tanker endorsement

What is a Tanker endorsement on CDL?

An N endorsement, a supplementary CDL certification, allows a truck driver to transport liquids of any kind. Check our article now to get full information about this endorsement.

January 1, 2022

A CDL endorsement helps ensures that drivers hauling liquid loads have the degree of training needed to transport it safely and effectively across our roads. So, what is a Tanker endorsement?

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 the driver 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. 

1. What is a Tanker endorsement on CDL?

1.1. What is a CDL endorsement?

A CDL endorsement is an authorization to a driver’s CDL required to permit the individual to operate certain types of CMVs. Drivers who operate or plan to operate the type of motor vehicle described in the endorsement shall take and pass specialized tests.

1.2. What is a Tanker endorsement?

A Tanker endorsement (or N endorsement) is an additional certification that the operator of a commercial vehicle used to transport bulk liquids needs to have on his/her CDL, which certifies that he/she has advanced training in hauling liquids. Truck drivers are required to get a tanker endorsement (N) in order to haul large loads of liquid cargo.

Tanker endorsement is required if you plan to haul at least 1,000 gallons of liquid or gas cargo. The purpose of this endorsement is to make certain that drivers hauling liquid on our roads have the necessary training to transport it safely and effectively. It could be added to Class A, B, or Class C licenses.

tanker endorsement
tanker endorsement


2. How can Tanker endorsement on CDL affect a truck driver’s career?

Holding tanker endorsement takes some extra time and money to complete the process. 

There is a written knowledge test that you must pass as part of the process. Drivers also have to gain the skills required to handle large volumes of liquid cargo. And of course, you already need to achieve a CDL truck driver’s license. However, deciding to get an N endorsement along with your CDL license can be very beneficial. 

Here below are 2 key reasons CDL truck drivers get an N endorsement:

  • More Opportunities

Companies that transport any type of large quantities of liquids or gasses require license holders that have tanker endorsements. By going through the process to get this endorsement, truckers basically make their applications more attractive than drivers that aren’t endorsed. This opens doors to careers that require drivers to have an N endorsement. And gives those truckers an advantage when an employer is scanning through job applications seeking tanker drivers.

  • More Money

Drivers with any additional skills and endorsements often are paid more than the ones without additional endorsements.  Driving a tanker requires additional safety skills because of the unstable nature of hauling liquids. Thus, drivers with Tanker endorsements many times are some of the highest-paid truckers on the road. 

So, the payoff of seeing those paychecks increase outweighs the up-front costs to pay for an N endorsement and training.

Read more >> X Endorsement Study Guide

3. Is Tanker Endorsement hard to obtain and maintain?

3.1. Requirements & fees

In order to be eligible to apply for taking N endorsement, you must complete the following:

  • You must be at least 18 years of age.
  • You must hold a valid US passport or a valid residential status.
  • If you don’t hold a CDL at all, you must apply and obtain a valid CDL before applying for an endorsement.
  • You must pass an eye test and also take a current photo at the DMV.
  • Pay any application and training fees.
  • You must clear each of the tanker and hazardous material tests separately before getting an endorsement.
  • You must have a Commercial Class B or Class A type license to add a Tank Vehicle Endorsement.

Fortunately, this endorsement is fairly inexpensive, averaging only $20. Once you have your CDL, additional tanker endorsement ranges from $10 to $50, which depends on the state you live in.

Read more >> CDL test: All you need to know (2024 updated)

3.2. Will Tanker endorsement expire?

The answer is NO unless your CDL is expired. You would be required to renew your CDL license on time, just like any personal license would. Once you pass the knowledge test and pay the proper testing fee and/or renewal, duplicate license fee, you can add the tank vehicle endorsement (N Endorsement) to your license. It will remain valid as long as you hold a valid CDL.

4. Tanker endorsement test overview

To own your N endorsement, you will need to pass an additional portion of the CDL test. The test usually includes 20-30 questions. Once you have paid for and passed your test, you are eligible to receive a Tanker endorsement on your license. 

4.1. How many questions are there on the Tanker endorsement test?

The test usually contains 20-30 questions. Once you have paid for and passed your test, you are eligible to receive an N endorsement on your license. 

4.2. Scores

You must achieve an 80% correct answer to pass.

tanker endorsement
tanker endorsement


5. CDL prep tests for Tanker endorsement

Although you can take your test as many times as needed, you may not want to spend more time and money than necessary by re-taking your test again and again. So, it’s definitely important to obtain a tanker endorsement CDL that you practice a lot in order to get the highest score possible. And we have to say, if you are finding a reliable, efficient practice test, our FREE CDL practice test is an optimal choice!

If you want the additional practice to prepare for the written test, our FREE CDL prep test, including questions for the tanker theory test, is reliable because it is based on the official CDL manual that has been triple-checked by our brightest minds, would be very helpful for you!

Now, you already know what is an N endorsement. Let’s make this endorsement be no longer so hard to earn!

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