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How Do I Get My Hazmat Endorsement in Kentucky?

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In Kentucky, a hazardous materials (hazmat) endorsement on a commercial driver license (CDL) is required for any vehicle requiring a hazmat placard. A hazmat endorsement can be obtained after an applicant applies for, tests for and receives a Kentucky CDL. However, in addition to the tests an applicant will also have to complete a series of state and federal background checks.

Obtain a Kentucky commercial drivers license. To obtain a commercial drivers license in Kentucky you must meet the minimum federal and state requirements. These include written tests and driving tests. The federal government requires minimum standards that states must adhere to in testing applicants, but the states are left with administering any tests and are free to add requirements. Federal law requires background checks of applicants by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the FBI. Kentucky also requires a Kentucky State Police background check for any outstanding warrants the applicant may have.

To operate across state lines an applicant must also undergo a medial evaluation to comply with regulations form the Federal Motor Carrier Highway Safety Administration.

Take hazardous materials knowledge test. When taking the written portion of the Kentucky CDL exam, applicants will be given the opportunity to take written exams for the types of commercial vehicles they will be operating. A special endorsement is required to haul hazardous materials. A score of 80 percent or better is required to pass both tests.

Once the written tests are passed, applicants for a hazmat endorsement will be required to take a basic operations test, a road course test and a pre-inspection test.

Pay fees. The fees for the CDL in Kentucky are $24 for the application and $11 for the instruction permit plus $40 for the original license, as of 2010. An endorsement for hazmat will be an additional $5.


Under federal law applicants with felonies for certain crimes are ineligible for a CDL. Applicants must also prove citizenship or that they are a legal resident alien of the U.S.