SAN ANGELO, Texas — The Department of Public Safety is making it easier to obtain a Class B Commercial Drivers License. This comes amid a push to hire more school bus drivers.
SAISD increased wages for school bus drivers from $15 to $20/hour last week in hopes of diminishing the driver deficit. This is proving to be successful as the school district is seeing more interested applicants.
However, the process for obtaining the Class B Commercial Drivers License (CDL) is long and can be strenuous. Sergeant Justin Baker with the department of Public Safety says in order to get your license, it requires 5 separate tests. “For a school bus, you’re going to have three different tests. Special Requirements, General Knowledge, and Air Brakes. As well, you’re gonna have to have two endorsement tests, which are Passenger Endorsement and School Bus Endorsement.”
Due to the demand for drivers in the area, the DPS has decided to forego the waiting period between getting your CDL Learner’s Permit and taking the driver’s test. Baker says, “To start you have to take your test and then get your commercial learner’s permit. They’ll typically there will be a 14-day period between that and actually doing your skills test but that has been waived to expedite the process of getting drivers out there on the roadway.”
Baker says you must pass all components of the test in order to receive the class license. If a tester fails any portion of the test, they will have to wait 24 hours to retake, however progress would be saved after each portion of the test was taken.
There is a $25 fee associated with attempting the test and test-takers will have 3 attempts at the test before having to pay the fee again.
Anyone 18 years or older can apply for a CDL license as long as they test at a facility designated for commercial diver’s license testing.