How to Apply for a Hazardous Materials Endorsement

By: Staff Writer July 1, 2012
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Since 9/11, more scrutiny has been given to the application process for the hazardous material endorsement (HazMat). This is not because materials have become more hazardous, but because the threat of potential rogue drivers has increased.

In addition to state requirements, potential applicants must also meet federal requirements.

HazMat Endorsement Requirements

Below is what you can expect when applying for a Class H endorsement:

  • You must have a valid commercial drivers license (CDL) for the state in which you're applying. It must be valid (not currently suspended or revoked) and not checkered with serious road violations.
  • Provide proof of your full legal name. Photocopies will be rejected.
  • Furnish proof of U.S. citizenship or permanent legal presence.
  • Provide proof of identity and date of birth.
  • Show proof of Social Security number.
  • Present a valid medical examiner's certificate (DOT medical card).
  • Present, if applicable, a medical waiver.
  • Pass the Hazardous Materials Endorsement Knowledge Test. Study the chapter on hazardous materials in your state's CDL drivers manual.
  • Pass a vision screening test.
  • Pass a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) criminal background check. Give yourself plenty of time with this. Some criminal background checks can take up to 60 days. The background check includes submitting fingerprints. Be prepared to pay. Most background checks cost in the $80-$110 range.
  • Pay all applicable test and endorsement fees.

Requirements vary by state. Check your state's HazMat endorsement requirements online, or contact your DMV for further explanation.

HazMat License Notification

The TSA will notify you by mail with your criminal background check results. If denied, you have the option to appeal within 60 days of the ruling.

Denial does not mean your commercial driver license has been revoked or canceled. You can still work as a commercial driver, using your CDL drivers license. You just can't transport hazardous materials.

Do you have a HazMat endorsement on your CDL? Any tips to offer truckers considering applying for one?

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