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7D Regulation Changes for Driver Training and School Pupil Vehicles

The RMV oversees vehicle, equipment, and training regulations and requirements for the school pupil transport (7D) industry to ensure the safety of students and passengers. Review the sections below for detailed information.

Table of Contents

7D Regulations

The 7D Regulations listed below are in effect as of July 1, 2020.

Rules and regulations pertaining to the Registry of Motor Vehicles are located in 540 CMR

Vehicle

  • 7D vehicles model year 2018 or newer must have a child reminder system installed
  • 7D vehicles can have a maximum of 11 seats including the operator
    • 7D vehicles cannot have a seating capacity of more than 10 passengers in addition to the operator, except when a temporary waiver is granted in accordance with 540 CMR 7.10
  • 7D vehicles must be passenger vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds or less

In addition to the above vehicle regulations, if you are a new pupil transportation provider that has not previously registered a 7D-school pupil transport vehicle, you must submit a Supplemental Registration Application for 7D-School Pupil Transport Vehicle prior to initial registration of your vehicle. Upon receipt of your application an RMV field investigator will contact you to schedule on on-site visit to inspect your vehicle for compliance and to review pupil transportation operating requirements. Once approved you will be able to register the vehicle by visiting one of the following service centers; Braintree, Haverhill, Milford, Springfield or Wilmington. This inspection is only required for new 7D companies, you will not be required to submit subsequent 7D vehicles for this initial inspection.

Equipment

  • All tires must have a minimum tread depth of 4/32”
  • All vehicles must have an interior school bus light indicator
  • All vehicles must have an audible backup alarm
  • All vehicles must have a fire extinguisher with a hose and a rating of 2A10BC or greater
  • Both sides of all 7D vehicles must have the company name, city, and state visibly displayed in lettering at least two inches high and in a contrasting color
  • All vehicles must carry additional safety equipment
    • Body fluid clean up kit
    • Seat belt cutter
    • Fire/evacuation blanket for wheelchair vehicles only

Additional Resources

Notifications

Letters were sent to customers and businesses affected by the 7D regulation changes. Copies can be found below in the Additional Resources section.

Additional Resources

Public Public Hearing and Public Comment Notice

For information on the public hearing, click here.

Training Requirements

Required 7D Training

  • September 2020: Pre–Trip, Post–Trip
  • October 2020: Student Pick Up/Student Drop Off
  • November 2020: Cellphone Use
  • December 2020: Student Management
  • January 2021: 7D Vehicles and School Buses Idling on School Grounds
  • February 2021: Evaluation of Drivers – On Road Skills Backing, Defensive Driving, City Driving, Following Distance, Space Cushion
  • March 2021: Railroad Crossings: Massachusetts does not require 7D vans to stop at railroad crossings. However, Massachusetts does mandate that all vehicles slow down and proceed with caution. Make sure all 7D drivers know the length of their van and that they have the containment (room to clear) on the other side of the tracks. You never want your vehicle stopped on the tracks! You always want to be well beyond. Pay attention always. 
  • April 2021: Student Pick Up/Student Drop Off: A review of Student Pick Up/Student Drop Off. Some schools have been in session and many are just beginning. Repetition is key in understanding our 7D Rules. Let’s keep our children safe!

If your vehicle has a seating capacity of 12 passengers including the driver and you have requested a temporary waiver through 08/31/2021, the above training applies to you. 

Each month, your driver of the 12 passenger vehicle will need to spend 2 hours on the monthly training topic and this training must be completed by the company's 7D trainer. If your company does not have a 7D trainer, click here for a list of approved 7D trainers. 

At the completion of each month, the training must be documented, signed and returned to the RMV along with the other required documentation. 

For any questions regarding the training, please email Margaret.Rohana@dot.state.ma.us

Apply for or Renew a School Pupil (7D) Certificate

The RMV will only accept 7D applications and renewals submissions online. In an effort to reduce paper and streamline the submission process, paper applications will no longer be accepted.

For detailed information, visit the pages listed below in the Additional Resources section.

Additional Resources

Questions?

If you have any questions about these changes, please email SchoolBus7DNotify@dot.state.ma.us

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