School Transportation FAQs

This page contains frequently asked questions and general information about pupil transportation in Ohio. We highly encourage anyone with questions to review the FAQ documents here and if questions still exist, contact our office directly.

Parent Questions

Driver Qualifications


Parent Questions

    I cannot see my child’s bus stop from the house. Are there state laws that set the standards for bus stop location?

    No law requires a parent to see the bus stop from home. Students in Ohio may be assigned to a bus stop up to one-half mile from their home and we encourage parents to accompany their child to the bus stop whenever possible. This teaches the child safe habits of walking to and from the bus stop and may give the parent piece of mind. Bus stop locations are determined by each district’s board of education.

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    Are sidewalks required for my child to get to his/her bus stop?

    Many students walk alongside of roadways to reach their bus stop and in some instances no sidewalks exist. While we understand this may be of concern in some situations, the Department of Education does not promulgate bus stop placement. Issues relating to where a child’s bus stop is located and safety concerns along the way to the bus stop must be addressed with the district in which you reside.

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    I transport my child to a nonpublic/community school each day and just learned a program exists for reimbursement. How can I be reimbursed for transporting my child?

    As a parent, you should contact your public school district and request transportation. If it is not practical for them to do so, they will work with you to initiate a process to establish payment-in-lieu of transportation. Parents are not afforded the option of being paid for transporting their own child in cases where the service is provided by the district but is not the service parents prefer.

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    I make my child wait inside of my house until the bus is at the stop. I have heard this is not allowed – is this true?

    Ohio law requires children to be waiting at the bus stop prior to its arrival. Bus drivers count the students at the bus stop before they load and as they get on the bus to ensure all children are safely on board. If students are not waiting at the bus stop the bus driver cannot count them and cannot be certain the students are all safely on board. Waiting at the bus stop before the bus arrives further ensures that no one chases after the bus – this is a very dangerous thing to do. Many districts also instruct their buses to not stop at locations where no students are waiting.

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    My child has an I.E.P. but transportation is not being provided. Why is this?

    A child who has an I.E.P. does not automatically receive transportation unless the I.E.P. team writes this into the related services. If transportation is not included on the I.E.P. your child will be transported similarly to regular education students in your district.

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Driver Qualifications

    We just hired a bus driver who also works for another school district. What documentation do we need for this driver? Can we just use the other district's documents?

    Each employer must have appropriate documentation on hand for each driver that they have employed.

    • The T9 for each driver is filed electronically by the primary employer, and a certificate can be printed out by each employer.
    • The T8 is filed electronically by the primary employer, but each employer needs a copy of the paper T8 report that is signed by the physician.
    • Each district needs to maintain appropriate driver record checks.
    • Each employer needs to make certain the driver has a satisfactory preemployment drug test and is entered into their random pool of drivers.
    • Each employer needs to have a preemployment BCII state criminal records check and federal background check. They may use the results obtained by another employer as long as they have a copy of the actual response sent by BCII and that letter is less than 12 months old.

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    Can we let a driver start working before the results from the background checks are received?

    No. The law requires a completed satisfactory criminal background check prior to employment.

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    Can we still request/purchase driving abstracts from the BMV?

    Yes, but they do not meet the requirements in law. You are required to review a driver's complete driving history – an abstract from the BMV will only cover the last 3 years. The new source of driving history checks is through the ODE web-based driver reporting system. This online reporting system will allow you to access the complete driving history of each of your driving employees. This service is also free.

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    How do we get driving records for out-of-state drivers?

    You will need to get those records directly from the state where the driver lives. It will be necessary to request and obtain a lifetime driving history from them so that you comply with the rules in Ohio.

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    If a driver lives out-of-state, are they required to have an Ohio CDL to drive a school bus?

    No. Drivers must hold a CDL that is issued by the state in which they reside. They must have the P and S endorsements. An out-of-state driver is also required to complete the Ohio preservice program before driving an Ohio school bus.

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    If a driver resigned last year and we are now rehiring them, do I need to complete all the background checks?

    Yes. The law defines 'applicant' as an individual who has not yet been appointed to a position. Since you removed him from your payroll, you are now rehiring the individual, and must treat them like an applicant. All of the requirements that apply to new drivers (applicants) apply.

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    Are federal (FBI) background checks also required with recertification?

    Yes. An FBI check is required with every 6 year certification. Effective January 1, 2010, a state check is no longer required at recertification if the employer already has run a state check AND the driver can prove they have been an Ohio resident for the last 5 years.

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    Why do we need both a state and a federal background check? Don't they both contain the same information?

    No. Federal background checks contain only certain major crimes. State background checks contain only crimes committed within the state.

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    What training does a "CDL-class A" holder need to operate a school bus?

    They will need to obtain the appropriate endorsements on their CDL (P and S), and also successfully complete all components of the Ohio preservice program.

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    How long is the BCII background check good for?

    We will honor BCII background response letters that are less than 12 months old for bus drivers.

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    Are van drivers required to have federal and state background checks?

    Yes.

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    What license does a mechanic need who may drive a school bus but will never transport students?

    They are required to have a CDL license with passenger endorsement. If they do not transport students, and they do not have a T8, they will be required to have a satisfactory FMCSA (DOT) physical.

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    Do all bus drivers need CPR training?

    No. Drivers for MRDD programs must have a valid first aid training certificate.

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    We have a driver who has completed all their training and has a physical, but we do not have the completed and signed forms yet. Can we use that driver before those forms are in our possession?

    No. You must have all the required documentation on-hand, and the information must have been submitted to the Ohio Department of Education reporting system prior to allowing the driver to transport students.

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    What 'hire date' should we use when a teacher becomes certified to operate a van?

    Use the date that the individual completed their van driver certification program.

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    What is a primary employer?

    The primary employer is the first employer to register a driver with ODE as a regular (not substitute) driver. This is a program enhancement that had to be added to accommodate contracted drivers who are assigned to public school districts. The primary employer is responsible for entering and maintaining the T8 and T9 information, as well as the driver's address and personal information. Secondary employers will be able to see all of this information, and will also be able to enter their own date of hire, accidents (T10s), and appropriate notes.

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    How do you know which points on the BMV records are current?

    By law, points are considered valid for 24 months. All points assessed will be shown on the driving record. You should only consider those assigned in the last 24 months as valid.

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    Who is responsible for issuing the annual school bus driver's certificate?

    Every driver must have an annual certificate (as required under RC 3327.10) to legally operate a school bus. That certificate should be issued by the school district superintendent or employer. School districts who hire contractors should make certain that each driver has a certificate.

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    One of our drivers was charged with OMVI, their CDL confiscated, but a judge wrote a letter granting them court driving privileges. May we use them to drive a school bus?

    Ohio Revised Code 4506.161 (eff. 9-29-05) states that "No court shall issue an order granting limited driving privileges for operation of a commercial motor vehicle to any person whose driver's license or commercial driver's license has been suspended or who has been disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle."

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    We have just received a letter from Ohio Department of Education indicating that BCII has reported additional information is available about one of our employees. What action should we take?

    You should contact BCII and ask them for more information about the driver who was identified. You will need to provide the case number included in that letter. Once you have obtained that information, you will need to determine the appropriate action to take as an employer. The letter from Ohio Department of Education does not imply any job action – it is an information document provided under direction of law to make you aware of additional history for one of your employees. These events include not only new convictions, but also arrests.

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    Does a driver need a new TB test every year?

    While the requirement for TB testing is no longer in law, the T8 and T8V forms will continue to require that the driver displays no clinical evidence of TB. This means the physician may still conduct a Mantoux test or chest x-ray.

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    I have a driver who failed their T8 because they are insulin dependent. Where do they obtain waiver applications?

    The driver should contact the pupil transportation office at Ohio Department of Education for a diabetic waiver application packet.

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    Where do we get T8 Van physical forms?

    They may be downloaded from the Ohio Department of Education pupil transportation website.

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    When entering the T9 data for a driver, the OBI's name does not appear on the dropdown list for our district. Why?

    A driver who is also an OBI must be certified as such by a preservice instructor, and that information must be recorded in the OBI's driver records on-line. If they do not appear on the district's list of OBI's, it will be necessary to contact your preservice office to find out if they are indeed a valid OBI, and to have that information updated in the driver's file.

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    Why are my drivers inactive after entering their T8 data?

    After entering the T8 data, you must select the NEXT button at the top or bottom of the page, select the drivers, and SIGN the forms. You can sign individual driver forms or sign all of them at the same time by selecting the box on the top that indicates ALL.

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    Who is responsible for notifying drivers when their CDL and/or preservice certificate will expire?

    Drivers are obligated to keep their credentials valid. Many employers also monitor this information to help remind them. The ODE will send out email reminders when preservice certificates are close to expiring, but the obligation to remain current belongs to the driver. The ODE will also send out email notifications when CDL licenses expire, but again, it is the obligation of the driver to maintain a current license.

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    I received an email notifying me that a bus driver is inactive. How can I determine why they are inactive?

    On each of these emails the reason for the change to inactive status is listed on the lower left of the email message.

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    How can I easily monitor driver credentials?

    There are reports available to you on the web-based reporting system for drivers that will summarize their physical and T9 dates.

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Last Modified: 4/23/2013 11:13:56 AM