Applying for a Connecticut CDL - Class C License w/ Hazardous Materials

by Joshua on September 01, 2014

Who requires a Class C commercial driver’s license? The formal definition for a Class C vehicle is a single vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) equal to or less than 26,000 pounds, towing another unit equal to or less than 10,000 pounds. Class C vehicles are comprised of buses designed to transport, including the driver, at least sixteen passengers. They also include vehicles transporting hazardous materials. People who want to drive a Class C vehicle are required to obtain a Class C commercial driver’s license (CDL). For those who are planning to transport hazardous materials, there are additional requirements. The application process for acquiring a Class C CDL with a hazardous material endorsement in the state of Connecticut will be overviewed in this article.

Getting the Class C CDL License

Before applying for a commercial driver’s instruction permit (CDIP) and Class C CDL for hazardous materials, make sure you are at least 21 years of age. In addition, be ready to provide the proper identification documents and a Medical Examiner’s Report that proves you have met physical requirements.

All CDL applicants are required to take a general knowledge test at a Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Hub Office. There is a fee of $16.00. The test has a total of 30 questions, all of which are derived from information in the Connecticut Commercial Driver’s Manual . 24 questions must be answered correctly in order to pass. Upon passing the examination, you will receive your CDIP after paying an additional issuance fee of $10.00 and completing driving Self-Certification.

Following the knowledge test, you must take the skills test with the DMV in order to obtain your CDL. For a Class C CDL, you must pass the pre-trip inspection, basic control and on-road parts of the test. The test costs $30.00 to take, and the CDL itself can cost anywhere between $70.00 and $87.50, depending on how long the licensed driver intends to keep it valid. The CDL expires on the birth date of the operator 3.5 to 5 years from the date of its issuance.

Applying for a Hazardous Materials Endorsement

Handling hazardous materials requires knowledge and skills outside of driving and vehicle maintenance. The extra responsibilities that accompany the transport of hazardous materials include:

  • Containing the material, in order to protect the driver, those around the vehicle, and the environment.
  • Communicating the risk to ensure the safety of passerby, the driver, the carrier, and the shipper.
  • Assuring the safety of drivers and equipment to protect the livelihood of surrounding people and the integrity of the vehicle and its supplies.

To take into account the dangers associated with such materials, the federal and state governments have enacted additional requirements for handlers. While having a Class C CDL will only provide its owner with the privilege of driving a Class C vehicle, a hazardous materials endorsement (designated by the letter “H” on a CDL) can authorize a person to transport the hazardous materials in the following hazard classes:

  • 1. Explosives
  • 2. Gases
  • 3. Flammable
  • 4. Flammable solids
  • 5. Oxidizers
  • 6. Poisons
  • 7. Radioactive
  • 8. Corrosives
  • 9. Miscellaneous hazardous materials
  • Other Regulated Material – Domestic (ORM-D)
  • Combustible liquids

First, you must complete the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) HAZPRINT driver application, either online or by phone through the Driver Service Center at 1-877-429-7746. Then, you need to have your fingerprints collected at an official fingerprint collection site, providing a primary and secondary proof of identity at the site. The TSA makes a threat assessment based on the information completed in the HAZPRINT driver application, and mails the results to the applicant.

Qualifying for a Hazardous Materials Endorsement

The H Endorsement , like all endorsements, requires an additional general knowledge test to be taken at the DMV at the time of your basic Class C knowledge test. The test has a $5.00 fee. It has a total of 10 questions, with 8 or more correct answers being a passing score. Once you have passed, the DMV will issue a CDIP with an H designation.

However, merely passing the test and obtaining the H endorsement is not enough to handle hazardous materials in a real world setting. Government regulations mandate additional training and testing. This is usually provided by an employer or other designated representative, who must keep a record of your training for the entirety (as well as a subsequent 90 days) of your hazardous materials handling situation. The CDL holder should undergo such training and testing at least once every two years.

Anyone handling hazardous materials needs to attach material-specific placards to their vehicle and cargo packaging. Certain materials may also necessitate the driver to undergo extra, specialized training.

Because of the threat posed by hazardous materials, a handler must fulfill many requirements beyond that of a basic Class C CDL license. While risks always accompany driving, they can be made even more dangerous with the addition of hazardous supplies. It is thus imperative that responsible and safe actions are taken in their transportation.

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