Is it Legal for a Felon to Drive a School Bus?
Yes, It's because the federal government has not specified any particular restrictions on when felons can operate vehicles, including buses.
However, some states have laws restricting when or how long felons are permitted to use specific vehicles. For example, it's illegal for anyone with an active felony conviction to employ as a school bus driver in Connecticut.
Some school boards may have hiring practices that prohibit felons from being considered.
Other bus drivers are subject to background checks, which will turn up any felony convictions. If the board or company finds out about a felon's past, they can choose not to hire them.
While it is legal for felons to drive school buses, they will likely be subject to increased scrutiny and stricter restrictions than other drivers.
What Is a School Bus Driver?
A school bus driver is a person employed by an organization to drive a bus that transports students from one location to another.
Some states have regulations for who can and cannot hire as a school bus driver, but there are no federal laws or requirements for background checks or hiring practices.
What Are the Requirements for Becoming a School Bus Driver?
Typically, there are no requirements for becoming a school bus driver other than passing the proper driving tests.
Some states may require that applicants be at least 21 years of age and have clean criminal records to apply for specific types of licenses or permits.
What Are Felony Charges?
- Driving Without Proper License or Permit
- Driving While Intoxicated or Drugged
- Traffic Tickets and Violations
- Serious Crimes With Severe Penalties
List of Felon Friendly Employers
What Are Some State Laws for School Bus Drivers?
In Connecticut, it's illegal for anyone with an active felony conviction to employ as a school bus driver.
The same is true in Hawaii, where a felony conviction means you cannot employ at a public or private school.
In Maine and North Dakota, it's illegal for anyone with a drug-related felony offense to operate any vehicle used for transporting children under the age of 16 years old.
Does the Type of Felony Make a Difference?
The answer is yes.
It makes a difference if the felony involves any child endangerment or sexual offense and other specific crimes such as driving under the influence and drug trafficking. It also matters whether it's a misdemeanor or felony conviction.
Misdemeanor convictions are less severe than felonies but can still have an impact on your eligibility for specific jobs - including being a school bus driver in some cases.
For example, states like Maryland prohibit anyone with two prior DUI-related misdemeanors from becoming a school bus driver within five years of their last crime. In Rhode Island, having one DUI-related misdemeanor means you cannot drive students to or from school for four years after completing your sentence; every other DUI-related misdemeanor conviction limits you to only one year.
What Are Some Other Factors That May Affect School Bus Driver Eligibility?
Some states allow individuals with certain types of felony convictions to apply for school bus driver employment, but other factors can make them ineligible:
- Having a suspended or revoked license at the time of application;
- Using illegal drugs within five years before applying; and
- Being convicted as an adult (at least 18) for possession or sale of alcohol, tobacco products, marijuana, or controlled substances.
Can You Be Hired if You Have a Felony Record? - Yes! But It Might Not Always Work Out. For example, while it is legal for felons to drive school buses, they will likely be subject to increased scrutiny and stricter restrictions than other drivers.