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Hazardous materials are products that pose a risk to health, safety and property during transportation. The term is often shortened to "hazmat," which you may see on road signs, or to "HM" in government regulations.
Hazardous materials include explosives, various types of compressed gases, solids, flammable and combustible liquid, select agents and toxins, and other materials. Because of the risks involved and the potential consequences these risks impose, the handling of hazardous materials is very heavily regulated by all levels of government.
You must have a commercial driver license (CDL) with a hazmat "H" endorsement before driving a vehicle carrying hazardous materials that require placards or transporting any quantity of a material listed as a select agent or toxin in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) under 42 CFR Part 73.
In addition to passing the knowledge test about the regulations and requirements, you must meet licensing requirements to get this endorsement. The Wisconsin Commercial Driver Manual - Volume 2 will provide everything you need to know to pass the knowledge test. The CDL Manual is also available at DMV service centers throughout the state.
Federal CDL and hazmat regulations
Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) and regulations for CDL operation are found in Title 42 CFR part 1003 and Title 49 CFR parts 100 to 185 and 300 to 399. The most current version of 49 CFR parts 100 to 185 lists hazardous materials regulations and can be found in the Office of Hazardous Materials Safety, CFR 49 Ch. I. CFR 49 parts 300 to 399 dealing with other regulations for CDL operation can be found at Guidance for Regulations.
You can purchase a copy of the Code of Federal Regulations through your local Government Printing Office bookstore and various industry publishers. Union or company offices often have copies of the rules for driver use.
Questions? Contact us: Wisconsin DMV email service
Call: (608) 264-7049
Last modified:December 6, 2012
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