How do I apply for a Hazmat endorsement in California? California

Getting Your HAZMAT Endorsement

Before you can drive around hazardous materials anywhere, you need to get a HAZMAT endorsement.

The federal government, under the Transportation Security Administration, takes care of the HAZMAT CDL in all 50 states. Once you have a CDL or CDL permit, you will apply for the hazardous materials endorsement through one of the TSA offices in California.

To get your HAZMAT license:

  1. Call (877) 429-7746 (7 a.m.-9 p.m. EST) or visit the TSA website to begin the application. You must apply at least 30 days before the CDL expires.
  2. Be prepared to provide information from your commercial license, such as the number and your CDL class information.
  3. Be prepared to provide proof of legal status in this country, and another form of ID.
  4. Pay $89.25. There are no refunds. You can pay online using credit, debit, or e-Check.
  5. Provide fingerprints at a fingerprint office; the TSA will give you a list of locations. Fingerprint offices accept only money orders.
  6. Allow the FBI to do a background check. This includes criminal history, immigration status, and intelligence (whether you are a security threat). You will be sent a letter when your background check is approved, or disapproved. If it's disapproved, you may request an appeal or waiver.

There is no HAZMAT test, but know that this kind of CDL practice and testing should be included in your job training.

The TSA will finish the application within 30 days. They should inform you if there is a delay, or you can call to find out the status if more than 30 days have passed.

The HAZMAT endorsement is good for five years.

Do You Have a CA CDL?

If you are new to the CDL driver process and have not yet gotten a CDL or CDL permit, you must get this before applying for the HAZMAT endorsement.

To get a CDL, you must apply at the CA DMV. You will also have to pass a written CDL test at the office. Passing the test requires study of the CDL handbook and taking more than once CDL practice test. You can purchase long practice tests online that cover everything in the handbook; passing one of these tells you you’re ready for the real thing. Or, you can use the shorter tests the DMV has as well.

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