As a truck driver, you have several job options available to you. While you can continue to transport common freight, accepting other sorts of goods can considerably boost your earning potential. Depending on the class of your commercial driver’s license (CDL), you may be eligible to receive several trucker endorsements that may allow you to earn more for less effort. With that in mind, we are going to go through different types of CDL endorsements in order to give you a fresh start in your career. 


cdl endorsements for truck drivers
CDL Endorsements for truck drivers



1. What are the CDL Endorsements?

As mentioned from the beginning, CDL Endorsements allow CDL drivers to advance their careers by giving them the right to operate certain types of commercial vehicles such as Tank or School bus vehicles. 

There are 6 CDL Endorsements types which are: 

H Endorsement

 This endorsement allows truck drivers to operate vehicles that carry hazardous materials such as gases or flammable liquids. In order to obtain a CDL H endorsement, you must pass the security check and other tests that are explained in the  CDL Hazmat Endorsement Study Guide


N Endorsement

 A tanker is a good option for the CDL driver to develop your trucking career. In addition, owning the N endorsement allows you to drive both permanent and temporary tanks at the same time. We strongly suggest you read the CDL Tanker Endorsement Study Guide in order to successfully obtain this type of CDL Endorsement.


P Endorsement

 Obtaining a CDL P endorsement means that you can drive a truck that has passengers on it. Specifically, you can drive a 16 passengers van officially. It will be helpful if you read the CDL Passenger Study Guide before taking the endorsement test. 


S Endorsement

 If you want to be a school bus driver, this endorsement is a must for you to obtain. However, you should bear in mind that an S endorsement is only available for you if you already have a P endorsement first. In order to know the process of getting the S Endorsement, a CDL School Bus Study Guide is suggested for you.


T Endorsement

If you want to drive a tractor with two or three trailers, you can obtain this endorsement. Take a quick look at the CDL Doubles and Triples Test Study Guide to know what will be tested on the T endorsements test.


X Endorsement

This is a combination of tank and hazardous materials for those who want to drive both two types of materials which includes hazardous and harmless materials. Read CDL X Endorsement Study Guide to know more about it!


2. How can CDL Endorsements be classified? 

In general, the CDL Endorsements can be classified into 3 classes of CDL and will be appeared on your driver’s license as the table below:  

CDL Class A CDL Class B CDL Class C
H – Hazardous Materials

N – Tank Vehicles

P – Passenger Transport

T – Doubles/Triples

X – HazMat and Tank

S – School Bus

L – Air Brakes

H – Hazardous Materials

N – Tank Vehicles

P – Passenger Transport

X – HazMat and Tank

S – School Bus

L – Air Brakes

H – Hazardous Materials

N – Tank Vehicles

P – Passenger Transport

X – HazMat and Tank

S – School Bus

L – Air Brakes


A note that you should know is all the test-takers must do the CDL General Knowledge Test and CDL Air Brakes Test


cdl endorsement
CDL endorsements can be classified into 3 classes



3. How to add CDL Endorsements to my CDL? 

In order to help you understand the process of getting an endorsement to your CDL, we break down it into 3 major steps:


3.1. Obtain a CDL Learner’s Permit

You are required to pass all the knowledge tests which include the General Knowledge test, Air brakes, and the type of vehicle that you want to drive. For instance, if you want to drive a Tank, you must complete the CDL General Knowledge Test, CDL Air Brakes Test, and CDL Tanker Written Test. However, The P, S, and N endorsement exams can be taken with the Commercial learner’s permit test.  The T, H, and X endorsement exams require applicants to have a valid Commercial Driver’s License.


3.2. Take the Skill Test

After receiving the learner’s permit for at least 14 days, you can schedule a skill test. The skill test includes a CDL inspection and safety skills and a driving test. A qualified examinator will be with you to assess your ability. You can read the CDL Pre-trip Inspection Study guide to know what will be tested on this part. In addition, the DMV doesn’t have vehicles for you to test, thus, bring your vehicle or rent one to complete your test. If your truck is rental, make sure your name is on the contract. 


3.3. Submit all the needed information and wait for your CDL endorsement

If you pass all the tests, you will go directly to the office and: 

  • Submit your CDL and learner’s permit to the customer agent
  • Take your photograph 
  • Review your documents
  • Verify your qualifications
  • Sign your CDL application 
  • Pay for the CDL endorsement fee


cdl endorsements
There are 3 steps to obtain CDL endorsements


4. What are the FAQs about CDL? 


4.1. What are the CDL Endorsements costs? 

The cost of obtaining a CDL endorsement is often not prohibitively costly, ranging from $20.00 to $50.00 depending on the state. The hazardous material endorsement has the highest CDL endorsement cost due to the mandatory TSA (Transportation Security Administration) background check or threat assessment.


4.2. How long have you need to wait for the CDL Endorsements? 

The endorsement is not a document; it will appear on your commercial driver’s license. As long as you have your CDL, you are not required to carry any documents. Most of the time, you will have your endorsement on your driver’s license immediately after passing the exam, or your updated driver’s license will be delivered to you within a few days.


4.3. How can I transfer CDL Endorsements to another state? 

When you transfer your CDL to another state, your endorsements will usually move without issue. You should not have to repeat any written or driving examinations to transfer your endorsements.

If you are transferring your CDL to another state, you will require at least the following documents:

  •  Your CDL from the prior state in which you resided
  • Evidence of residence in your new state
  • Your social security number or card will be required
  • A birth certificate or other proof of lawful residency
  • If necessary, a medical exam certificate from your former state


4.4. How can I renew a CDL endorsement?

When it comes time to renew your CDL and CDL endorsements, most states will send you a letter. The Department of Motor Vehicles will send you a letter informing you that your CDL and/or CDL endorsements are about to expire and that you must renew them.

Don’t make the mistake of waiting for the letter to come in the mail since you might not get it if you’re driving. What you should do is be mindful of the expiration dates of your CDL and CDL endorsements.


4.5. What should I do with my new CDL Endorsements?

Obviously, looking for a job and starting your CDL driver career now. 


Getting CDL Endorsements can open a new door for your experience and CDL career. By passing all the required tests and receiving a mark on your CDL, we believe that you can do better. In addition, we suggest you take some CDL Practice Test to score high and succeed right from your first go!