Colorado CDL - Endorsement H (Hazardous Materials) License

by Joshua on July 16, 2014

In the state of Colorado a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) allows for the holder of the license to operate both commercial and private motor vehicles. Commercial vehicles are defined as a vehicle with a gross weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more, a vehicle that, under Department of Transportation regulations, transports quantities of hazardous materials, and a vehicle that is designed to carry 16 or more passengers, including the driver. Obtaining the Endorsement H for the CDL certifies the holder to transport hazardous materials in amounts requiring placards. Outlined in the following article are the steps on how to acquire a Colorado CDL Class C with an Endorsement H.

Colorado CDL: Steps to Obtain

In order to receive his Endorsement H CDL in Colorado, an applicant first must apply for his instructional permit. This permit will allow the applicant to learn and practice the necessary skills that driving a large commercial vehicle will entail. Since CDLs are regulated by the federal government, there are several universal requirements that an applicant must fulfill. These requirements are as follows:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Bring documentation with name and address
  • Possess a current and valid Colorado Driver’s License along with a Social Security card to verify the applicant’s Social Security Number.
  • Bring proof of U.S. citizenship
  • Bring a current certificate showing proof of passing the Department of Transportation medical examination that is no more than 2 years old.

Furthermore the applicant will need to take and pass the CDL written test which tests a comprehensive knowledge of the class and endorsements that will be covered in the CDL driving skills test. Once all of these basic requirements are fulfilled then the applicant will pay a $14 dollar fee for the permit. With the permit, the applicant for the CDL can practice the skills necessary to be safe and successful in his commercial vehicle endeavors. This time is also to be used for the applicant to train for and pass the actual CDL driving skills test. Interestingly enough, the driver license offices do not offer these tests at their facilities. However, there is a plethora of private, unaffiliated companies that administer these tests and some are able to rent the appropriate vehicles for the tests to applicants in need. This driving skills test is made up of three main parts: the pre-trip vehicle inspection, basic vehicle control skills, and the on-road skills test.

Once an applicant passes the test that he is attempting to be certified in, he will need to take and complete any additional tests for extra endorsements. From there he can pay the $35 license fee so that he can sign and fingerprint his license and have his photo taken.

Endorsement H: Description

While the CDL is a broad license that certifies the holder to drive several commercial vehicles, it does not certify the holder to drive all commercial vehicles. There are a variety of specializations in the form of endorsements that require extra training and testing in order to obtain them.

One such endorsement is Endorsement H that certifies the holder to drive vehicles that transport hazardous materials cargo and dangerous goods in the United States. These vehicles are easily designated by placards which tell drivers in proximity to the commercial vehicle that it is shipping hazardous materials cargo. Title 49 of the United States Code of Federal Regulations stipulates that hazardous materials placards be put on commercial vehicles when carrying hazardous materials cargo and other precarious cargo within the United States. Since the shipping of these goods can be dangerous, it requires extra training and certification as well as a more extensive background check in order to become certified.

Endorsement H: Requirements

Recently, the trend has gone in the direction of regulating the Endorsement H certification more heavily. Pursuant to the authority established by the U.S. Patriot Act, the Transportation Security Administration stipulates that states are not allowed to issue any individual a CDL license to operate a commercial motor vehicle transporting hazardous material until it has been determined that this individual poses no security risk. Therefore, an applicant must complete a background check application and this application can be completed by phone at 877-HAZPRINT (877) 429-7746 or online at.

The background check is to be paid by the applicant and will cost $86.50. It is important to note that the application for a background check cannot be completed on the TSA fingerprint site. Upon completion of the application, the applicant can submit his fingerprints at the TSA fingerprint site. From there, the appropriate TSA agent will send the application along with the fingerprints to the Federal Bureau of Investigation to conduct the background check. The TSA will receive the results from the FBI and will then, in turn, notify the individual and the appropriate office of motor vehicles on whether or not the endorsement should be issued.

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