Bus Driver (City/Transit)

License to Work: A National Study of Burdens from Occupational Licensing

License to Work: A National Study of Burdens from Occupational Licensing


License required in 51 states
54th most burdensome licensing requirements
10th most heavily regulated occupation

(Last updated April 24, 2012)


Bus drivers, also known as motor coach operators, drive a bus or motor coach on regular route operations, charters and private carriages, may assist passengers with baggage and collect fares or tickets.


Every state and the District of Columbia require a license to work as a city or transit bus driver. Each state requires five exams, fees ranging from nine dollars (Montana) to $229 (Oregon) and a minimum age of 17, 18 or 21. Eight states require that applicants have previous driving experience in the form of possessing a driver's license for one, two or, in the case of New Jersey, three years. Two states, Virginia and Washington, instead require about five days of training. The other 41 states have no experience or training requirement. Altogether, these requirements are the 54th most burdensome of the occupations studied. Because bus drivers are universally licensed, the occupation ranks as the 10th most widely and onerously licensed.

(Last updated April 30, 2012)

State Licensing Requirements

Burden RankStateFeesEducation/Experience (Days)ExamsMinimum GradeMinimum Age

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