Hazardous Materials Endorsement (HME) for Commercial Driver License (CDL)

September 28, 2020

A Hazardous Materials (H) endorsement allows you to transport hazardous materials, such as flammable or combustible liquids, gases, or explosives. 

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) have adopted rules to secure the transport of hazardous materials. These rules require TSA to perform a security threat assessment on all commercial drivers who transport hazardous materials. The security threat assessment process includes collecting an individual's fingerprints and verifying US citizenship, immigration eligibility or permanent legal presence in the United States, as well as a background check.

An individual cannot be issued a Texas commercial driver license (CDL) with a hazardous materials endorsement until the individual completes the security threat assessment and obtains clearance from TSA.

HME Eligibility

The following individuals are not eligible to apply for an HME:

  • Non-Domicile CDL
  • Commercial driver with lawful status as a refugee or asylee
  • CDL holders that have certified to the Texas Commercial Driver License Application Intrastate Driver Certification (CDL-5) Section A
  • CDL holders that have a valid Texas Limb Waiver

DPS Hazardous Material Endorsement Application Process

First time applicants for a hazardous materials (H) endorsement must complete Entry Level Driver Training (ELDT).

Complete and submit the required forms during your driver license office visit:

Provide proof of U.S. Citizenship:

  • U.S. passport book or card
  • Birth certificate issued by a U.S. state, U.S. territory or District of Columbia
    NOTE: Puerto Rican statute provides that Puerto Rican birth certificates issued before July 1, 2010 are no longer valid, the Department cannot recognize these birth certificates as proof of identification or lawful presence. 
  • For U.S. citizens born abroad—Certificate of Report of Birth (DS-1350 or FS-545) or Consular Report of Birth (FS-240) issued by the U.S. Department of State
  • U.S. Certificate of Citizenship or Certificate of Naturalization (N-560, N-561, N-645, N-550, N-55G, N-570 or N-578)
  • U.S. Department of Justice Immigration and Naturalization Service U.S. Citizen ID Card (Form I-197 or I-179)

After submitting your application and fee, you will be required to take the Hazardous Materials Exam.  Please refer to Section 9 of the Texas Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers Handbook for more information and to prepare for the exam. 

Existing HME holders will be granted a 90-day temporary endorsement until TSA completes the threat assessment.  Individuals applying for the first time will not receive a HME endorsement until the threat assessment is completed.

The individual will be provided the contact information for a fingerprinting location to begin the security threat assessment. Individuals may not initiate the fingerprinting process until the driver has completed the HME application process at the Driver License office. Failure to complete the HME application process at the Driver License Office may cause significant delay in processing the security threat assessment.

Schedule and Complete Appointment for Fingerprinting

DPS contracts with a vendor to capture fingerprints. To schedule an appointment with the vendor, please visit IdentoGo by MorphoTrust USA. Enter your Service Code and select go. Applicants will be provided the Service Code during the HME application process at the Driver License Office. Individuals may also call 888-467-2080 to schedule an appointment and pay the non-refundable fee. Please be sure to provide accurate information when making your appointment to ensure that your fingerprints are processed and linked to your HME application.  The cost of this service is subject to change. Individuals should confirm this cost with IdentoGo by MorphoTrust USA  when they schedule their appointment.

During the appointment, individuals:

  • Must present their Texas CDL
  • Take a digital photograph
  • Will be digitally fingerprinted
  • Will be provided with a tracking number for confirmation

Transportation Security Administration (TSA) security threat assessment
Fingerprints are forwarded to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), which will provide TSA with any criminal history data about the individual. This information will be used to help TSA make the final decision regarding HME eligibility.

  • If an individual is approved for an HME, DPS will mail a new CDL to the individual to the address on record. The HME will expire on the expiration date of the CDL or five years from the TSA approval date, whichever is earlier.
  • If the individual is denied an HME, DPS will notify the individual through mail and provide the individual with information on how to appeal the decision through TSA.

TSA’s goal is to provide a response within 30-45 days of receiving the information and fingerprints.  The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) does not receive detailed information on an individual’s security threat assessment. DPS is only notified if an individual’s assessment is approved or denied.

Applicants who have not received any communications from DPS within 45 days after their fingerprinting appointment should contact DPS via email (TexasCDL@dps.texas.gov) or the Customer Service Center to inquire about the status of their HME application.

Note: Individuals required to register under Chapter 62, of the Code of Criminal Procedure must renew their commercial driver license and HME annually.  The security threat assessment, including fingerprints, will be completed every five years unless the annual HME knowledge exam is failed 3 times during the renewal process.