Do you need a CDL to drive a school bus in Florida?

In this blog post, we will answer the following question: Do you need a CDL to drive a school bus in Florida? We will explain what the licence requirements are for driving a Skoolie in the US. 

Do you need a CDL to drive a school bus in Florida?

You need a CDL to drive a school bus in Florida along with an endorsement for School Bus (S) and Passengers (P)  if your purpose is commercial, meaning you are working as a school bus driver, for example. 

If the trip is not commercial in purpose, but for private/recreational/domestic reasons, (for example a school bus is converted to an RV), the CDL rules will vary across states in the US. In Florida, you do not need a CDL to drive a Skoolie. 

State Licensing Requirements For Converted School Buses

StateLicence Requirements for driving a Skoolie
AlabamaNo special licence required
AlaskaNo special licence required
ArizonaNo special licence required
ArkansasCDL for vehicles that weigh 26,000 lbs or more.
CaliforniaClass B license for vehicles that weigh 26,000 lbs or more and for RVS with a length of over 40 feet.

Class A license to tow anything more than 10,000 lbs.
ColoradoNo special licence required
ConnecticutClass B CDL for vehicles that weigh more than 26,000 lbs. 
Class A CDL for vehicles with a combined weight of over 26,000 lbs.
DelawareNo special licence required
District of ColumbiaNo special licence required
FloridaNo special licence required
GeorgiaNo special licence required
HawaiiClass B CDL for vehicles that weigh more than 26,000 lbs. 
Class A CDL for vehicles with a combined weight of over 26,000 lbs.
IdahoNo special licence required
IllinoisNo special licence required
IndianaNo special licence required
IowaNo special licence required
KansasClass B CDL for vehicles that weigh more than 26,000 lbs. 
Class A CDL for vehicles with a combined weight of over 26,000 lbs.
KentuckyNo special licence required
LouisianaNo special licence required
MaineNo special licence required
MarylandClass B license for vehicles that weigh more than 26,000 lbs.
MassachusettsNo special licence required
MichiganNo special licence required
MinnesotaNo special licence required
MississippiNo special licence required
MissouriNo special licence required
MontanaNo special licence required
NebraskaNo special licence required
NevadaClass B license for vehicles that weigh more than 26,000 lbs.

Class A license for vehicles with a combined weight of over 26,000 lbs.  
If towing a vehicle that is more than 10,000 lbs you need to get a special J endorsement.
New HampshireNo special licence required
New JerseyNo special licence required
New MexicoClass B license for vehicles that weigh more than 26,000 lbs.

Class A license for vehicles with a combined weight of over 26,000 lbs.  
New YorkR endorsement for vehicles over 26,000 lbs.
North CarolinaClass B license for vehicles that weigh more than 26,000 lbs.

Class A license for vehicles with a combined weight of over 26,000 lbs.  
North DakotaNo special licence required
OhioNo special licence required
OklahomaNo special licence required
OregonNo special licence required
PennsylvaniaClass B license for vehicles that weigh more than 26,000 lbs.

Class A license for vehicles with a combined weight of over 26,000 lbs.  
Rhode IslandNo special licence required
South CarolinaClass E license for vehicles over 26,000 lbs. 
Class F license for vehicles with a combined weight of over 26,000 lbs.
South DakotaNo special licence required
TennesseeNo special licence required
TexasClass B license for vehicles that weigh more than 26,000 lbs.

Class A license for vehicles with a combined weight of over 26,000 lbs.  
UtahNo special licence required
VermontNo special licence required
VirginiaNo special licence required
WashingtonNo special licence required
West VirginiaNo special licence required
WisconsinYou need a CDL for vehicles longer than 45 feet.
WyomingClass B license for vehicles that weigh more than 26,000 lbs.

Class A license for vehicles with a combined weight of over 26,000 lbs.  

What is a CDL?

The CDL, called ‘commercial driver’s license‘, allows operating certain types of vehicles, such as cargo transport vans, various types of trucks and buses, among others.

The types of CDL are:

There are several types of CDL licenses, classified according to the type of vehicle in class:

  • A – The Class A commercial driver’s license is good for operating vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 pounds or more, including a towed vehicle weighing more than 10,000 lbs.
  • B – This type of business license allows you to drive vehicles with a GVWR of 26,001 pounds or heavier and/or vehicle towing another weighing up to 10,000 lbs.
  • C – The CDL Class C license is required in the following cases: When the vehicle you want to drive does not meet the criteria for Class A and Class B CDL licenses. For the transport of at least 16 passengers (including the driver). For Hazardous Material Transportation (HAZMAT) as established by federal guidelines.

Each rating depends on the gross vehicle weight (GVWR), among other factors. The different classes of CDL licenses determine which vehicles can be driven, but also the endorsements that must be obtained.

In addition, each type of license requires a series of tests, such as:

  • Knowledge tests
  • Brake test
  • Skills assessment
  • Road test
  • Vehicle inspection
  • Exams according to the endorsements to be obtained, Etc.

Getting a driver’s licence in Florida

In the United States, having a driver’s license can be essential in many places given the great outdoors.  Each US state issues its own license. As the laws are different from state to state in the US, I am going to talk to you about the Florida driver’s license case.

If you are a resident of Florida, you will only be able to drive with an international license for the first 3 months. You will then need to obtain your Florida driver’s license. The driver’s license costs about $ 50 in Florida.

To apply for a Florida driver’s license you will need to contact the DMV (Florida Department of Motor Vehicles Guide) closest to your home. You also have a website for more information, Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

Supporting documents to bring:

  • Your passport or permanent resident card
  • Your previous driving license (+ international if you have it)
  • Your Social Security Number
  •  Two proof of address in your name (lease, a receipt for electricity, water, etc.)
  •  Form I-94 if you are in the USA with a Visa (if you are permanent residents you will not need it)
  1.  Traffic Law Substance Abuse Education Course Providers: The validation of this step is mandatory to go to the second step and you will have to follow a training course.
  1.  Class E Knowledge or the Written exam: About fifty questions on the rules of conduct, signs and laws of Florida. You will then obtain a Florida temporary driving license with which you can drive (and train) if you are accompanied by a person over the age of 21 who has their driver license.
  1. Driving Skills Exam: You must make an appointment when you are ready to take the driving test. You must come to the vehicle… You must either find a guarantor who will lend you their vehicle and accompany you on the day of the exam or rent a car with the help of a person who has his license and is over 21 years old (you will be the second driver).

The bottom line

As you’ve seen, you do not need a CDL to drive a school bus in Florida, as long as your reasons are purely personal.  Driving a school bus is not as hard as it may seem, but of course, you must be aware of your Skollies’ dimensions, power and capacities. Good Skoolie drivers look into the distance, anticipate situations, act without delay and demonstrate prevention while driving. 

Please let us know if you have any questions or comments on the content!

FAQ on Do you need a CDL to drive a school bus in Florida?

How big of an RV can I drive without a CDL?

You can drive an RV of 6500 lbs or less without a CDL. However, this will vary across states, as in some places (Illinois, Arizona, Alaska, Nebraska, Mississippi for example) you don’t require a CDL for an RV no matter its size!

What driving Licence do I need to drive an RV in the USA?

In the USA, you will need either a CDL or Non-CDL type of licence depending on the state you registered your RV in, also on its weight, length and height.

Do you need a CDL to drive an RV in Texas?

You do not need a CDL to drive an RV in Texas, but you will, however, need a Non-CDL special licence. This means that to drive an RV that weighs over 26,000 lbs you will need a Class B license, and to drive multiple vehicles (e.g. when towing) with a combined weight over 26,000 lb you will need a Class A licence. 

Do you need a CDL to drive an RV in Maryland?

To drive an RV in Maryland, you will need a Non-CDL type of licence. This means that a Class B license is required for vehicles over 26,000 lb.  A non-commercial driver’s license (Non-CDL) is the most common class of license most drivers hold. 

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