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How to get a hazmat license

Updated March 23, 2017

If you are a commercial truck driver with a Commercial Drivers License (CDL), you can apply for a Hazardous Materials (Hazmat) certification on that license. In order to get approved for this certification, you need to prove a number of things and you also must pay certain fees. While there are federal guidelines overseeing the distribution of these certificates, state laws apply, too.

Check your citizenship eligibility. Hazmat license certifications are only given to natural and naturalised American citizens. In order to prove this, you will need a passport, a birth certificate or a naturalised citizen card (if you immigrated from a foreign country).

Check your criminal background history, if applicable. There are some crimes that will prohibit you from operating with hazardous materials. These crimes include: treason, espionage, sedition and terrorism.

Visit your local Registry of Motor Vehicles. You must submit to an eye exam, a mental aptitude test and a general intelligence test. You must be deemed physically, emotionally and intellectually fit to be certified for a Hazmat license.

Fill out the application for certification at your local Registry of Motor Vehicles. You must already carry a CDL. You will also need to submit a fingerprint sample and consent to an FBI background test. This test will determine what threats, if any, you pose to National Transportation Security or National Security.

Pick up your Hazmat certified CDL license from the Registry of Motor Vehicles when approved. The process may take some time. A background check for these certifications is extensive. After the U.S. Patriot Act was passed, the guidelines for approving licenses became far more stringent.

Things You'll Need

  • CDL License
  • Residency and citizenship documents
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About the Author

Based in Eugene, Ore., Duncan Jenkins has been writing finance-related articles since 2008. His specialties include personal finance advice, mortgage/equity loans and credit management. Jenkins obtained his bachelor's degree in English from Clark University.