What Is A Hazardous Materials Endorsement And How Do You Get One

If you are a commercial driver who wants to carry hazardous materials, you will need to obtain a hazardous materials (HazMat) endorsement. There are two main requirements to obtain a HazMat endorsement:

  1. TSA Security Threat Assessment. A driver will need to apply to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). The TSA will then review your application to make sure that you meet the eligibility requirements set forth in 49 C.F.R. section 1572.15(D)(1). TSA will conduct a fingerprint-based criminal history records check (CHRC) and an intelligence-related background check to assess how much of a security threat the applicant poses. If the TSA finds that the driver does not pose a security threat, they will send a letter stating that the driver has met the eligibility requirements to apply for or renew a HazMat endorsement.
  2. Pass a written hazardous materials endorsement knowledge test administered by the Arizona Department of Transportation and based on the hazardous materials manual.

Common Problems Involving a Hazardous Material Endorsement

A driver must renew their hazardous materials endorsement at least every five years. In some states it must be renewed more often. The problem arises when the endorsement must be renewed at an earlier date than the actual driver license. If the hazardous materials endorsement lapses, it will cause the driver license to either be revoked or suspended, depending on the state. Some states will punitively suspend the commercial driver’s license because they let their endorsement lapse. Other states, like Arizona, will revoke the license. Either way, the result is a commercial driver who is not legally allowed to drive.

In Arizona, the driver can go apply for a new commercial driver license without the endorsement. In some other states, the driver must actually wait for the suspension period to pass before they can reinstate their driving privileges. Either way, if a driver has a hazardous materials endorsement, or if they are considering getting one, careful attention needs to be paid to not letting that endorsement lapse.

Additionally, in Arizona if a driver lets their hazardous materials endorsement lapse, the driver will need to retake and pass the written knowledge test before obtaining the endorsement again.