The Hazmat endorsement allows for drivers to haul freight containing hazardous materials, defined as any substance or material that could adversely affect the safety of the public, handlers or carriers during transportation, and defined by the Department of Transportation as such.
Transportation Worker Identification Credential, or TWIC cards, are required by drivers that will require unescorted access to shipping ports and other sea or ocean facilities.
We would recommend drivers get both the Hazmat endorsement and TWIC card, if possible. Many companies will require it, and it will certainly keep more opportunities available for the future. Some companies will actually pay for or reimburse the cost of getting the Hazmat or TWIC.
If you would like to study for your Hazmat Endorsement, visit our High Road Training Program.
To learn more about the Hazmat Endorsement, visit our page about the Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT) Endorsement
For starters, having the Hazmat and TWIC will open up a great number of opportunities for drivers in terms of the company they work for and the routes they are allowed to run. Some trucking companies will require that drivers have them, or will get them, as a condition of hire.
The Hazmat endorsement is necessary for drivers who will be hauling loads containing DOT-classified hazardous materials, while the TWIC card will allow drivers to enter and travel port facilities unescorted.
FMCSA Hazardous Materials Homepage
The mission of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is to improve truck and bus safety on our nation's highways. That includes reducing the number of transportation incidents that involve hazardous materials
Wiki - HAZMAT Endorsement For CDL Drivers
In order to transport hazardous materials, drivers must hold a valid CDL for the state in which they are applying, and pass a Hazardous Materials Endorsement Knowledge Test. Requirements vary by state.
Wiki - CDL Drivers & TWIC Cards
TWIC cards are issued by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), in conjunction with the U.S. Coast Guard. They are issued to transportation workers (truck drivers) who will require unescorted access to maritime (sea, or ocean) facilities.
The Hazmat endorsement will require that a driver pass a separate written test, just as any other CDL endorsement.
Both the Hazmat endorsement & TWIC card will require drivers to submit to a background check and fingerprinting through the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), or, in some states, their state DMV.
CDL drivers will be required to submit to a criminal background check in order to get their Hazmat endorsement or TWIC cards. Background checks will be administered by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
Wiki - Truck drivers and TWIC Cards
TWIC applicants must undergo a background check to review criminal history records and U.S. citizenship and-or residency status. The background check uses the same criteria as that of the Hazmat endorsement check.
Official - TSA TWIC Card Homepage
The Transportation Worker Identification Credential is required by the Maritime Transportation Security Act for workers who need access to secure areas of the nation’s maritime facilities.
Official - TSA Hazmat Endorsement Page
The Hazardous Materials Endorsement Threat Assessment Program conducts a threat assessment for any driver seeking to obtain, renew and transfer a hazardous materials endorsement
The TSA does require additional, non-refundable fees as part of the TWIC and Hazmat application process. Some companies will reimburse the cost of getting them, or pay for it outright.
Official - TSA Twic Card Homepage
Official - TSA Hazmat Endorsement Page
The TSA is responsible for the administration of security for all modes of transportation in the United States.
The TSA's stated mission is to "Protect the nation's transportation systems to ensure freedom of movement for people and commerce."
Wikipedia - Transportation Security Administration
The TSA was created as part of the Aviation and Transportation Security Act, passed by the 107th U.S. Congress, and signed into law by President Bush on November 19, 2001. The TSA was moved to the Department of Homeland Security in 2003.
Transportation Security Administration Official Website
Protect the nation's transportation systems to ensure freedom of movement for people and commerce, and provide the most effective transportation security in the most efficient way as a high performing counter-terrorism organization.
The TSA has a specific list of things that may cause them to reject a drivers TWIC or Hazmat application.
The list of disqualifying offenses includes those will permanently bar an applicant, such as treason, espionage, and murder, and "Interim disqualifying criminal offenses", such as robbery, arson, or smuggling, that will require 5-7 years to have passed.
Applicants will also be disqualified if they are wanted under a warrant or under indictment for any of the listed crimes.
List of TSA Hazmat & TWIC Disqualifying Offenses
TSA may also determine that an applicant is not eligible if the security threat assessment process reveals extensive foreign or domestic criminal convictions, a conviction for a serious crime not listed, or a period of foreign or domestic imprisonment that exceeds 365 consecutive days.