Applying for an Ohio CDL - Endorsement H (Hazardous Materials)
For holders of a commercial driver’s license (CDL), the hazardous materials endorsement (represented by the letter “H” on the CDL) allows the handling of at least 9 classes of products posing a risk to safety, health and property while in transportation. The relatively high level of risk and potential consequences involved makes these hazardous materials regulated by both federal and state governments. One way this is regulated is the requiring of Endorsement H for all commercial vehicle drivers. In this article, the requirements and processes needed to obtain Endorsement H and handle hazardous materials in the state of Ohio will be gone over.
Applying for Endorsement H
You are required to already hold a CDL , or already be applying for a CDL, when applying for Endorsement H. Holders of Class A, B, and C CDLs are all eligible for Endorsement H. While Class A is the most all-inclusive qualification as it allows operation of Class B and C vehicles with the proper endorsements, the CDL class you will need may be different for different occupations.
There are four main steps in the application process:
- First, complete the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) HAZPRINT driver application. There is an accompanying $86.50 fee, payable by credit card or money order.
- Then, you must get fingerprinted at any of the fingerprint collection sites in the country. Applicants can get approved at any of the sites, even those outside of Ohio. While there, you must provide at least 2 proofs (one primary and one secondary) of identity, and will be asked to review and sign the driver application for verification of its accuracy.
- The TSA will make a threat assessment based on your driver application and report the results to both you and the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV).
- You can check your status at the Driver Service Center through the telephone number 1-877-HAZPRINT about 2 weeks after fingerprinting. If you have passed the assessment, you will be eligible for Endorsement H.
Procedures for Hearings, Appeals and Waivers
You may not pass a threat assessment if you have committed and been convicted of any disqualifying crimes, or have been found not guilty due to reason of insanity within seven years. In the circumstance that you are denied approval for Endorsement H from the TSA, you can request a hearing. Submit a written request, along with any required documentation, directly to the TSA. The Ohio BMV is not involved with such federal procedures.
Taking the Knowledge Test
In order to receive Endorsement H, you must take its respective knowledge test . If you intend to take the knowledge test to obtain a basic CDL instruction permit (CDIP) as well, it may be convenient for you to take both knowledge tests while you are at the BMV office. All the information on the Endorsement H test will come from section 9 of the Ohio Commercial Driver License Handbook. The endorsement test fee is $43.00.
In addition, you must pass a vision screening if you have not done so already, fulfilling the requirements of:
- Binocular vision
- 20/40 vision
- At least 70 degree horizontal vision
- Meeting of Federal 391 medical standards.
Skills Test and Additional Testing
You must take the on-road skills test to obtain a basic CDL if you do not already have one. The total fee of the test is $50.00, made up of a $10.00 charge for the pre-trip inspection, a $10.00 charge for off-road maneuvering, and a $30.00 charge for on-road driving. If you schedule an appointment with the Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSP), you may be required to pay an additional $50.00 appointment fee.
By having both a basic CDL for the class of vehicle you are driving and Endorsement H, you will be legally allowed to operate a vehicle that transports hazardous materials. However, there is more necessary learning, the quantity of which depends on the nature of the job. You can learn the federal and state laws regarding hazardous materials and attend hazardous materials training courses. Copies of Federal Regulations are available through the local Government Printing Office bookstore and industry publishers. Courses are usually offered by your employer, colleges/universities and other associations.
Additional training and testing, provided by an employer or other representative, is required by federal and state regulations. Employees in charge of handling hazardous materials should be trained and tested at a minimum of every three years. They should also be trained to recognize and respond to potential security threats associated with the transportation of hazardous materials.
Specialized training exists for drivers transporting
- Certain flammable gases
- Quantities of radioactive materials controlled by highway routes
- Cargo and portable tanks
- Certain explosives
- Bulk hazardous wastes
- On special hazardous materials routes.
It is important to find out which special requirements are needed to handle the hazardous materials you work with, not only during the Endorsement H application process, but on the job as well.