What Are the Requirements for a Tanker Endorsement on CDL?

What Are the Requirements for a Tanker Endorsement on CDL?

What you may not know could get you put out of service.

It’s not news that the FMCSA added additional requirements to certain rules and regulations involving tanker endorsements. These changes were made in 2011 to help ensure that drivers hauling liquid loads have the degree of training needed to transport it safely and effectively across our roads.

A tanker endorsement, a supplementary CDL certification, allows a truck driver to transport liquids of any kind. This certification is displayed on their CDL indicating that he or she has advanced equipment and safety training in hauling liquids. Without proper training, driving a tanker can be incredibly dangerous and an untrained driver can easily roll their tanker or cause an accident resulting in serious damage or injury.

There are 2 main kinds of tanker endorsements…
  • N Endorsement, which is required for drivers to haul liquids or gas over 1,000 gallons in tank vehicles
  • X Endorsement, which combines the traditional tanker endorsement with a hazmat endorsement so drivers can haul loads like gasoline
There are 3 things that determine whether your load requires a tanker endorsement. If all 3 of these facts applies to your load, then the driver hauling it must have a tanker endorsement…
  • Cargo includes liquid or gaseous individual containers of greater than 119 gallons in capacity
  • Containers are loaded, not empty
  • Total combined volume of liquid or gaseous materials on the trailer exceeds 1,000 gallons

This means that the driver of any commercial vehicle carrying liquids or gaseous materials meeting the above mentioned conditions MUST have a tanker endorsement. This is true even if it isn’t in a standard tanker trailer like dry van, flatbed, reefer, box truck, or any other kind of commercial vehicle.

All commercial drivers are subject to inspections by the Department of Transportation (DOT) at any time for any reason. If a driver is in the midst of being inspected without the proper certifications, there can be serious consequences. Not only will the driver receive a sizeable fine, but they can also be put out of service. In addition, the load will be delayed indefinitely until another driver with the proper certification can carry out the shipment.

Working with an experienced 3pl like Hawkeye is a surefire way to handle these situations that require extra certifications and training. As long as the details of your freight are accurate, our dedicated freight professionals will be able to tell you immediately whether your shipment will require a tanker endorsement or not. If it does, we will be sure to contract a driver with that endorsement.

Even if you have smaller containers holding liquids within a truck, you are still required to get a tanker endorsement. Many shippers don’t know that they need this certification, and a driver can get put out of service if they needed to have one but didn’t. It is easy to get.


Here’s what you need to know…
In order to be eligible to apply for a CDL with a tanker endorsement, the you must complete the following:
  • You must be 18 years of age or older
  • You must have a valid USA passport or a valid residential status
  • If the CDL is from another state, then you must first surrender their previous CDL and apply a new one for the applicable state
  • If you don’t have a CDL at all, you must apply and get a valid CDL before applying for an endorsement
  • You must pass an eye exam and take a current photo at the DMV
  • You must pay any application and training fees
  • You must clear each of the tanker and hazardous material test separately before getting an endorsement
  • You must hold a Commercial Class B or Class A type license to add a Tank Vehicle Endorsement
  • You should be able to clear HME knowledge test and apply for the Hazardous material endorsement. If you already have an HME or no longer need one, or you do not qualify for applying an HME, you should clearly specify it in the forms you are submitting to the DMV


Speak with one of our highly-trained logistics professionals today about your shipping needs.

Call us today at 888-680-6649.