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What is an N – Tank Vehicle endorsement?

Do you need this endorsement in your CDL?

If so, how do you get one?

We’re going to answer all these questions and more in this complete N – Tank Vehicle endorsement guide. 

Here, we’ll look at:

  • What an N endorsement is
  • When an N endorsement is needed
  • The requirements for an N endorsement
  • The steps to getting an N endorsement
  • FAQs

So shall we?

What is an N Endorsement?

N Endorsement
Source: canva.com

An N endorsement (also known as a Tanker endorsement) is an additional certification that allows truck drivers to transport liquids and gasses. 

Another thing you should know about this endorsement — you can get it with your CDL permit. This way, you can start practicing how to safely haul liquids and gasses as soon as possible. 

When is an N Endorsement Required?

So yes, the N endorsement is needed for transporting liquids and gasses in a tanker truck. 

However, there are specific requirements that state when Tank Vehicle endorsements are necessary. These include:

  • If the cargo contains individual liquid or gaseous containers greater than 119 gallons.
  • If the containers are loaded and not empty.
  • If the total combined volume of the liquid or gaseous materials being hauled is greater than 1,000 gallons.

NOTE: Some requirements will be specific to the state you’re in. Make sure to check with your local DMV if you need an N endorsement for a specific quantity. 

Now, just because you have an N endorsement doesn’t mean you can transport ALL types of liquids and gasses. Hazardous or potentially dangerous substances, such as gasoline, require an X endorsement instead of N. 

What are the Requirements for an N Endorsement?

Here is a list of all the requirements to get an N endorsement: 

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Be a US citizen or legal alien 
  • Hold a valid CDL or CDL permit 
  • Pass a vision exam 
  • Pass the N – Tank Vehicle endorsement written test 

How to Get an N Endorsement?

Now that you know the requirements, here are the steps to obtaining the N endorsement: 

  1. Head to your local DMV to take the N – Tank Vehicle endorsement test (some states will require you to make an appointment, while others will require you to apply for this endorsement first)
  1. While there, bring the following:
    1. Proof of identity and date of birth
    2. Proof of residency
    3. Proof of citizenship or legal presence
    4. Your valid CDL or CDL permit
  1. Pass a vision screening. 
  1. Have your photo taken. 
  1. Pass the N endorsement written test. 
  1. Pay the application and test fees (the price will vary per state).
  1. Get your N endorsement. 

If you decide to get both an N and H endorsement at the same time (or an X endorsement that combines both), you will need to undergo additional background checks, as well as separate written tests. 

FAQs About the N Endorsement Test

Let’s go over some of the most frequently asked questions about the N endorsement written test. 

How long does the N endorsement test take?

The N endorsement test is rather easy. It will only take you a few minutes to complete. 

However, the whole process of getting your eyesight checked and filling in paperwork (and waiting in lines) could take a while. 

How many questions are on the N endorsement test?

The number of questions in the Tanker endorsement written test will vary based on the state you’re in. That said, the test is a generally short quiz of about 20 questions. You won’t need to worry about any long-winded sittings.

What score do you need to pass the N endorsement test? 

In most states, the passing score is 80% or more. So if the test has 20 questions, you need to answer at least 16 right to pass. 

How much does the N endorsement test cost?

Again, the N endorsement test cost will vary based on the state you’re in. On average, though, it is priced anywhere between $10 to $20. 

Do I need a background check for an N endorsement? 

Unlike the H and X endorsements, you won’t need to undergo any background check to take the N endorsement written test. 

But if you plan on combining your N endorsement with an H, you will need to provide a background check (also known as the TSA Threat Assessment check). 

FAQs About the N Endorsement

Now let’s move on to the most frequently asked questions about the N endorsement itself. 

Can a tanker truck pay more than normal trucks? 

Yes. While a normal trucker earns around $50,000 on average, a tanker truck driver can earn up to $64,000.

The difference lies in the technicalities since tanker drivers will have to learn how to manage a tanker full of liquid or gas on the road. 

What happens if I’m caught without an N endorsement?

It is illegal to drive a tanker that requires an endorsement without an N endorsement. If you are caught, rest assured that you will face harsh penalties. 

Now, the penalties will depend on the state you’re in, but rest assured that it won’t be pleasant. So it’s better to avoid that altogether. 

How long does an N endorsement last?

Tanker endorsements don’t need to be renewed separately. It will be renewed along with your CDL. 

Is tanker driving hard?

Hauling liquids and gasses can be challenging. But it’s rewarding, too. 

It’s a great choice as it isn’t too stressful but still needs a bit of special knowledge. So if that suits you, then tanker driving is a great choice!

Conclusion

And that was everything you needed to know about the N – Tank Vehicle endorsement. 

So if you’re required to hold this certification, then don’t delay — go ahead and get it right away. You already know the requirements and steps to obtaining one. 

Just remember to fulfill the eligibility requirements first, as well as check if an N endorsement is necessary, if you’d rather get a combined N and H endorsement, or if it’s better to get an X endorsement. 

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