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 1994; Volume 20, Issue 7, eff. January 14, 2004; Volume 28, Issue 26, eff. September 28, 2012.

8VAC20-70-435. Filing.

The documents required pursuant to 8VAC20-70-280, 8VAC20-70-350, 8VAC20-70-360, 8VAC20-70-400, and 8VAC20-70-420 shall be filed with, and made a part of, the records of the school board employing such person as a school bus operator.

Statutory Authority

§§ 22.1-16, 22.1-176, and 22.1-177 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 28, Issue 26, eff. September 28, 2012.

8VAC20-70-440. Responsibility for compliance.

The responsibility for compliance with the school bus and activity vehicle specifications issued by the Department of Education rests with dealers and manufacturers. If any dealer or manufacturer sells school buses or school activity vehicles that do not conform to any or all of the specifications issued by the Department of Education, a general notice will be sent to all school divisions advising that equipment supplied by such dealer or manufacturer will be disapproved for school transportation until further notice. A copy of the notice will be sent to the dealer or manufacturer and will remain in effect until full compliance by the dealer or manufacturer is assured.

Dealers and manufacturers shall be given at least 30 days' notice of any changes in the specifications.

Statutory Authority

§§ 22.1-16, 22.1-177, and 22.1-178 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR270-01-0006 § 5.1, eff. February 18, 1987; amended, Virginia Register Volume 4, Issue 14, eff. June 1, 1988; Volume 6, Issue 4, eff. January 1, 1990; Volume 10, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 1994; Volume 20, Issue 7, eff. January 14, 2004.

8VAC20-70-450. Minimum specifications.

Minimum specifications are applicable to all school buses and school activity buses, new or used, procured by purchase, lease or operational contract from another person or entity.

Statutory Authority

§§ 22.1-16, 22.1-176, and 22.1-177 of the Code of Virginia.  

Historical Notes

Derived from VR270-01-0006 § 5.2, eff. February 18, 1987; amended, Virginia Register Volume 4, Issue 14, eff. June 1, 1988; Volume 6, Issue 4, eff. January 1, 1990; Volume 10, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 1994; Volume 28, Issue 26, eff. September 28, 2012.

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