Driver Training and Responsibility

Policy Approve By
Dr. Dean O. Stenehjem, Superintendent
Policy Date (original policy date)
Policy Prepared By
Dr. Dean O. Stenehjem, Superintendent
Policy Category

SUBJECT: Driver Training and Responsibility


Bus operators shall observe all state statutes and administrative rules governing traffic safety and school bus operation.  WSSB shall, at the beginning of each school year, provide each driver with a copy of the School Bus Driver Handbook (SPI), any additional laws and/or rules which have been recently enacted and which apply to school bus drivers, and the WSSB written rules for student conduct on buses.

Each bus driver must have a Type I school bus driver's authorization issued by the Superintendent of Public Instruction, a passenger endorsement and either a Class B or C commercial driver's license.  The bus driver shall also hold a valid and current first aid card.  An air-braked endorsement is requirement for a driver who is assigned to a bus with air brakes.  A bus driver is required to pass a Department of Transportation and a Superintendent of Public Instruction physical examination every two years.

Any WSSB employee or volunteer, other than a bus driver, who transports students for school activities in a state or private vehicle must have a valid driver's license issued by the state of Washington, Department of Licensing or state of Oregon. Such drivers must receive authorization to drive from the Director of Education, Director of Student Home Services or Director of Outreach, and may only operate vehicles with seating capacity of 15 or less.  Each passenger and driver must have a working seat belt that will be worn.  Proper placement of children passengers in a vehicle with regards to air bags and seat belts must follow current state law and safety regulations. 

Prior to driving students, each driver must submit to his or her Director:

  1. A photocopy of his or her valid license;
  2. Written assurance of the physical health necessary to safely transport children
  3. A copy of his or her certified driving abstract for the previous three years

The driver's abstract must assure that:

  1. He or she has not had a driving license privilege suspended or revoked in the preceding three years.
  2. He or she has not had two or more speeding tickets in excess of ten miles per hour over the speed limit within any twelve-month period in the proceeding three years.
  3. He or she has not been convicted or undergone a deferred prosecution for any misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor, or felony that is related to the duty of driving students. Such offenses include but are not limited to those listed in WAC 180-20-101(I)(J). Employees are responsible for reporting any disqualifying offenses.

Drivers who drive students as a volunteer or employees who drive students in their personal vehicle must have written permission from Superintendent or department Director (recommendation to always use a state vehicle when transporting kids):

  1. Provide documentation of insurance if using their personal vehicle.
  2. Complete the volunteer checklist and receive administration approval to drive.

Prior authorization to drive students is not necessary for persons transporting students in an emergency affecting health and/or safety.

When a staff member is assigned to accompany students on a bus, such person shall be primarily responsible for the behavior of the students in his/her charge.  The bus driver shall have final authority and responsibility.  When WSSB utilizes charter buses or excursion carriers, the driver shall not have unsupervised access to children and the children shall be supervised by a responsible employee of the school.  Every contract between a WSSB and a charter bus or excursion carrier shall contain a carrier profile from the Washington utilities and transportation commission.

Legal References: 
RCW 28A.160.210 School bus drivers, training and qualifications-Rules and Regulations for Uniform Commercial

46.25  Drivers Act
WAC 180 School Transportation                                    

392-145-15 General operating regulations

392-145-20 Rules for school bus drivers;

Through 030 Rules for students riding school buses

Washington State School for the Blind

Driver Checklist

Personal Vehicle Authorization

Trip Information

Date of Trip:

Purpose of Trip: 

Trip is to:  

Student(s) to be transported: 

Driver Screening/Insurance Requirements

Name of Driver:  
License #  

Please respond to each item with a yes or no answer:
I am older than 21 years of age (YES/NO):
I have a valid driver's license(YES/NO):
License #:
Expiration Date: 
I have had no vehicle moving violations or at-fault accidents within the last three years(YES/NO):
If you have had any, please list:
I carry minimum auto liability limits of $100,000 per occurrence and $300,000 aggregate and uninsured motorist coverage(YES/NO):
Policy #: 
I am aware that, in the event of an accident with my personal vehicle, while on a school-related activity, any claim will be tendered to my personal automobile insurance company(YES/NO):
I understand that if a child I am transporting is under 40 lbs., they need to be in a car seat(YES/NO):

Vehicle Inspection (if you use your personal vehicle)

Please respond to each item with a yes or no answer (YES/NO)

There is a working seatbelt for the driver and each passenger, and I understand that seatbelts will be worn.
My vehicle's brakes, including emergency brake, are in good working order.
My vehicle's tires have legal tread depth (at least 3/32")
My vehicle's brake lights, turn indicators, & headlights are in good working order.
My vehicle's windows are clear and provide an unobstructed view for driver.
My vehicle has functioning rear view mirrors (center and left side).
My vehicle has no other physical defects that would interfere with the safety of the driver and passengers.
My vehicle has a rated capacity of ten passengers or less.

The above information is true and accurate to the best of my knowledge.  I hereby give my permission for a copy of my personal Motor Vehicle Report to be ordered and used in consideration of my transporting students during field trips.

Signature of Volunteer Driver

Administrative Review
If the volunteer will drive for more than one day, the district has obtained the information to order a motor vehicle abstract (three-year comprehensive record) from the Department of Licensing.

If the volunteer will drive for more than one day and will have unsupervised student contact, the district has obtained the information to order a Washington State Patrol background information check.

All students have parental permission to ride with the volunteer driver.

All "NO" responses to this form and the medical history form have been addressed satisfactorily.

I have reviewed the above information and this driver and vehicle are approved for this trip.

Signature of Administrator/Designee


The following information is required by anyone planning to drive a WSSB school vehicle.

1. Copy of driver's license.

2. Have you received a moving violation within the last three years?(YES/NO)

If yes, please list:

3. I certify that I am not aware of any physical health issues that would preclude me from transporting children.

I certify the above is true and correct.



  • Supervisor
  • Personnel file