The Texas Department of Public Safety announced the implementation of a waiver to help applicants seeking a commercial driver license (CDL) to drive a school bus. The waiver will be effective January 24 through March 31.

To help states and municipalities that are experiencing a severe shortage of school bus drivers and to recruit new hires, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced that states may waive the portion of the CDL testing requirement covering knowledge of the “under the hood” engine components.

“This is great news for school districts across the state. It will save both time and money for the applicant and hopefully put more bus drivers to work,” said Dr. Daniel Spikes, Lufkin ISD Assistant Superintendent of Administrative Services.

With bus driver shortages across the nation, local school districts can feel the pinch. Lufkin ISD currently has 23 full-time bus driver vacancies and a need for 10 substitute drivers.

“The waiver is time-sensitive, so we’re encouraging applicants to take advantage of this federal opportunity while it’s available. There’s no better time to get your CDL to drive a school bus,” said Spikes.

Starting pay for full-time drivers is $15.70 an hour plus more based on experience. The substitute rate is $14.00 per hour.

Applicants wishing to take advantage of this waiver will need to book an appointment with Maria Harper, Training Supervisor at Lufkin ISD Transportation. Email by clicking here or call (936)630-4492 to schedule an appointment.