Section 8A1/2. Every operator transporting school pupils under the provisions of section seven D shall make application to the registrar within ninety days of their next birth date for a license to operate such motor vehicles. Application for such license may be made by any person who shall have attained the age of twenty-one years, but 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 duly 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 a person shall be so licensed the registrar shall be satisfied that he is of good moral character and has successfully completed a written test, a visual test, and a physical examination 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 operating motor vehicles transporting school children 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. No license shall be issued to a person who is a sex offender, as defined in section 178C of chapter 6, or who had been convicted of the use, sale, manufacture, distribution, possession with intent to distribute, or trafficking of 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, as defined in section one of said chapter ninety-four C or the vapors of glue within the preceding five year period under the provisions of section twenty-four. Any person who consents to have any such case disposed of under the provisions of section twenty-four D shall for the purpose of this section be deemed to be convicted.
On or after January first, nineteen hundred and eighty-eight, every person transporting school pupils as specified in this section shall be duly licensed in accordance with the provisions of this section; provided, however, that in case of any emergency such vehicle may, for a period not to exceed three consecutive school days, be operated by any person, twenty-one years of age or over, who is duly licensed by the registrar and has in his possession a valid Massachusetts operator's license; and provided further a person who is duly licensed by the registrar in accordance with the provisions of section eight A or the department of telecommunications and energy may operate such vehicles without obtaining a license under this section.
Any such license issued under the provisions of this section shall be valid for a period of twelve months from the date of issue. Upon application for renewal of such license the registrar shall require evidence of continuing good character and physical condition.
The registrar may suspend or revoke any license 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 is either physically or mentally 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. Each original 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 license shall be determined by the commissioner of administration under the provision of section three B of chapter seven.