Obtaining CDL endorsements follows a similar process the CDL license process. While every state has a slightly different process, most have the same endorsement and testing requirements.
To get started, provide a completed CDL application and the required documents to your local DMV. You can specify which CDL endorsements you’re interested in earning on your application. You’ll then have to pass additional written and driving skills tests.
Most written exams for driving endorsements are between 20-30 questions long. Additionally, there is a fee for each test. Most fees are less than $20 with the exception of the hazardous material endorsement (more details can be found below). You can schedule your CDL endorsement test anytime you’re ready at your local DMV.
The CDL endorsements list below has more details on how to get each driving endorsement. Remember, every state has a slightly different process. Visit your DMV’s online website to learn about your state’s requirements.
Hazardous material (H): Take and pass the knowledge exam. You must also complete a TSA Security Threat Assessment application, submit your fingerprints at a designated collection site, and provide two forms of identity. The TSA background check typically takes between 30-90 days to complete. Additionally, you’ll be required to pay between $80-$110 to earn the endorsement
Tank vehicle (N): Take an additional knowledge exam.
Passenger (P): This CDL endorsement requires both a knowledge and skills driving test. You must demonstrate that you know how to safely operate a CMV that carries passengers.
Double/Triple trailers (T): Take an additional knowledge exam.
Tanker and hazardous material (X): Take an additional knowledge exam.
School bus (S): Similar to the passenger endorsement, you must complete a knowledge and skills driving test. This endorsement also requires a specific application and background check. Some states require a criminal history check and driver’s license record check to ensure you’re qualified to drive a school bus.
Completing the additional training results in obtaining the CDL endorsement. Your driving endorsements will be marked on your CDL license. They’ll be marked either upon passing the required exams or an updated CDL license will be mailed to you.
Most CDL endorsements must be renewed after a certain amount of time. Pay attention to the expiration date on each of your endorsements to ensure they don’t expire while you’re on the road. Most states will notify you with a written letter when it’s time to renew your CDL and endorsements.