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To operate a bus on the road, you need to meet different licensing and permit requirements, depending on the type of bus. To learn how to register a bus, click here.

At a glance

Operating a bus

There are different licensing requirements for the 5 types of buses:

  1. Private Bus
  2. Private Hire Bus
  3. Excursion Bus
  4. School Bus  
  5. Omnibus

You also need to apply for an LTA permit or licence to:

  • Use public bus stops for pick-up and drop-off
  • Operate a scheduled and fare-collecting bus service

Learn about blind spot safety requirements for buses with maximum laden weight (MLW) over 8,000kg.


To operate a bus ferrying school children, you must comply with the additional safety requirements.


Buses are allowed to carry standing passengers subject to certain conditions.


You should also take note that buses are not allowed in the Sentosa Gateway Tunnel.

Find out more

Find full policy details on LTA.GOV

Operating buses

There are 5 types of buses.  A bus can only be used for the purpose for which it is registered.

  • A Private Bus is used to ferry employees or people related to the business of the bus owner.
  • A Private Hire Bus is used to ferry children to and from schools or workers to and from their workplace. It can also be chartered out under a contract to a single party at any one time.
  • An Excursion Bus is mainly used to ferry tourists. It can also be used to ferry school children and workers.
  • A School Bus is used to ferry school children and school staff to and from school. It can also be used to ferry workers to and from their workplace, if the bus has an Adult Workers’ Contract (AWC) permit.
  • An Omnibus is a bus operated by public transport operators.

To drive a bus, you need a Bus Driver’s Vocational Licence (BDVL) and a driving licence for the correct class of vehicle. Contact the Traffic Police if you have queries on driving licences.

Read more below about what you need to know for operating the different types of buses.

Private Bus

Private Hire Bus

Excursion Bus

School Bus

Driving an Omnibus

Using public bus stops for pick-up and drop-off

To use public bus stops for pick-up and drop-off, you must apply for a permit from LTA. Email the completed form (PDF,  248kB) to

Operating a scheduled and fare-collecting bus service

To operate a scheduled and fare-collecting bus service, you must apply for a Class 2 Bus Service Licence and a Public Service Vehicle Licence for the bus.

Get more information on operating the above bus services

Blind spot safety requirements for buses with MLW over 8,000kg

To improve the safety of vehicles and other road users, buses with maximum laden weight (MLW) over 8,000kg which are registered from 1 October 2015 must be equipped with mirrors or camera devices to cover blind spot areas on the left and front of the bus.  This is in addition to the previous requirement of having two rear view mirrors. The additional blind spot mirrors or devices will help bus drivers to better detect  pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists and other motorists who are in their blind spots, reducing the risk of accidents when buses turn at traffic junctions or change lanes.  Buses with MLW over 8,000kg include school buses and coaches.

You can approach your vehicle’s authorised agent for advice on how to meet the requirements.

Mirrors for Buses
Examples of Compliant Mirrors for Buses

For buses with MLW over 8,000 kg which are registered before 1 October 2015, bus owners can choose to either retrofit the additional blind spot mirrors or camera devices, or install a Fresnel lens (at least A4 size) on the passenger side window.

Fresnel lens

The Fresnel lens gives the driver a better view of the blind spot directly next to the passenger door.

The list of companies that supply compliant A4-sized Fresnel lens can be found below.


List of Companies Supplying Fresnel Lens


Fresnel lens
Example of Fresnel lens fitted on a HGV

Announcement Shout-out

Buses must meet the requirements for additional blind spot mirrors or devices in order to pass their periodic inspections.


Safety requirements for buses ferrying school children

There are certain safety requirements for buses ferrying school children.

Seating Capacity

Increased Visibility for Buses Carrying School Children

Automatic Activation of Hazard Warning Lights

Bus Attendants

Installing safety features for buses

To install safety features for buses, contact the Singapore School and Private Hire Bus Owners Association (SSPHBOA), or the Singapore School Transport Association (SSTA).

Announcement Shout-out

Avoid penalties by complying with the safety requirements. Offenders can be fined up to $2,000, or jailed up to 6 months. 

Guidelines for Standing Passengers in Buses

From 31 May 2018, an Excursion Bus, a Private Hire Bus, Private Bus and School Bus are allowed to carry standing passengers, if the bus meets the technical requirements and completes the application procedure.

School children below 18 years of age are not allowed to stand in the bus, when the bus is used for ferrying school children to and from school or to other places for school-organised activites.

The technical requirements are:

  • The bus’ maximum laden weight exceeds 3,500kg, or it has a seating capacity more than 15 persons (excluding the driver)
  • The bus is fitted with enough handrails or handstraps for the safety of standing passengers

Apply to Carry Standing Passengers

Find out more about buses

Learn more about bus policies on LTA.GOV