FreightWaves Ratings cuts through the noise of freight technology product reviews to make you a smarter buyer

How to Get a Hazmat Endorsement on Your CDL

Do you want to know how to get a CDL hazmat endorsement? Have you been querying the phrase “how to add a hazmat endorsement on my CDL” to increase your earning potential? 

Below, we reveal how you can obtain your CDL hazmat endorsement. We also discuss whether you should prepare for your exam by taking a CDL hazmat endorsement practice test and outline the benefits of adding this endorsement to your commercial driver’s license.

What Is Hazmat Endorsement?

A hazmat endorsement is required if you want to haul hazardous materials. Hazardous materials are any substances that must be placarded, according to Department of Transportation guidelines. They may include substances that are corrosive, flammable, explosive, poisonous, or otherwise harmful to humans or the environment.

What Types of Hazmat Endorsements Are Available for CDL?

There are three different types of hazmat endorsements:

  • H: The “H” endorsement is a general hazmat endorsement. It authorizes you to haul hazardous materials in a standard trailer.
  • N: The “N” hazmat endorsement authorizes you to haul 119 gallons or more of hazardous substances in a liquid gas or liquid state with a tanker trailer.
  • X: The “X” hazmat endorsement authorizes you to haul liquid hazardous materials in a tanker and non-liquid hazardous materials in a standard trailer.

While obtaining any hazmat endorsement can benefit your career goals, the “X” endorsement is the most versatile. However, the CDL hazmat endorsement test for the “X” endorsement is more rigorous than the other exams.

Requirements for Hazmat Endorsement

To be eligible for a hazmat endorsement, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Be a U.S. citizen, nonimmigrant alien, naturalized citizen, or lawful permanent resident
  • Pass the CDL hazmat endorsement test
  • Submit the hazmat endorsement application
  • Pay the requisite fees
  • Pass the TSA/FBI background check

If you fail to meet all requirements, you will not be able to obtain your hazmat endorsement.

Costs for Hazmat Endorsements

The TSA charges new hazmat endorsement applicants a fee of $86.50, but you may be eligible for the new applicant reduced rate of $67. In addition to this fee, you will need to pay any requisite state department of transportation fees. The initial hazmat endorsement is valid for five years from when your application is approved.

What Disqualifies You from a Hazmat Endorsement?

Several factors could disqualify you from obtaining a hazmat endorsement. A few examples include the following:

  • Incomplete or false application information
  • Convictions of certain felony criminal offenses
    • Smuggling
    • Robbery
  • Inclusion on a terrorist or Interpol watchlist
  • Indictment for prohibited felony offenses

Conviction of felony offenses may carry either an interim or permanent disqualification. For instance, robbery, extortion, and bribery make candidates ineligible for a hazmat endorsement for five to seven years. 

Conversely, convictions for treason, sedition, espionage, or other heinous crimes will permanently disqualify an individual from obtaining a CDL hazmat endorsement.

Benefits of a Hazmat Endorsement

Obtaining a hazmat endorsement can expand your career opportunities. You can connect with employers that need qualified drivers to haul hazardous materials via standard trailer or tanker.

In addition, hauling hazardous materials sometimes pays better than other truck driver jobs due to the added risk involved.

If you are looking for ways to boost your earning potential and make yourself a more appealing candidate, obtaining a hazmat endorsement is a great way of accomplishing both goals.

4 Steps for Getting a Hazmat Endorsement

Obtaining your hazmat endorsement can be accomplished in four simple steps, which are as follows:

Step 1: Fill Out the Online Application

The first step to obtaining your CDL hazmat endorsement involves filling out an online application on the TSA website. If you reside in Florida, Kentucky, Maryland, New York, Texas, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, or Virginia, you will need to contact the state-managed department of motor vehicles to apply for your endorsement.

Step 2: Schedule an Appointment

After submitting your online application, you will need to schedule an appointment with either your local DMV or the nearest authorized TSA application facility.

Step 3: Submit Required Application Center Materials

When you arrive for your appointment, you will need to submit the required documents. You will also be required to provide fingerprints at that time and pay the application fee.

Step 4: Pass Your Exam

Most states require you to take a CDL hazmat endorsement test. You should consider taking a CDL hazmat endorsement practice exam to prepare for this test. Practice will increase your chances of passing the exam on the first attempt and reduce your out-of-pocket expenses.

Job Opportunities with a Hazmat Endorsement

Once you obtain your hazmat endorsement, you can search for truck driving jobs that involve transporting hazardous materials. You can seek out prospective employers the old-fashioned way by submitting applications directly to each company. However, this process can be tedious and time-consuming.

If you want to find great hazmat driving jobs fast, you may want to consider using a national truck driving service. These services can connect you with multiple carriers and allow you to choose the best employment opportunity for your needs.

Expand Your Horizons with a Hazmat Endorsement

As you can see, obtaining your hazmat endorsement is an affordable way of opening the door for new career opportunities. You can increase your earning potential, connect with more employers, and make yourself an appealing candidate to carriers.

So what are you waiting for? Fill out your online application today and start your journey to obtaining your hazmat endorsement.


Is It Worth Getting Your Hazmat Endorsement?

 Getting your hazmat endorsement can open up additional career opportunities. Once you obtain your endorsement, you can seek out jobs independently or work with a national truck driving service that connects you with carriers seeking qualified drivers.

How Much Does It Cost to Get a Hazmat Endorsement?

The exact cost of obtaining a hazmat endorsement will vary depending on your state. Each state’s department of transportation will charge an administrative fee. You will also have to pay a fee to the FBI to process fingerprints and a fee to the TSA. These fees typically total somewhere between $150 and $300.

What Is Considered Hazmat for Trucking?

According to Department of Transportation guidelines, hazardous materials are any materials that must be identified via placarding. These materials include poisonous, flammable, explosive, or corrosive substances.

We are excited to announce the launch of, a revolutionary resource designed to transform how consumers choose auto-shipping companies. Check it out today!

Where the best truck drivers go to find jobs nationwide!