Applying for a North Carolina CDL - Class C License w/ Hazardous Materials Endorsement

by Joshua on September 14, 2014

Driving large vehicles designated as commercial class or certain specialty vehicles in the United States requires a commercial driver’s license, or CDL . There are 3 classes of CDLs which are the same in all states. A class A or B license allows for the driving of commercial class vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of over 26,001 pounds. A class C CDL, on the other hand, allows you to drive passenger vehicles that carry 16 or more people (including the driver), or hazardous material vehicles , neither of which can exceed 26,001 pounds GVWR.
In addition to having the basic CDL, you need to have any necessary additional endorsements to drive specialty vehicles. An Endorsement P is needed to drive passenger vehicles. An Endorsement H is required for hazardous materials, and an Endorsement N is required for tank vehicles. Having both H and N endorsements would be required for tank vehicles carrying hazardous materials. Each endorsement is an additional privilege that requires additional testing.

Eligibility for a Class C CDL in North Carolina

You must be 18 years old to apply for a license if you declare on your application that it will be for in-state driving. You must be 21 years of age to apply for an interstate license. You must have a valid driver’s license, a clean driving record and proof of residency in North Carolina . In addition, applying for Endorsement H requires you to not have been convicted of any disqualifying crimes.
You must also meet the medical requirements as set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Vision tests and hearing tests are conducted in all cases. If you apply for an interstate license, you must meet all the requirements to apply for and obtain a Department of Transportation (DOT) medical card. For an intrastate (in-state) license, you must also get this card, but only need meet the requirements to obtain it along with “restriction 4”. This is obtained by having a licensed medical practitioner fill out an examination form, which is then turned in during the application process.
Disqualifying medical conditions include disabilities involving the extremities, insulin-dependent diabetes, cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, high blood pressure, arthritic, orthopedic, or neuromuscular conditions that could impede with vehicle operation, and epileptic or other conditions that can cause a loss of consciousness.

Applying For a Class C CDL w/Endorsement H in North Carolina

Along with an application, medical forms, and a $30 application fee, you will need two forms of ID, a social security card, proof of North Carolina residency, and proof of auto liability insurance. There is an additional $15 fee for a learner’s permit, and a $60 fee for a 4 year CDL license. Applying for each additional endorsement costs $12 for a 4 year license. You will take these forms into a DMV office and submit them there.
After submitting the forms, you will need to take the written test for a CDL as well as the tests for all requested endorsements. Once you pass the tests, you can get a learner’s permit, if you applied for it. This permit will allow you to drive any class C vehicle that falls under category of license that you applied for. You must have an appropriately licensed driver, 21 years of age, in the passenger seat. This permit will allow you to gain practice before taking the skills test.

Applying For Endorsement H

Obtaining endorsement H with your CDL requires some additional hurdles. You must pass a Federal Security Threat Assessment through the Transport Security Administration (TSA) and the FBI. You must also undergo fingerprinting. There is $86.50 in total fees for this process in North Carolina. You must pass a specific knowledge test on top of this. Also, Endorsement H requires renewal and a new background check every 5 years.

Other Information For a Class C CDL in North Carolina

Be sure to study well for the written test in order to avoid retesting and additional fees. You should plan on allocating additional funds to pay for commercial driving lessons. Make an appointment with the DMV office whenever possible to avoid long waits. Licenses must be renewed every 4 years.
Other Resources
North Carolina Department of Transportation page for CDLs –
FMCSA page for Hazardous Material Endorsement –
FMCSA CDL Medical Regulations – page for North Carolina CDLs –

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