CDL Endorsements – Which Ones Do You Need?

You only plan to haul dry vans with general freight. Or a reefer hauling produce. Working these types of trucking jobs, you don’t really NEED any special CDL endorsements. So why would you want extra endorsements on your CDL? Well, an added CDL endorsement can be the difference in getting your ideal job or having to accept an average one. Like a local or regional job that gets you home more often. It could also mean a couple hundred extra dollars on your paycheck. Here’s my take on getting additional endorsements on your CDL, even if you don’t think you’ll need them.

If you use the resources here at Trucker Country, getting extra endorsements on your CDL is easy. And since it’s so easy, and not too expensive, you might as well get an endorsement for every type of product you could possibly haul with a truck. And just in case, because you never know, go ahead and get your Passenger Endorsement as well.

Here’s an example from my driving career: A while back, I was living in Las Vegas, NV, and got off the road because my wife was pregnant and DUE SOON. My main job was refueling generators in construction sites. For that job, I needed a tanker and a hazmat (X) endorsement. But I also worked a part-time job at night driving a shuttle bus between the airport and casinos. That job required a passenger endorsement. I didn’t plan it that way. The job just became available and I happened to have the right endorsements on my CDL. You might never need the extra endorsements, but it definitely won’t hurt to get them. It might even help!

Here’s the Official Information About CDL Endorsements

An Endorsement is an authorization to an individual’s CDL required to permit the individual to operate certain types of CMVs. Drivers who operate or expect to operate the type of motor vehicle described in the endorsement shall take and pass specialized tests. Click here for more information by the FMCSA about CDL restrictions.

Types of CDL Endorsements

To obtain any one of the following CDL endorsements, a driver of CMVs must pass additional tests. A great way to prepare for the official CDL written exams is by taking our CDL practice tests.

To be able to haul hazardous materials, you must get a Hazardous Materials Endorsement on your CDL or CDL permit. All applicants must undergo the Security Threat Assessment, which includes a background check and fingerprinting. as part of the process. Check out How to Comply with Federal Hazardous Materials Regulations

Endorsement Code Description
T Double/Triple Trailers (Knowledge test only)
P Passenger (Knowledge and Skills Tests)
N Tank vehicles (Knowledge test only)
H Hazardous materials (Knowledge test only)
X Combination of tank vehicle and hazardous materials endorsements (Knowledge test only)
S School Bus (Knowledge and Skills Tests)