What is X Endorsement?
While getting your Class A, B, or C commercial driver’s license, you can also get yourself an endorsement. An endorsement gives you permission to drive a particular type of vehicle. It can be thought of as “additional permission”. The process of getting endorsements varies between states. Six various endorsements may be issued with your CDL, but this study guide is going to revolve around just one kind of endorsement, the X endorsement.
The X endorsement is also referred to as the Tanker/HAZMAT Combo endorsement. It is a mix of endorsements that is primarily for tankers and other vehicles that carry hazardous materials. This makes sense since tankers are predominantly used to transport and carry hazardous materials. However, the road to getting your X endorsement is not fast and easy. You need to complete some knowledge and skill assessments.
The following rules must be followed for you to qualify for the X endorsement:
- You must be at least 18 years old.
- You must have legal residency in the United States or a valid US passport.
- You must first have a valid CDL.
- Your CDL and the endorsement you’re applying for should be from the same state.
- You must pass the vision test.
- You should bring with you important records such as proof of legal presence, birthplace, birthday, Social Security Number, and so on.
- If it’s your first time applying for it, fill out the application forms and register for the written exam.
Which endorsement should I get: N or X Endorsement
If you are an aspiring tank vehicle driver, you should get either the N or X endorsement. To determine which endorsement you should get, consider the materials that you will transport. Is it hazardous and flammable or just liquid? If the content of your tanker is harmless, you should go for the N endorsement. Otherwise, you should apply for the X endorsement.
What type of CDL do you need for an X endorsement?
The type of CDL that you will need for an X endorsement is a Class A CDL since this type of CDL can be used to operate a weight of 26,001 pounds or more for a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). This type of CMV is manufactured to transport hazardous materials or products or to transport more than 16 passengers. The Class A CDL would confer on the driver to operate a CMV that has a tractor weight of more than 26,001 pounds and trailer(s) weight of more than 10,000 pounds thus very appropriate for carrying tons of heavy hazardous wastes.
What tests do you need to take X endorsement?
You have to pay, take and pass your Tanker Endorsement Knowledge Test as well as your Hazmat Knowledge Test. In addition to that, you need to pass a TSA Background Check. This is required for the approval of your X endorsement. On average, it takes about two to six weeks for the background check to be finished.
Also, you will be required to submit your fingerprints and show two identification cards namely; your driver’s license and your DOT medical card.
How many questions are on the X endorsement Exam?
To get the X endorsement on your CDL, you need to pass the CDL Tank & HAZMAT Knowledge test. The test covers the CDL manual’s Section 8 for Tank Vehicles and Section 9 for Hazardous Materials. It is composed of two knowledge tests, one for tank vehicles and one for hazardous materials. You are to answer 20 questions about tankers and 30 questions about hazardous materials. You need to score 80% on each knowledge test to pass. The test will be in the form of multiple choices and true or false.
To pass each of these tests, you must show that you have a thorough knowledge of hazardous material transportation and the safe operation of a commercial tanker. If you are a CDL driver who wishes to drive tank vehicles and transport hazardous materials, this is one of the things you would have to face.
How many times can you fail the CDL X Endorsement?
So what happens if you fail? As much as you want to ensure success on the tests, there’s a chance that you might fail. If you fail the first time, you cannot retake the tests within three days from the day you took them. In a year, you can only take it six times. If you still fail on your sixth try, you won’t be able to take the seventh until twelve months have passed after you failed the first. This policy is one of the reasons why it’s important to prepare for the tests.
The process to obtain CDL with X endorsement
Step 1: Apply CDL at the DMV
- Schedule a skill test appointment by calling 1-800-777-0133 from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays and between 9:00 am to 5:00 pm Wednesday excluding holidays.
- Bring the type of vehicle(s) for the class you will drive.
- You need to pass the skills test. This covers road tests, basic control skills tests, and vehicle inspection. Failing any part of the skills test means postponement of another testing. You are only given 3 tries to pass the skills test. Payment of a retest fee is required each time you retake the skills test.
The skills test requirement may be waived for the following instances;
- You have a current valid CDL from another state or your CDL has been expired for less than 2 years. You will have to surrender that license or (proof thereof).
- Be sure the license should have the equivalent classification, endorsements, and restrictions to the one you are applying for.
- Submit a completed Commercial Military Waiver (DL 965) (PDF) if you have military driving experience.
You need to visit a DMV Commercial Driving Test office so your application could be finalized. Your application may expire if you fail to return to a DMV commercial office.
Step 2: Complete all appropriate law tests
Step 3: Submit a medical from
Step 4: Submit fingerprints
Step 5: Pay the fee
Step 6: Submit other required information to one of the TSA’s designated agents
Tips to study for X endorsement
When studying for your CDL tests, there’s a lot of knowledge to keep track of. For the X endorsement, you need to study sections 8 and 9 of the CDL manual if you already the appropriate CDL class. If you don’t have a CDL just yet, you need to study the whole manual, which is 180 pages in length. You can easily become exhausted and irritated if you try to memorize all the CDL manual information. Studying smart, not hard, is the best way to prepare for the CDL tests. Consider the following strategies that could help you prepare better for the tests:
Recognize and understand the topics that will be covered
Understand the particular areas in which you will be evaluated and focus on those topics. Don’t read the content for endorsements that you don’t intend to apply for. This will save you time and energy.
Concentrate on the areas where you are lacking
During your preparation, you will discover which areas you are most knowledgeable about and which areas you struggle with. Try to study those topics more once you have covered all the rest. It’s important to know and understand your weaknesses in order to overcome them, as they have a high likelihood of sabotaging your performance.
Make your study schedule flexible and stick closely to it. Do not force yourself into studying when you’re not feeling well or if you’re having a hard time being alert. Trust me; you will not get to remember as much information as you should. Identify the study method that works for you and continue doing it until the finish line.
Take practice tests
Practice makes perfect, and athletes and artists can attest to it. Thus, there is no doubt that taking practice tests will help you improve your performance in your upcoming tests. It may seem easy but knowing what you don’t know is actually difficult. Training exercises come in handy in this situation. Your practice results may indicate that you’re falling short on specific topics, so you may start focusing on them more. Things you learn and encounter while taking practice tests will remain with you for a longer time than what you’ve just read during your whole day study sessions.
Keep a positive attitude
Approach your exam with a positive and confident attitude. Do not think about it too much, for it will only wake your nerves up and make you anxious. You have prepared well, and it’s now time to show them what you’ve got!
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