The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission announced April 4 that it will implement a waiver issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, allowing states to continue waiving the “under-the-hood” portion of school bus driver testing. All other aspects of the written and skills test remain in place.
School bus driver applicants in New Jersey will not be required to take the engine compartment component of the commercial driver license skills test through June 30, per a new waiver issued by FMCSA effective April 1. The NJMVC first announced in January that it would utilize the initial waiver FMCSA granted for the “under-the-hood” component of school bus driver testing, which lasted from Jan. 3 through March 31.
The FMCSA waiver is intended to continue alleviating a critical shortage of school bus drivers nationwide, which has been worsened by the COVID-19 public health emergency.
The waiver is in effect only for school bus driver candidates, meaning those applying for commercial driver licenses with the school bus (S) and passenger (P) endorsements, along with the intrastate only (K) restriction. Drivers receiving a CDL under this temporary waiver are not authorized to operate trucks, motorcoaches, or any other type of commercial vehicle requiring a CDL.
In addition, the NJMVC has extended the waiver for the requirement that commercial learner permit holders wait 14 days before taking the CDL skills test. The waiver temporarily eliminates this waiting period through May 31.
For more information on school bus driver requirements and NJMVC services, visit NJMVC.gov.