HAZMAT Endorsement: A Quick How-To

HAZMAT Endorsement:
A Quick How-To

Safety is top priority for all truck drivers, but drivers who hold their Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT) Endorsement raise the bar on safety protocols. These dedicated drivers make our lives safer all while maintaining meticulous standards of practice as they handle dangerous materials from medical equipment to flammable gases, corrosive agents to nuclear waste.

In order to haul hazardous materials, drivers must get their HAZMAT Endorsement on their CDL or CDL permit. Applicants must undergo the Security Threat Assessment which includes a background check and fingerprinting. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration provides a document that gives an overview of the requirements for transporting hazardous materials by highway.

Obtaining a HAZMAT endorsement has a lot of advantages, but doing so can take some time. The process can seem daunting and even confusing, but these steps* can assist you in navigating the process.

Curious how the truck drivers that you see on the road obtain HAZMAT endorsements? Here are the steps:

Complete a CDL HAZMAT Endorsement Application.

Visit your local DMV or TSA office to complete the application. 

Pass a Medical Screening.

HAZMAT drivers must be physically able to operate a vehicle containing hazardous material. You will receive a Department of Transportation Medical card for passing this screening.

Pass the CDL HAZMAT Test.

This test will question your knowledge of federal and state HAZMAT regulations, driver responsibilities, and safety (especially focused on loading and unloading of hazardous materials). Study your state’s CDL handbook along with taking online practice tests.

Submit your Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Security Clearance.

Upon passing your HAZMAT test, you will be required to undergo a TSA Security Clearance. Register for this screening at your local DMV and be prepared to be fingerprinted and provide a picture ID. Once you receive clearance, you’ll have your CDL HAZMAT Endorsement.

Earning a CDL HAZMAT Endorsement helps elevate you among other CDL drivers and shows potential employers your qualifications and dedication to your job. This endorsement provides more job opportunities, higher pay and more favorable routes.

*These are general requirements and drivers are highly encouraged to to review state-specific information.

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