Obtaining your CDL in order to drive a bus can be a daunting task due to the tests that the government requires. Being prepared for these tests will ensure that you have the best chance at passing the exams and on the road bringing people to Jesus! Equally as difficult as passing the tests is finding the time it takes to train for them. You will need to be disciplined in your approach, set goals and deadlines, and have a mentor to help you train. You can obtain a CDL by following these steps:
1) Determine the class of license you will need:
- Class A – A combination of vehicles where the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle and the GVWR of the trailer combine to equal 26,001 or more pounds AND the trailer’s GVWR is 10,001 or more pounds.
- Class B – A single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds. These vehicles can pull a trailer as long as the GVWR of the trailer is less than 10,001 pounds.
- Class C – A single vehicle with a GVWR less than 26,001 pounds which requires a Hazardous Materials or Passenger endorsement.
2) The written test includes:
- A) General Knowledge
- B) Pre-trip inspection
- C) Passengers (You don’t need the school bus portion because it is only a church bus and you don’t need the air brake portion unless your bus has air brakes.)
3) You take the 3 written tests all at once at the DMV. Click here to schedule your written tests.
4) Once you’ve passed they give you a slip of paper and you’ll need to contact the CDL scheduler by phone at (405) 425-2196.
5) You take the driving test and pre-trip inspection test in the bus. The driving portion takes about 30 minutes and they have you back up, cross railroad tracks, see if you remember the speed limit, see if you know the height of bridges after you’ve passed under, road-side park, lane change, double lane turning, etc. You must be very proficient at the pre-trip inspection. To help, we have created an instructional video that you can view here.
6) Once you’re done with the driving test, they give you a slip of paper to take to the tag agency to print your new license.
For a more detailed list of CDL instructions, fees, required ID, etc. click here. Go to any tag agency to get the free CDL booklet to study for the written test or download it here. Once you’ve taken and passed the written test, you will need to set up a time to train in the church bus with an appropriately licensed CDL holder.