If you have done any research into getting your CDL license, then you probably have heard about a Hazmat Endorsement. But you may be wondering, “What do I need to get my hazmat endorsement? What exactly is a hazmat endorsement? And what happens if I do not get one?”
A hazmat endorsement in necessary for any driver dealing with hazerdous mateirals. While the process may seem complicated at first. That is why we have broken it down into just a few simple steps.
What is a Hazmat Endorsement?
First, you need to know what a hazmat endorsement actually is. In short, a hazmat endorsement certification shows a driver is legally allowed to transport hazardous materials across state lines. This endorsement is dennotated by an “H” on the holder’s license.
Hazmat endorsements are required to haul classes 1-8 hazmat. These materials can be dangerous to the environment, animals, and individuals. This is why drivers are required to have these extra qualifications to transport such goods.
What Do I Need to Get my Hazmat Endorsement
Getting your hazmat endorsement is a fairly simple process. Getting a hazmat endorsement involves an application, a background test, and a written test.
Meet the Requirements
To get your Hazmat Endorsement, you must have a few things done to qualify:
- Be 21 or older
- Hold a valid CDL in the state you are applying in
- Complete a TSA Threat assessment.
You can complete your online application to get your hazmat endorsement. In many states, you can also complete the entire process in person at an application center.
In some states, you can get the application to get your hazmat endorsement at the local Department of Motor Vehicles. This includes:
- New York
When you go to the DMV to get your license, you should also get vital information about the required fingerprinting in these states.
Do Not Forget Your Documents
You must provide the required documentation and your fingerprints when going to get your HME at the local DMV. There are a variety of documents you can bring to show your identity/citizenship status, including:
- U.S. Passport
- Tribal Card
- NEXUS Card
- U.S. Enchased Drivers License
- Peranent Resident Card
- And more
There are a variety of other documents you can bring to show your identity when going to your hazmat endorsement appointment.
Remember that the names on all documents must match the names on the application, so if you have changed your name, you must bring the name change document along with the required documents.
You’ll also need to pay a non-refundable fee using a credit card, company check, cashier’s check, or money order. The endorsement will cost around $90 in total.
Pass The Written Exam
The first exam you’ll need to pass is a vision test. The second will be the Hazmat CDL written exam.
The written exams are comprised of around 30 questions, though this number can alternate depending on the state you are in when taking your hazmat endorsement test. It requires a score of 80% to pass.
The questions are about a variety of important hazmat transport questions, including topics like:
- Loading and unloading safety procedures
- Emergency regulations
- Bulk tank marketing
- The importance of the regulations in place
- Your responsibilities as a hazmat endorsed driver
- And more.
Many different study materials are available online if you need extra help preparing.
What Happens Next?
After the previous steps are completed and you successfully complete the background check and pass the written test, it will take around 60 days to get your new license.
Can I Get Disqualified?
There are two different kinds of disqualifications: short-term and permanent.
The required background check ensures that you will not pose a threat to personal safety or national security if given a hazmat endorsement. Because of this, the issues that may disqualify you are quite serious. Crimes committed at any time that can disqualify you from a hazmat endorsement include murder, sedation, a transportation security incident, treason, and more.
You can also be banned from receiving your hazmat endorsement if you have been caught previously partaking in the improper transportation of hazardous materials. This is why you must get your hazmat endorsement if you are dealing with these goods on the job.
Other crimes will temporarily disqualify you if they have been committed in the past five years. These crimes include arson, immigration violations, robbery, assault, weapons violations, and other crimes.
The crimes that can disqualify a driver can vary depending on the state. If you are worried or unsure about if you could be disqualified, make sure to check in with your state regulations.
Why Should I Get My Hazmat Endorsement
There are several reasons to get a hazmat endorsement.
Following The Law
First, knowingly hauling hazmat materials without an endorsement can include stiff fines starting at $55,00. If harm is caused to a person or property, fines can go up to a staggering $175,000.
Usually, these fines are applied to the companies. If a driver is caught transporting materials without a hazmat endorsement working for a larger company, it is likely that driver would lose their job. If it is an owner-operator, they could face serious issues. So if you are going to haul hazmat, make sure to get the certification.
Amount of Pay Per Year
In general, those with hazmat endorsements also make more – sometimes up to $10,000 a year extra than those with a typical class A CDL license. Your hazmat endorsement can last for up to five years, so it’s well worth the one-time cost.
What Do I Need to Get my Hazmat Endorsement? And Other Questions Answered
At the Truck Drivers Institute, we help all sorts of drivers. This ranges from tour guides to hazmat transportation. We are with our students every step of the day, helping them figure out what kind of driving job is right for them. If you have other questions about becoming a truck driver and TDI alum, contact us today!
Get your Class A CDL in our friendly, supportive CDL training program. TRAIN with experienced instructors – multiple good-paying, secure job choices with benefits available for eligible graduates. EARN $700 – $1000+ / week to start as a truck driver. Get started today by filling out the form below. We look forward to hearing from you!