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Are you planning on driving a tanker truck that transports hazardous materials?

Then you’ll have to add the X endorsement to your commercial driver’s license (CDL).

But what is an X – hazmat and tanker endorsement?

When is it required?

How do you get it?

We’re here to answer all those questions and more. 

So let’s jump right to it!

What is a Hazmat and Tanker Endorsement?

The X endorsement allows commercial drivers to operate a tanker truck that transports hazardous materials. 

This is a combination endorsement. 

So instead of getting an individual N endorsement (for tanker trucks) and an H endorsement (for hazardous materials), you only need to apply for the X endorsement.

Okay, you won’t have to get 2 separate endorsements anymore. 

However, you still have to learn about both and go through the same application process. 

When is a Hazmat and Tanker Endorsement Required?

Tanks usually carry hazardous materials — so it’s more likely that you’ll need the X endorsement if you drive a tanker truck. 

But there are a few specifications that you need to know about. 

These are:

  • You only need the X endorsement if:
    • The tank transports hazardous materials, such as those that are toxic, flammable, and can potentially cause harm.
    • The tank contains individual liquid or gaseous containers greater than 119 gallons.
    • The tank and/or containers are loaded and not empty.
    • The total combined volume of the liquid or gaseous materials being hauled is greater than 1,000 gallons.
  • You only use the X endorsement for:
    • Non-excepted interstate (NI) driving
    • Non-excepted intrastate (NA) driving 

IMPORTANT! Every state has different rules and regulations, so make sure to check the specifics of where you live.

How to Get a Hazmat and Tanker Endorsement

Say you’re required to get the X endorsement. 

Well, here is how to do that…

Requirements for the X Endorsement 

To apply for the X endorsement, you’ll need to meet these requirements:

  • You are at least 21 years old. 
  • You hold a valid Class A CDL or Class B CDL.
  • Your CDL is from the state you’re applying in. 
  • You are a legal resident in the United States or have a valid US passport.
  • You complete an Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT).
  • You submit and pass a TSA background check.
  • You take and pass both the tanker endorsement knowledge test and the hazmat knowledge test. 
  • You pay the appropriate fees. 

How to Apply for the X Endorsement 

Here are the steps to adding an X endorsement to your CDL:

  • If you don’t yet have a Class A or Class B CDL, you should first get one. You can click here for articles on the CDL requirements for each state. 
  • Enroll and complete an Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) program for Hazmat.
  • Take and pass a TSA background check. The background check will take about 6 weeks to complete. 
  • Once the above requirements are fulfilled, go to your local DMV office and bring the following documents:
    • Your valid Class A or Class B CDL
    • Valid DOT Medical Card (for some states, you can upload this to the DMV website)
    • Proof of identity and birth date
    • Proof of state residency 
    • Proof of US citizenship or legal presence
    • Proof of Social Security Number
    • Any other document that is required in your state (make sure to check before going)
  • Apply for the X endorsement, submit your documents, pass a vision test, and get fingerprinted (or submit fingerprints). 
  • Pay both knowledge test fees – this will usually cost $2 or $5 each. 
  • Take and pass the tanker endorsement knowledge test and hazmat endorsement knowledge test. 
  • Pay the X endorsement fee – this will depend on your state. 
  • Have the X endorsement added to your Class A or Class B CDL. 

And you’re ready to drive a tanker truck that transports hazardous materials!

FAQs About the Hazmat and Tanker Endorsement Test

What Tests Do I Need to Take for the X Endorsement?

The hazmat and tanker endorsement has two knowledge tests — one for the N endorsement (tanks) and another for the H endorsement (Hazmat).

That’s it. 

You won’t have to take a skills or road test for this. 

How Many Questions Are on the Hazmat and Tanker Endorsement Test?

In most states, the tanker knowledge test has 20 multiple-choice or true/false questions. 

The Hazmat test, on the other hand, has 30 items on it. 

To prepare for these questions, you can study your state’s CDL handbook online. Make sure to take special attention to the Tank Vehicles and Hazardous Materials sections. 

You can also go online and take some FREE practice tests. These will give you a feel of the actual test. 

What is the Minimum Score to Pass the Hazmat and Tanker Endorsement Test?

You need a minimum score of 80% on both tests. 

So you have to get 16 questions right in the tanker knowledge test and 24 questions correct in the hazmat test. 

What Happens if You Fail the Hazmat and Tanker Endorsement Test?

If you fail – don’t worry. 

You only need to wait 3 days before you can retake it. 

For your X endorsement application, you’re given 6 attempts. 

If you fail all 6, then you need to wait 1 year before you can apply for the X endorsement again. 

FAQs About the Hazmat and Tanker Endorsement

What Happens if I’m Caught Without an X Endorsement?

Being caught without proper hazmat and tanker endorsement is a serious offense that can have dire consequences for the driver and logistic firm. 

Besides the hefty fines, you can also get license suspension or revocation and even jail time. 

Harsh penalties are expected as hauling hazardous materials, or even driving a tanker truck, without proper knowledge is very dangerous. 

Do I Need a Background Check to Get an X Endorsement?

Yes, you’ll have to pass a TSA background check before applying for the X endorsement. 

If you don’t have any felonies that will cause concern, the whole process can take around 6 weeks to finish. 

How Long Does the X Endorsement Last?

The validity duration of the hazmat and tanker endorsement will vary based on the state you applied in.

Typically, your X endorsement will last up to 2 to 5 years. 

Once it expires, you’ll have to renew it. 


What is an X – hazmat and tanker endorsement? 

It’s a combination endorsement that allows you to drive tanker trucks that transport hazardous materials. 

If you’re required to get this, then simply follow the requirements we’ve listed above. 

Yes, it might take quite a while – especially since you have to complete an ELDT program and pass the TSA background check. 

But if you follow all the steps one by one, you’ll soon have the X endorsement added to your CDL. 

So good luck!

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