Hazardous Materials Endorsement

In addition to a commercial driver's license (CDL), federal and state laws require a hazardous materials (HAZMAT) endorsement on your CDL before you can legally transport hazardous material. According to government regulations, hazardous materials may include:

  • Explosives.
  • Gases.
  • Some solids.
  • Flammable and combustible liquids.
  • Other materials that may cause harm.

Without a HAZMAT endorsement, you may be limited in what you are allowed to transport with a standard commercial driver's license.

To satisfy the requirement for a CDL HAZMAT endorsement, you must first meet the following basic eligibility criteria:

  • You are a U.S. citizen or can provide proof of legal status in the United States.
  • You have a valid U.S. commercial driver's license of the proper class.
  • You are of legal age to operate a HAZMAT vehicle.
  • You are willing to complete the TSA background check.
  • You do not have a record of disqualifying criminal offenses; examples include:
    • Warrants or indictment for a felony.
    • Robbery.
    • Immigration violations.

Once you possess a Class A, B, or C CDL, you may begin the application process for a hazardous materials (HAZMAT) endorsement. While the process may differ slightly according to your state, below is an example of the basic steps:

  • Fill out the hazardous material endorsement application (available through your state's DMV or the TSA).
  • Complete a medical screening.
  • Pass a written exam.
  • Submit a TSA background security screening.
    • This is the most crucial difference between HAZMAT endorsement applications and applying for other endorsement types. Please see below for details on this screening.
  • Pay the proper fee.

Keep in mind that in order to operate special types of commercial vehicles with hazardous material, additional CDL endorsements may be required. A few of the common endorsements you may need to apply along with your HAZMAT endorsement (H) include:

  • N Endorsement: Allows for operation of a tanker.
  • X Endorsement: Allows for operation of a tanker and the transportation of hazardous material.

For each CDL endorsement you apply for, you'll need to pass a state examination. This examination will test your knowledge of:

  • Federal and state HAZMAT regulations.
  • Your role in the transportation process.
  • How to safely load and unload shipments.

Before your state can issue a CDL with a hazardous materials endorsement, you are required to complete the Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) security threat assessment. You can enroll or pre-enroll:

  • Online by filling out an online pre-enrollment form HERE.
  • In person* by making an appointment at your local enrollment center*. OR Calling (855) 347-8371.

Once you have enrolled or pre-enrolled (or visited your DMV if you are in one of the states listed above), follow the steps below:

  • Visit an authorized application center
  • .
  • Provide your:
    • Original or certified copy identification documents - please reference the TSA's complete list of acceptable documents HERE. This includes:
      • 1 document from List A. OR 2 documents from List B.
      • Fingerprints.

  • Have your photograph taken.
  • Pay the following applicable fee, valid for 5 years:
    • New applicants - standard: $86.50.
    • Reduced rate: $67.
      • You are eligible for the reduced rate fee IF you already have a valid TWIC card AND your state accepts the TWIC threat assessment instead of the HAZMAT assessment.

Once you have completed the above, the TSA will attempt to provide you with a response concerning your eligibility within 45 days. If cleared, the TSA will send official notification to you and your state of license. Once your state receives the notification, you will receive your CDL with the HAZMAT endorsement.
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