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Understanding how to become a school bus driver in Missouri after area driver has 31 charges following alleged incident in Cole County


A school bus driver was arrested this week in Cole County and and faces 31 charges.

Robert Hern, 59, is charged with first-degree property damage, operating a motor vehicle in a careless manner, leaving the scene of an accident and 28 counts of second-degree endangering the welfare of a child.

Hern was arrested Wednesday by a Cole County Sheriff's deputies. He is being held at the Cole County Jail without bond. He had an arraignment Friday at the Cole County Courthouse, with a bond hearing set for Monday.

There are a few steps drivers have to take in order to become a driver for a school bus.

Public and private school employees who operate school busses are required to have a school bus endorsement on their license.

Any school bus driver who has not obtained the new "S" endorsement may be charged with a violation of driving a commercial motor vehicle.

Background checks are the responsibility of local school districts and Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and not on the driver or MSHP.

In order to get the proper "S" endorsement, drivers must take a written exam at a Missouri State Highway Patrol driver examination center, which are located around the state.

Study materials can be found at the examination centers, as well as at any office where someone would get their drivers licenses.

For those who already have a CDL license holder, in order to acquire the "S" endorsement, you must:

  • Pass the written test for obtaining a CDL with passenger vehicle (P) and school bus (S) endorsements at a Missouri State Highway Patrol examination center
  • Take your written test results to your local license office to apply for a new commercial learner's permit in the class of passenger vehicle/school bus you will be operating and hold such permit a minimum of 14 days prior to skills testing.
  • Pass a driving skills test in a school bus of the same vehicle group, as the school bus applicant will drive.
  • Take your permit and skills test results to your local license office to apply for a new CDL with the P and "S" endorsements.
  • Meet driving history review requirements specific to school bus operators in Missouri (completed at the time of application).
  • Pay the applicable fees for a new CDL license, and the required fees for the CDL test(s).

Drivers 70 years old or younger do not need to submit any proof of testing when renewing their licenses and wanting to keep the "S" endorsement.

If you however, are older than 70 years older, are required to submit proof of a school bus skills test when renewing licenses to keep the "S" endorsement.

A full list of commonly asked questions can be found on the Department of Revenue's website.

Article Topic Follows: Columbia

Ethan Heinz


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