A hazardous material (HazMat) endorsement is not just for a fueling job. Most CDL drivers are surprised how often a hazardous material endorsement is required for local, regional or cross-country jobs, and most of the time, the loads are not related to fuel. If you are just graduating from trucking school, it would be encouraged to obtain your hazardous material endorsement to broaden to job opportunities that are available to entry-level drivers. Note: It's always a good idea to couple your HazMat endorsement with the tanker endorsement.
ENTRY-LEVEL DRIVER TRAINING (ELDT)
As of February 7th 2023, new federal regulations require drivers obtaining a HazMat endorsement to jump threw a few more hoops before they are eligible to take the HazMat knowledge exam at their local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The most notable and new requirement is a driver MUST complete a Department of Transportation (DOT) approved course that covers specific and required subjects a driver must review, study and pass an assessment with an 80% or higher. Once complete, a digital certificate is created and uploaded to the DOT's Training Provider Registry (TPR). After that, and only after the certificate has been uploaded to the TPR system, the driver is eligible to sit for the Department of Motor Vehicles' HazMat knowledge exam. To access a DOT approved HazMat training course, please visit our eLearn platform.
To view your digital certificate (if you have already completed an online program) please visit: https://tpr.fmcsa.dot.gov/
HOMELAND SECURITY BACKGROUND CHECK
After completing your knowledge exam, the driver will need to complete a federal background check with the Department of Homeland Security ($86.50 fee will apply). This background check will decide weather the applicant is eligible for the HazMat endorsement. If the driver feels that a past criminal conviction may hinder their ability to receive an approval, the driver is able to apply for the background check prior to taking the knowledge exam. If approved, the Department of Motor Vehicle's will be notified automatically, the driver does not have to do anything. To apply for the background check and book your fingerprinting appointment, please visit here: universalenroll.dhs.gov.
HAZMAT IS NOT JUST FOR FUELING
The HazMat endorsement has many different applications in the trucking industry. It is not strictly for hauling fuel. Many dry-van loads today will carry hazardous materials, requiring drivers to hold and maintain a HazMat endorsement. It is also good practice to add your tank endorsement when adding the HazMat endorsement.
QUICK FACTS ABOUT YOUR HAZMAT & TANK ENDORSEMENT
The HazMat endorsement expires every two (2) years. To renew the endorsement, the driver must re-take the knowledge exam at the DMV; however, the driver does not have to repeat the ELDT program. The background check is valid for five (5) years and must be renewed once expired. The tank endorsement is valid for five (5) years and must be renewed with a knowledge exam at the DMV. You can drop the HazMat endorsement at any time.