Understanding the Hazmat Endorsement

Earning your commercial driver’s license (CDL) is the first step toward becoming a truck driver. For certain vehicles or types of freight, you will need more than just the standard commercial license. Endorsements are additional certifications that you can earn by passing written exams. At Yuma Truck Driving School, we help our students earn three endorsements: hazardous materials (hazmat), tanker, and doubles/triples. The hazmat endorsement allows you to transport sensitive freight and can increase your earning potential.

More information about the CDL hazmat endorsement:

X Endorsement

One thing to be aware of is that hazmat is often in a liquid or gaseous form and needs to be transported using a tank vehicle. As a result, you will also need the tanker endorsement for many hazmat jobs. The combination of these two is known as the “X” endorsement. Our program allows you to earn both.

Studying for the Hazmat CDL Test

To prepare for the written hazmat test, you should read Section 9 of the CDL manual. This covers the material that you will need to know to answer the multiple-choice questions on exam day. It is broken down into several subsections.

Keep in mind, however, that the manual does not necessarily cover everything you will need to know on the job. If you choose to pursue a career as a hazmat trucker, you may need additional training from your employer and should always prioritize safety.

The subsections you will need to study for the CDL hazmat test are:

The Intent of the Regulations

Hazmat regulations are intended to contain the material, communicate the risk, and assure safe drivers and equipment. You should know how these regulations accomplish those three goals.

Who Does What

The shipper, the carrier, and the driver all have specific responsibilities when transporting hazmat. You will need to know what these are.

Communication Rules

If there is an accident involving hazmat, the driver may not be able to communicate the hazards of the material they are transporting. To make it easier for emergency response personnel to identify and address any spills or accidents, hazmat must be properly labeled. You will need to know the different hazmat classes, placard requirements, and shipping paper requirements.

Loading and Unloading

You need to be cautious when loading and unloading hazmat. This subsection of the CDL manual goes over specific regulations based on the material’s class as well as general rules to follow.

Bulk Packaging, Marking, Loading, and Unloading

There are additional requirements for bulk packaging that you need to be aware of and follow.

Driving and Parking Rules

Certain classes of hazmat have restrictions for parking and driving that you’ll need to be aware of. Route restrictions can also vary by state and county, so if you take a job hauling hazmat, you’ll need to ask your dispatcher about these requirements for the specific route you are taking.


This subsection includes general guidance for handling emergencies that could arise when transporting hazmat. It also gives more specific information based on material class.

Earn Your CDL and Hazmat Endorsement

The hazmat section of the CDL manual can be confusing, and you may find it difficult to study for the written exam on your own. Yuma Truck Driving School can help. Our program covers the information you need to know to earn your CDL with the hazmat endorsement, as well as endorsements for tankers and doubles/triples. We can help you get on the road and earning in as little as four weeks.

Contact us today to learn more about earning your CDL in Yuma, AZ.