Buying, Selling & Using Vans: North Carolina Law

School Use: North Carolina Public Schools are prohibited to transport students to and from school using an 11-15 person van. State law requires that all vehicles used by public school units meeting the specifications of the State Board of Education.

General Statute 115C-240(c): “…No school bus shall be operated for the transportation of pupils unless such bus is constructed and maintained as prescribed In such regulations and is equipped with adequate heating facilities, a standard signaling device for giving due notice that the bus is about to make a turn, an alternating flashing stoplight on the front of the bus, an alternating flashing stoplight on the rear of the bus, and such other warning devices, fire protective equipment and first aid supplies as may be prescribed for installation upon such buses by the regulation of the State Board of Education.”

Contracted Use: There is no outright prohibition of the use of 15 passenger vans by companies contracted by the local board of education. It is an issue of liability.

General Statute 115C-253: “Provided, that where a contract for transportation of pupils is entered into between a local board of education and any person, firm or corporation which contemplates the use of an automobile or vehicle other than a bus for the transportation of 16 pupils or less, the automobile or vehicle shall not be required to be constructed and equipped as provided for in G.S. 115C-240(c), but shall be constructed and equipped pursuant to rules and regulations promulgated by the State Board of Education.”

School Activity Use: There is no prohibition of the 11-15 passenger vans can be used to transport children to and from school related activities.

Letter from the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office (pdf, 436 KB)