UniteGPS – New school bus drivers have a little less to worry about following the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) extending the under the hood waiver of the CDL training effective April 1 until June 30, 2022. 

under the hood waiver

One of the first states to take advantage of this extension was New Jersey. On Monday, April 4, the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (NJMVC) announced in a press release that it will continue to waive the under the hood component of the CDL training program managed by FMCSA.

Alongside other states like Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Oklahoma, Texas, and Wisconsin, New Jersey implemented the waiver even before the FMCSA made an official announcement, according to NSTA Executive Director Curt Macysyn.

“NSTA believes that this waiver allows the CDL process to better reflect the responsibilities of a school bus driver, without negatively affecting the safety of our students,” said Macysyn to School Transportation News. “We look forward to working with the agency in making permanent changes to assist in alleviating the bus driver shortage without impacting safety.”

Under the hood waiver for CDL training

According to the FMCA, the extension of the under the hood waiver is to alleviate the ongoing shortage of bus drivers. With that said, only CDL applicants pursuing the School Bus (S) and Passenger (P) endorsements are eligible for the waiver.

Originally the National School Transportation Association (NSTA) implored the FMCSA to create the first voucher that expired on March 31. The extension is supposed to alleviate ongoing recruitment challenges for school districts.

State agencies will likely follow NJMVC’s lead and start suspending the engine compartment component as part of the pre-trip vehicle inspection skills test, more commonly known as the under the hood portion.