Table of Contents
- Why Do I Need a Hazmat Certification and Endorsement?
- Who Needs Training?
- How Long Does It Take to Get Your Hazmat Training and Certification?
- Does My Hazmat Certification Expire?
- How Do I Apply for the Hazmat Endorsement?
- Does My Hazmat Endorsement Expire?
- How Do I Renew My Endorsement?
- DOT Hazmat Training Classes
In any working environment, safety is key—you need to have the right training and the proper certification. When it comes to handling hazardous materials, it can be confusing at first to understand training requirements and how they translate to different types of operations, such as automotive, aerospace, construction, manufacturing and more.
We put together a complete guide that explains how you can stay on top of OSHA hazmat training and requirements. When you’re aware of how the endorsement process works, you don’t have to worry about the possibility that you may possess expired credentials.
Why Do I Need a Hazmat Certification and Endorsement?
You need a hazmat certification and endorsement to transport hazardous materials. Because hazardous materials can harm the environment and people, the Department of Transportation (DOT) requires that you maintain national and international safety standards for the transportation of hazardous substances.
Each mode of transportation has its own set of regulations. FedEx, UPS, DHL or other carriers will ask to see this certification in order to send out the hazmat. The hazmat certification can be obtained at any time online or at a training facility. Once you have this certification, you may be able to start shipping or transporting immediately unless you need an endorsement.
If you manufacture, dispose of or ship highly dangerous chemicals, explosives such as fireworks, gases or other dangerous materials, or you just ship over 1,000 lbs of table 2 materials, you will need an endorsement. Hazmat employers should ensure employees are trained, tested and certified within:
- 90 days of employment
- 90 days of a job function change
The 90-day requirement gives workers enough time to learn proper hazmat safety practices while enforcing a strict deadline to ensure the safety of the workers and the materials they transport.
Both your hazmat certification and endorsement will expire — when this occurs, you’ll have to get re-certified and re-endorsed. This process ensures you’re always up to date on your safe handling processes.
Who Needs Training?
Any hazmat workers who work in industries that receive, transport, package, label or ship hazardous materials need hazmat training. Anyone who comes into contact with hazardous materials or their transportation must receive proper training and certification.
This requirement also includes:
- Automotive dealers and/or drivers who ship hazmat such as airbags or seatbelt pretensioners
- Supervisors of hazmat shipping operations
- Anyone who fills out or signs shipping papers, such as hazardous waste manifests or bill of ladings
Additionally, if you’re shipping hazardous materials internationally, you’ll need extra training. You’re be required to get IATA Dangerous Goods Training for air shipments and IMDG Training for vessel shipments to ensure security and safety during transport.
How Long Does It Take to Get Your Hazmat Training and Certification?
Your hazmat training should consist of five areas to ensure you’re gaining a full understanding of legal and safety requirements. These required training areas are:
- General awareness
- Security awareness
- In-depth security training
This can be done in about four hours. Generally, you’re able to complete the course online at your own pace, allowing you to work through each section in your own time so you can develop a complete understanding of the material.
Let’s take a look at each of these areas:
General Awareness and Familiarization Training
You become familiar with shipping, transporting and manufacturing regulations. Employees need this type of training at the minimum.
You’re trained on the specific functions you need to perform on the job site.
You learn about the dangers of hazardous materials and ways to avoid accidents. Even with the best prevention methods, accidents can still happen!
Security Awareness Training
You receive a general understanding of transportation security risks.
In-Depth Security Training
From objectives and procedures to employee responsibilities and more, you receive a detailed understanding of your company’s security plan.
After you’ve completed these hazmat employee training modules, you may be ready to start shipping unless you need the endorsement.
Does My Hazmat Certification Expire?
Your hazmat certification expires every three years once you complete training. Employees complete training relevant to their work and hazmat safety to ensure they’re up to date on all policies and safety procedures. Hazmat training must be completed within 90 days of starting a job associated with hazardous materials.
You can obtain your hazmat certification renewal through your employer. They’ll direct you to the proper training resources and courses to renew your certification. Online training groups like Hazmat School offer DOT, EPA and OSHA courses to ensure workers are following government standards and staying safe.
Every hazmat employer is required to have a training record on file of every hazmat employee to help with keeping track of certification and government requirements. Employers will retain training records for three years after the last training date and 90 days after the employee leaves the company. They’ll have records on file that include information on:
- The employee’s most recent training completion date
- The training materials used in their training
- The hazmat employee’s training and testing certificate
- The hazmat trainer’s address and name
How Do I Apply for the Hazmat Endorsement?
Hazmat Regulations (HMR) have changed over the years. Currently, to apply for a hazmat endorsement, you’ll need the following documentation:
- A valid commercial driver’s license (CDL) in your state
- A Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Security Threat Assessment, which includes fingerprints for background checks
- Proof of your identity — birth certificate and social security number — and U.S. citizenship, or you must prove you’re a permanent resident alien
- A USDOT medical card — you must meet the federal requirements in 49 CFR Part 391
Additionally, you’ll need to pay any applicable fees. Costs and requirements vary by state, but you typically pay for background check and information collection fees. You may be ineligible for an endorsement if you provide false information or possess disqualifying criminal offenses.
You should receive a mailed response from the TSA about 30-45 days after you submit fingerprints and provide the relevant documents for your background checks. After everything is approved, you can apply for certification and receive an endorsement. If you don’t have a TSA security threat assessment on file, you can’t take the written test. You must submit all pertinent paperwork and get the majority of the answers correct on the written test for endorsement approval.
Does My Hazmat Endorsement Expire?
Yes, your hazmat endorsement expires. Your hazmat endorsement is good for five years, although some states require more frequent renewals. This can be done online, although there are some in-person application centers depending on your state. Not all states have in-person renewal application centers — Virginia, New York, Kentucky, Maryland, Florida, Texas, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania residents must visit their DMV for their in-person renewal application.
To successfully do this, you must renew your hazmat endorsement before it expires. In certain states, it may expire when your state-issued commercial driver’s license expires. You must always keep your CDL current or it may affect the endorsement application process. Therefore, you should apply to renew your CDL before you apply for hazmat endorsement. This gives you enough time to meet all the requirements. Generally, you’ll receive notification 60 days before your endorsement expires. If you don’t renew your endorsement, it won’t appear on your current CDL. You won’t lose your license, but you’ll only be able to transport non-hazardous cargo.
When your endorsement expires, you need to repeat the training in its entirety. This is designed to keep the safety standards fresh in your mind and to ensure you’re aware of government regulations at all times.
How Do I Renew My Endorsement?
When you renew your HME, you must submit new fingerprints. Fingerprints are done by appointment only and even if you’ve already submitted them for another application, you’ll need to provide them again. You may also need to complete written competency tests again, too.
If you move to a new state, you can renew or transfer your HME. If you’ve already completed a security threat assessment, you might not have to complete a new one once you move. The state you move to can issue you a new HME. If it expires within five years of your previous assessment, you shouldn’t have to retake it.
DOT Hazmat Training Classes
If you’re looking for an easy, stress-free way to earn your hazmat certification, Hazmat School ensures you’ll receive it fast. Our company offers online courses that we tailor to individuals in a variety of industries. We’re proud to serve over 20,000 students every year and are committed to helping them achieve excellence.
You can access the course catalog from our easy-to-use online interface. Our catalog includes high-quality certification courses that fully comply with DOT, EPA and OSHA requirements. Simply enroll in the courses you need to take and once you complete and pass them, we’ll provide you with official certificates. It doesn’t matter where you live — we’ll make sure you’re certified. Enroll today!