Categories: Blog

How Do I Get A Hazmat Endorsement in California?

Are you a seasoned commercial truck driver interested in getting a CDL HazMat endorsement? Whether you are in the early stages of the process and are still researching what is a HazMat endorsement and how to get a HazMat endorsement or are ready to start studying for the exam, this article aims to help you learn more about what the HazMat license is and how to get a HazMat endorsement.

What are the Benefits of a HazMat Endorsement?

Given the benefits of getting a HazMat endorsement is likely what piqued your interest in getting it in the first place, we will start off by going over some of the main benefits drivers gravitate towards. 

  • Increased Salary Rates – Due to the additional risks involved with transporting hazardous materials, obtaining a HazMat endorsement sticker also generally comes with a notable pay increase.
  • Resume Booster – A HazMat endorsement is a great way to make your resume stand out from the crowd. Given it helps demonstrate initiative and makes you a more versatile employee, this is especially valuable for drivers that are new to the industry and starting the application process.
  • Opens the Door for Other CDL Endorsements – If you are getting or already have your HazMat endorsement, you might also want to consider getting a tanker endorsement. When a tanker endorsement (N) is coupled with a HazMat endorsement (H), it is then classified as an X endorsement. A tanker endorsement permits you to carry 119 gallons of liquid gas or hazardous liquid allowing you to make even more money per mile. 

How to Get a HazMat Endorsement 

Due to the often lengthy time it takes to get your HazMat endorsement, the process is bound to test your patience. Below is a simplified summary of the HazMat endorsement requirements to simply be eligible, as well as how to get a HazMat Endorsement.

  • Be an American citizen or naturalized citizen 
  • Be a lawful permanent resident or a nonimmigrant alien 
  • Be a refugee or asylee with lawful status
  • Pass a vision test and a medical exam to ensure you’re physically fit for the job 
  • Have a CDL that was issued by a U.S. state

If all the above checks out, you will first have to undergo a TSA Security Threat Assessment, which is a thorough background check designed to verify that it is safe for you to transport hazardous materials.  Once that is completed, you will then have to study for, take, and pass the Hazardous Materials CDL Knowledge written exam at the DMV. Once all the above have been properly addressed, you will have earned your HazMat Endorsement.

Once you have earned your HazMat license, it will be valid for the next 5 years. When your endorsement expires, you will need to submit an endorsement renewal application, as well as go through the entire TSA background check again, resubmit fingerprints and pay the associated fees. Please note that in some states, you may also be required to retake and pass the written exam.

Is getting a HazMat Endorsement worth it? 

If you are committed to building your career as a truck driver, it is almost always worth it to get a HazMat endorsement, along with other endorsements such as the tanker endorsement. Given it can help open so many career doors, we always encourage drivers to do what it takes to stack up their endorsements. 

Now that you know more about the HazMat endorsement requirements and how to get a HazMat endorsement, it’s time to apply and start studying. If you are still at the stage of needing your CDL, contact Truck Driver Academy at 909-655-4707 today! We look forward to helping you begin and grow your career in the trucking industry.



Brandon Maciel

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