What is 19A Certification? How to Get (Steps, Renew, FAQs)

What is 19A Certification

The 19A certification is a document in New York given to bus drivers who pass specific driving exams and tests.

This credential assists in ensuring that bus drivers that ply highways are qualified to do so, thereby creating a safe driving environment for all.

To obtain the 19A certification, several steps must be taken. This article will delve into all you need to know and do to acquire the 19A certification.

How to Get the 19A Certification

Here are the steps for obtaining the 19A certification in the state of New York:

1. Pass the CDL Written Exam

To obtain the 19A certification as a bus driver in New York State, you must begin by getting the Commercial Driver’s License (CDL).

This credential is awarded by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The DMV is the agency that is in charge of granting CDL and other forms of driving licenses.

However, to get a CDL, you must pass a written exam.

The CDL written exam consists of four sections; General Knowledge, Air Brakes, Passenger, and School Bus Endorsement.

If you do well on one section and fail the other, you have to retake the section that you failed.

The exam syllabus is based on the content of the Commercial Driver’s Manual (CDL Book). The recommended chapters you must study to pass the CDL written exam are; chapters 1-5 and 10-11.

2. Get your CDL Learner’s Permit

The CDL Learner’s Permit is only awarded by the Department of Motor Vehicles to those that pass the written test.

This permit will assist you in clocking up many hours of practice as a driver before you obtain your Certified Driver’s License.

Once you have your CDL Learner’s Permit, you can pay for a road test online or at the DMV office. You will then be scheduled for a road test.

3. Pass the CDL Road Test

To acquire the 19A certification, you must pass the CDL Road Test.

In this skills test, you will carry out a detailed pre-trip examination of the bus and then hit the roads with the vehicle based on the directives in the CDL Manual.

West Point Tours organizes the CDL Road Test on behalf of DMV. They even conduct free training ahead of the test.

4. Apply to be a Bus Driver

Fill your details in the bus driver application form and submit it to the DMV. You can apply to become a Regular or Substitute Bus Driver in New York.

Some details you will have to provide on this form include; previous driving record, health status, previous employment, criminal conviction record, accident record, and others.

5. Complete the Fingerprint Examination

Once you pass the CDL Road Test, you will be scheduled for a fingerprint examination via the L-1 System.

After your fingerprints are taken, they are sent to the Bus Driver Certification Unit of the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Once this is done, you have the authorization to transport people.

The DMV will mail a letter to any company that wants to employ you, specifying that you are certified to drive a school bus in New York.

How to Renew the 19A Certification

The 19A certification is valid for just two years. After that, you must renew to continue working as a bus driver in New York.

Although there may be several other procedures, here are some of the events that are involved in acquiring a 19A certification renewal:

1. Examination to determine the physical condition of Driver under 19A

This assessment is a hearing and visual field test that must be taken every two years. School bus drivers are mandated to perform physicals at least once a year.

2. Written Examination

This exam assesses your knowledge of the laws of the road. It also aims to evaluate your defensive driving practices and your familiarity with the rules governing bus driving in New York State.

A 19A Certified Examiner supervises this assessment.

3. Defensive Driving Review

The Defensive Driving Review is an on-road assessment. A19A Certified Examiner supervises it.

This review is carried out to ensure that you have a good understanding of defensive driving practices. The Defensive Driving Review must be done every year.

4. Behind the Wheel Road Test

The Behind the Wheel Road Test mandates that Drivers carry out a pre-trip inspection of their vehicle and showcase their turning, parking, and appropriate driving skills.

This assessment has to hold on a different day from the day of the Defensive Driving Review. The Behind the Wheel Road Test is done just once in two years.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on 19A Certification

What is NYS 19A?

The amendment, Article 19-A: Special Requirement for Bus Drivers, is a law that mandates that school drivers must fulfill the following conditions before they can be allowed to work as bus drivers in the US: physical examinations, criminal history validation, assessment of driving records, on-road driving evaluation and written/oral examinations.

What will rule you out from driving a school bus in New York?

If your driving permit or license has ever been suspended and the suspension has not been overturned, you are prohibited from driving a school bus in New York. The same applies to people whose license has been canceled, withdrawn, or retracted.  

What is the pre-licensing course at NYS?

The pre-licensing course in New York is a DMW-authorized, seasoned course that empowers you to understand driving rules, habits, and skills.

What is the average salary of bus drivers in the United States?

The average annual income of bus drivers in the United States is about $38,000.

What are the three levels of license in the state of New York?

The three levels of license in New York are the Learner’s Permit, which can only be acquired by those that have accumulated up to 50 hours of driving practice with a skilled driver; the Intermediate License, which makes for restricted driving and the Full License, which allows one to ply the road fully without any restrictions.


In New York, bus drivers who pass exams and tests are awarded the 19A certification.

This certification helps ensure that those who drive buses on public roads are competent, making the roads safer.

This article does an excellent job of outlining the steps required to earn the 19A certification. However, SED requires prospective New York bus drivers to be at least 21.

Awesome one; I hope this article answers your question.

Editor’s Recommendations:

If you find this article good, please share it with a friend.

You May Also Like