The Wisconsin Department of Transportation is taking pretty drastic measures to try and fill bus driver positions in Wisconsin. For many school districts, this has been a huge problem with a lack of drivers on top of everything else going on with COVID-19 and kids being homeschooled.

So how are they going to try and remedy the problem? According to a statement on Facebook the Wisconsin Department of Transportation Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will issue temporary waivers to get more drivers behind the wheel.

The point of this waiver is to try and ease the barriers for people to obtain a license to drive a school bus and also to possibly encourage former drivers to reinstate. Drivers who want to get a school bus license which is called an (S endorsement) will not have to test on the (under the hood engine components) part of the test. This has been waived until March 31 2022. But all other components of the written and road tests will stay the same.

Drivers who get a license under this special waiver are allowed to operate school buses only but are not authorized to operate trucks, motor coaches, or any other type of commercial motor vehicle requiring a CDL license. The Wisconsin DMV also sent out letters to 1,000 former drivers who have let their licenses expire. They are hoping that this waiver will encourage them to renew and drive again.  Also, many bus companies are offering increased wages and referral bonuses.

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DMV Administrator Kristina Boardman said." With the critical shortage of school bus drivers in Wisconsin, we hope these steps will support new and returning drivers to get behind the wheel and ensure all students have convenient, safe transportation to their local schools."

Being a bus driver is a tough job, I took the bus to school all through grade school and high school and I could not even imagine how I would have gotten to and from school and been able to take a late bus after sports I was involved in if there was a shortage of drivers. Hopefully, this will encourage more people to apply and ease the burden on students and parents to help kids get to and from school safely.

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