HAZMAT trucking companies are responsible for transporting Hazmat goods under meticulous standards of handling. In other words, these drivers keep the public safe.
A HAZMAT hauler is an experienced commercial driver who’s been trained in the unique handling, delivering and disposing of hazardous products. These drivers are often the first to identify and respond to critical situations. And in return, they receive a higher compensation for their qualifications, safe driving records, and standards of health.
If you’re new to trucking or interested in upgrading your commercial driver license (CDL) with a HAZMAT endorsement, here are the requirements trucking companies assess when hiring HAZMAT drivers.
Federal Requirements for the HAZMAT Endorsement
Drivers are required to complete an application, fingerprinting and background checks through the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Drivers renewing or transferring a HAZMAT endorsement will need to complete this process 30 days prior to their expiration date.
TSA is responsible for the assessment, approval or denial of HAZMAT endorsement based on the background check and fingerprint-based record check. Here, you’ll find more information on the federal requirements involved as well as appeals and waivers.
After receiving a letter of approval from the department, you may apply for an H or X endorsement. A CDL with either of these endorsements will expire no more than five years after the date you completed the security threat assessment.
In addition to the federal requirements listed above, all HAZMAT applicants must have U.S. Citizenship or Permanent Resident Alien status in order to eligible for the endorsement. To verify either of these, here are the documents you’ll need.
- U.S. Birth Certificate
- U.S. Passport
- Certificate of U.S Citizenship, Naturalization or Birth Abroad
- Or, a photocopy of a certified U.S. Birth Certificate issued by a vital records agency accompanied by a U.S. Military Identification Card or U.S. Military Discharge Papers
Permanent Resident Alien:
- Permanent Resident Card, Alien Registration Receipt Card (Form I-551)
- Temporary I-551 stamp in a foreign passport
- Temporary I-551 stamp on Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record with a photograph of the bearer
- Re-entry Permit (Form I-327)
State Requirements for the HAZMAT Endorsement
Requirements may vary by state so it’s best to check your local HAZMAT requirements online or by contacting the DMV. If you’re interested in obtaining a Class H endorsement, here are the most common requirements you’ll encounter.
During the application process, you’ll need:
- Commercial Drivers License (CDL) for the state in which you’re applying
- Proof of your full legal name (photocopies are not accepted)
- Proof of U.S. citizenship or permanent legal presence (documents listed above)
- Proof of identity and date of birth
- Proof of Social Security number
- Medical examiner's certificate (or a DOT medical card)
In addition to these documents, you’ll need to pass the Hazardous Materials Endorsement Knowledge Test, a vision screening test and a criminal background check through TSA.
Also, the application fee is in the $80-110 range. Depending on your state, you may also have to pay any applicable test and endorsement fees.
The Approval Process
After you’ve submitted the application and completed the necessary tests, TSA will notify by mail whether you pass or fail the background check. If you’re approved, you’ll likely start working towards your tanker endorsement.
Not passing the background check, does not mean that someone will revoke your CDL. You can still work as a commercial truck driver, but you won’t be able to transport HAZMAT materials. If you believe there was a mistake, you have the option to file an appeal within 60 days of TSA’s ruling.
Truck Driver will Face many Choices
From standard commercial driving to a specialty endorsement. Each will lead you on a different career path. Due to the tremendous skill and responsibility involved in HAZMAT transportation, trucking companies generally offer much higher compensation compared to that of other freight carriers.
To join the ranks of the nation’s most prestigious HAZMAT trucking companies, you’ll need to obtain a Class A CDL (if you don’t have one already), a HAZMAT endorsement and tanker endorsement. From there, it’s all about hard work and your dedication to the job.
If you’re ready to take the next step in your trucking career, we’d love to help you dive into the rewarding benefits HAZMAT transportation has to offer. Reach out to our team today at (847) 789-7132 or click here to apply with us now.