School Bus Driver Physicals

School Bus Driver Physicals

Can chiropractic physicians perform and sign off on School Bus Driver Permit examinations in Illinois?

Yes.  The physical examination for a school bus driver applicant is within the scope of practice of an Illinois licensed chiropractic physician. The rules that govern school bus driver permits include licensed physicians, including chiropractic physicians, in the definition of approved medical examiners. Therefore, they are authorized to perform the examination and sign the Physical Examination and Certificate for Illinois School Bus Driver form.

In addition to the physical exam, applicants are required to undergo drug and tuberculosis testing, for which the physician should refer the applicant to the local health department.  The examining physician is required to review and report the results on the applicant’s Physical Examination and Certificate for Illinois School Bus Driver.  The form requires the physician to include the results of drug and TB testing in certifying whether the applicant is or is not qualified to perform the duties of a school bus driver, because a positive drug or TB test is automatically disqualifying.


Note that in some situations the law for transporting children may require only an Illinois school bus permit OR the law may require both a commercial driver’s license (CDL) and an Illinois school bus permit, depending on a number of factors.  For example, both are required when driving a school bus for certain purposes and for 16 or more children; however, only the school bus permit is required to transport children in a vehicle that is wholly owned and operated by a school district for school-related activities. Other types of activities and vehicles may require different licenses or endorsements. The patient must be informed and clearly advise the physician which license(s) he or she intends to obtain. 

If the applicant wants to apply for a commercial driver’s license (CDL) and a school bus permit (, two separate forms are required:  1) the U.S. Department of Transportation Medical Examination Report Form for the CDL; and 2) the Physical Examination and Certificate for Illinois School Bus Driver form.  The exam is essentially the same for either.  However, to qualify to perform the federal CDL exam, physicians must pass a test and be listed on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners.  Chiropractic physicians are eligible for inclusion in the registry, but all medical examiners must have this certification to perform the exam and sign the applicant’s medical form. 

Therefore, if a patient asks whether a doctor of chiropractic who is not on the National Registry may perform the necessary exams for a CDL and a school bus permit, the D.C. should be forthright in explaining that he or she may do the school bus driver permit medical exam but cannot sign off on the CDL exam form, even though the exam is virtually identical.  The doctor should inform patients that they have the option of using the D.C. for the school bus permit exam and a certified medical examiner listed on the registry for the CDL exam, but this would result in a duplication of services and is not a practical solution for the patient.

For information regarding health care practitioner qualifications for listing on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners, see our article Commercial Driver’s License and the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners.

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ICS Staff

The Illinois Chiropractic Society staff works collaboratively on many topics to bring the most comprehensive and relevant information to our members. We have over 60 years of chiropractic experience and understand the heartbeat of the profession. We all look forward to providing relevant information to our members for years to come.

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