Hazmat Certification. Is it Difficult to Get?

Hazmat Certification makes you a more Desirable Driver

Whether you’re a seasoned trucker or a newbie, you probably have your sights set on making the most money possible. In the world of truck driving, the best way to make more money is to get more jobs. And the best way to get more jobs is to be a more desirable driver. The most desirable drivers are the safest and hardest to come by—and this includes hazmat drivers. Hazmat certification is a must for drivers who want to increase their earnings.

Hazmat drivers are those who are endorsed to transport hazardous materials such as nitrate, explosives, flammable gases, peroxide, radioactive substances, etc. A hazmat driver will make more money than regular CDL drivers, as transporting hazardous materials is more dangerous.

So how do you get endorsed to become a hazmat driver? The CDL specialists at LA Truck Driving School explain.

Steps to Take for Your Hazmat Endorsement

The requirements to obtaining your hazmat endorsement aren’t too difficult—it just takes patience, studying, and careful driving. A background check will be performed on you, as well as citizenship and competency. There is also a written test, a fee, and paperwork.

Here are the steps you’ll need to take, assuming you’ve already earned your CDL (commercial driver’s license).

Step 1: Make Sure You’re Eligible.

Before you begin the application process, there are some up-front requirements to getting your hazmat endorsement. You must:

• Be at least 21 years old.
• Be a U.S. citizen, or be able to provide legal status in the U.S.
• Have a valid CDL in the state you’re applying.
• Have a valid DOT medical card.
• Not have any disqualifying criminal offenses.
• Be willing to complete a TSA background check.

Step 2: Apply for Hazmat Certification.

If you meet all the requirements above, you can go ahead and fill out a hazmat endorsement application.

You can fill out the application online, or you can do it in person at an application center (DMV or TSA; each state varies). Be sure to bring the required documents. Your fingerprints will be taken, and you’ll pay the fee (typically around $90).

You will also be required to pass a vision and medical exam.

You should hear back within 60 days if you pass or not. If you don’t, you will be given the chance to appeal it.

If you do pass, it’s time to do the next step.

Step 3: Take the Test.

Take your approval documentation to your DMV, and get ready to take the hazmat written exam. Before going in, be sure to study the “hazardous materials” chapter in your state CDL manual. There are also online practice tests that you can take to prepare you.

Once you’ve passed the hazmat written exam, you will receive your endorsement.

And So…

Getting your hazmat endorsement isn’t necessarily difficult—providing you meet the requirements. It’s simply a process. If you’re interested in getting your hazmat endorsement, make sure you’re giving yourself enough time to complete everything correctly.

Once you’ve received your hazmat certification, you’ll be open many new truck driving opportunities. Good luck!


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