Section 8A. Application for a license to be a school bus operator may be made by any person who shall have attained the age of eighteen years but who has not passed his seventieth birthday, except as otherwise provided herein, and who shall have been a duly licensed motor vehicle operator for a period of three continuous years immediately prior to his application except a person who has been licensed and whose license is not in force because of revocation or suspension or whose right to operate is suspended by the registrar; but before such person shall be so licensed the registrar shall be satisfied that he is of good moral character and has successfully completed a driving performance test, a visual test, a written test and a physical examination by a licensed physician within a three month period of the date of his application in conformity with such minimum physical qualifications as shall be determined by the registrar; provided, however, that a person who has passed his seventieth birthday and is mentally and physically capable of performing the duties of a school bus operator shall be eligible for a license under this section. Such person shall twice annually, at his own expense, be examined by a physician to determine such capability. Said examination shall not be completed within a six month period of each other and that the first physical examination shall be completed within thirty days prior to the beginning of the school year and the second examination shall not be less than six months nor more than seven months thereafter; provided, further, that no license shall be issued to a person who is a sex offender, as defined in section 178C of chapter 6, or who has been convicted of the use, sale, manufacture or distribution of or possession with intent to distribute any of the controlled substances which are unlawful under the provisions of section thirty-one of chapter ninety-four C, or to any person who has been convicted of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or of marijuana, narcotic drugs, depressants or stimulant substances, all as defined in section one of said chapter ninety-four C, or of the vapors of glue, within the preceding five year period under the provisions of section twenty-four. Any person who has consented to have any such case disposed of under the provisions of section twenty-four D shall, for the purposes of this section, be deemed to have been convicted.
All original applicants for a registry of motor vehicles school bus driver’s license or a department of telecommunications and energy driver’s license when used to drive school pupils to or from school shall have first satisfactorily completed a pre-service school bus driver training program established by the commissioner of education in collaboration with the registrar and the commissioner of the department of telecommunications and energy and a basic course in first aid which shall include training relative to the administration of an epinephrine auto injector, as approved by the registrar. Upon successful completion of the first aid course, section 55A of chapter 71 shall apply to such applicants. In addition, all renewal applicants for a registry of motor vehicles school bus driver’s license or a department of telecommunications and energy driver’s license when used to drive school pupils to or from school shall have first satisfactorily completed an in-service driver training program established by the commissioner of education in collaboration with the registrar and the commissioner of the department of telecommunications and energy. All original applicants for a registry of motor vehicles school bus driving instructor’s certificate shall have first satisfactorily completed an instructor’s training program as approved by the registrar. No person shall be employed to provide instruction in any capacity for the operation of school buses unless such person is the holder of such an instructor’s certificate issued by the registrar.
Notwithstanding the provisions of section thirty-two G of chapter ninety to the contrary, a person may engage in the business of instructing in pre-service and in-service school bus driver’s training programs by being a certified school bus instructor. A private driving school licensed under section thirty-two G may offer pre-service and in-service school bus driver training programs for compensation, provided that such school shall offer said training under the direction of a certified school bus driving instructor.
Applications for a certificate, under this section, may be filed with the registrar and shall contain such information as he shall prescribe. Each such application shall be accompanied by an application fee which in no event shall be refunded. The application fee and an annual fee to maintain said certificate shall be determined by the commissioner of administration under the provision of section three B of chapter seven. No fee or compensation shall be charged in whatever manner to the participants in the pre-service and in-service training courses.
Any such license or special permit or school bus driving instructor’s certificate issued under the provisions of this section shall be valid for a period of twelve months from date of issue.
Upon application for a renewal of such license for such instructor’s certificate, the registrar shall require evidence of physical fitness and may require evidence of continuing good character.
The registrar may suspend or revoke a license or instructors certificate granted under authority of this section for a violation of any of the provisions of this chapter, or on other reasonable grounds, or where, in his opinion, the licensee or instructor is either physically or morally unfit to retain the same.
The registrar may make such rules and regulations as he may deem necessary to carry out the provisions of this section.