How to Get CDL Endorsements

Each state has a slightly different process when it comes to CDL endorsements, but most have the same testing and endorsement requirements.

To apply, provide your CDL application and the required documentation to your local DMV. On your application, you can indicate which endorsements you wish to earn. In addition, a written and driving skills test will be required.

Driving endorsement exams typically take 20-30 questions. A fee must be paid for each test. Your CDL endorsement test is available whenever you are 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.

Take and pass the Hazardous Material (H) Knowledge Exam. You must also complete a TSA Security Threat Assessment application, provide two data forms of identification, and provide your fingerprints. 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

Learn more about tank vehicles (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.

After passing the required exams, a CDL endorsement will be added to your license. An updated CDL will be mailed to you after passing the tests.

Most CDL endorsements will expire after a certain period of time. Pay attention to that date to ensure your endorsement doesn’t end up expiring while you’re driving. Due to this, most states will recommend that you renew your endorsements and CDL.

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