How to Get Your SPAB Certificate

Drive a School Pupil Activity Bus

How to Get Your SPAB Certificate

A SPAB certificate is the certificate required in order to transport students to and from school-related events. These events include such things as field trips and graduation night trips. SPAB stands for School Pupil Activity Bus.

As with all schoolbus or transport driving, you must have a license of the class required by the vehicle you’ll be driving. Most of these vehicles require a Class A or Class B for transporting students. You also need the passenger endorsement to whichever license you have.

Once you have the commercial license and the passenger endorsement, contact the “School Bus Officer” at your local CHP area office and ask if they offer the 35-hour SPAB certificate course. (If they don’t, they can refer you to a place that does.) When you apply for the course, you will undergo a background check, finger-printing and medical exam.

After you complete the course, the instructor will sign and give you the State Department of Education Training Certificate T-01,  Then you will be allowed to take the 40-question written test and a driving examination. Upon passing both you will have you will be issued a SPAB certificate, which is good for five years. Every SPAB certificate holder must complete 10 hours of continuing education each year.

Section 12517(b) requires anyone operating a school pupil activities bus (SPAB) to have (1) a valid license for the class of vehicle being driven, (2) a passenger endorsement to that license, and (3) a SPAB certificate. Applicants must also pass a fingerprint/background check (Section 12571.3), a medical examination within the two years prior to applying for the certificate (Section 12571.2(a)), and the SPAB examination given by CHP. (Section 12571.4.)

Section 546 defines a school pupil activities bus as any motor vehicle other than a school bus which is operated by a common carrier for the purpose of transporting K-12 pupils to or from a school activitiy. SPAB drivers are subject to the school bus regulations promulgated by CHP, except that SPAB drivers do not have to take first aid courses and are not allowed to driver school buses.

Per Education Code section 40083, the SPAB course is to contain 15 hours of classroom instruction and 20 hours of behind the wheel instruction. Education Code 40085 requires annual continuing education of 10 hours of either (1) classroom time, (2) behind the wheel training or (3) in-service training.

VC 546, VC12517(b), VC 12517.2, VC 12517.4, VC 12517.3, EC40083, EC 40085

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