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How to Get a Hazardous Material (HazMat) Endorsement for Your CDL

undefinedEverything you need to know about getting a HazMat or “H” endorsement for your CDL is in Section 9 of the 2019-2021 CA Commercial Driver Handbook.pdf. The DMV has not released a 2022 edition of the handbook as of the date of this publication.

All CDL holders must have an endorsement for their CDL to haul HazMat. The essential thing to remember about hauling HazMat is that there are more than 350 misdemeanor HazMat violations for CDL drivers.  

Something as simple as not having an updated route map approved by the CHP could be a misdemeanor violation, so it is wise to consult a traffic ticket defense attorney about your circumstances.

What Is HazMat?

The CA DMV defines hazardous material as “…products that pose a risk to health, safety, and property during transportation. The term often is shortened to HazMat, which you may see on road signs or to HM in government regulations. HazMat include explosives, various types of gas, solids, flammable and combustible liquid, and other materials.”

According to the DOT FMCSA, hazardous material (HazMat) is defined as “a substance or material which has been determined by the Secretary of Transportation to be capable of posing an unreasonable risk to health, safety, and property when transported in commerce, and which has been so designated. The term includes hazardous substances, hazardous wastes, marine pollutants, and elevated temperature materials.”

Most drivers will say it is more difficult to get a HazMat endorsement than it is to prepare and haul it. However, most say the better you prepare for shipment the less hazardous the transportation will be. 

Some of the things that could get you a CDL HazMat violation ticket are:

  • Exceeding the hours of service (HOS), which could be anywhere from $485 to $2,125 fine, plus 1.5 Negligent Operator Treatment System (NOTS) points.
  • An unsecured or improperly secured package could be from $238 to $4,175 depending on the content plus 1.5 NOTS points.
  • Wrong routes, missing or outdated maps, illegal stops, missing or not having shipping instructions within reach could be a $4,175 fine and three NOTS points.

Drivers should ensure HazMat is secured and stored onboard as prescribed by the DMV Handbook guidelines. Although there are two standards when driving in CA, you must comply with all FMCSA and CA HazMat hauling directives.

What Are the Most Frequent CDL HazMat Violations in 2022 & the Percentage of Out-of-Service (OOS) Orders?

The following are the top five HazMat violations according to the DOT FMCSA:

  1. Unsecure package in a CMV—97% OOS.
  2. No DOT FMCSA HazMat registration number—0.11%.
  3. Missing or Incorrect shipping documents—67%.
  4. No required placards—41.82%.
  5. Inaccessible shipping papers—1.17%. 

Many of these violations are easy to prevent, and most HazMat haulers do an excellent job of paying attention to detail and meeting requirements, but sometimes, no matter how careful you are, Murphy’s Law will take over, and you’ll get a HazMat violation ticket. Consult a CA traffic attorney.

When You Have a CDL HazMat Violations in Kern County, CA, Call Bigger & Harman 

When you have a HazMat violation in Bakersfield, CA, call Bigger & Harman, (661) 349-9300 for legal advice. It could be more severe than you believe.

We have been practicing traffic law in CA for over a decade, mainly in Central Valley, but we will travel to Owens Valley or even Southern California for a trucker accused of a HazMat violation. 

Send us an email or give us a call to discuss your particular situation. We always utilize a flat fee to handle your concerns so that you will know how much our fee is before you accept our representation. That fee won’t change regardless of how many times we must appear in court for resolution.    

Se habla Español (661) 349-9755.

Email: attorney@biggerharmanlaw.com

References:

The 2019-2021 CA Commercial Driver Handbook.pdf.

https://abouttruckdriving.com/2009/09/15/hauling-hazardous-materials/

The DOT FMCSA

The FMCSA CFR 49 Part 383.51Driver Disqualifications