Hazardous Materials Endorsement FAQ

A Hazardous Materials (HM) Endorsement on a motorist’s Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) is required to operate a motor vehicle used to transport HM in commerce.

Per 49 CFR 383.93, CDL holders who have passed the knowledge and skills tests prescribed in 49 CFR Part 383, Subpart G, must obtain the required specialized endorsements when operating the type(s) of motor vehicles described in 49 CFR 383.93(b). As a result, a driver may require multiple endorsements, such as an HM and a “Tank” endorsement.

States issue endorsements to drivers who successfully complete the testing requirements specific to the endorsement the CDL holder desires to obtain. For purposes of the CDL and the HM Endorsement, Hazardous Materials is defined in 49 CFR 383.5.

Endorsements require the testing specified in 49 CFR 383.93(c). Specifically, the HM endorsement, requires a knowledge test. Depending on the type of commercial motor vehicle the CDL holder desires to operate, additional testing requirements may be required. For example, pursuant to 49 CFR 383.93(c)(1), a CDL holder who seeks an HM endorsement, and also seeks to operate a double or triple trailer, must take the HM knowledge test, as well as an additional knowledge test, required for the endorsement to operate a double or triple trailer. In addition, pursuant to 49 CFR 380, Subpart F, FMCSA has established new training standards for individuals applying for their CDL for the first time; an upgrade of their CDL (e.g., a Class B CDL holder seeking a Class A CDL); or a hazardous material (H), passenger (P), or school bus (S) endorsement for the first time.

Beginning February 7, 2022, States must verify that applicants for the CDLs and endorsements listed above have successfully completed the relevant entry-level driver training (ELDT) before administering the required CDL skills or knowledge test for the H endorsement. These individuals are subject to the ELDT requirements and must complete a prescribed program of instruction provided by an entity that is listed on FMCSA’s Training Provider Registry (TPR). The requirements of ELDT do not apply to individuals holding a valid CDL or an H, P, or S endorsement issued prior to February 7, 2022. Individuals who obtain a commercial learner’s permit (CLP) before the compliance date of February 7, 2022 are not subject to ELDT requirements if they obtain a CDL before the expiration date of the CLP or renewed CLP.


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