The fingerprinting of drivers seeking hazmat endorsements for their commercial driver licenses began January 31, according to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
The fingerprinting is part of a hazmat driver background check program initiated by the USA Patriot Act that is designed to increase security following terrorist attacks on the United States in 2001.
Fingerprinting of drivers who wish to renew or transfer their hazmat endorsements will begin May 31.
A state cannot issue, renew, or transfer the hazmat endorsement unless the driver successfully completes TSA’s security threat assessment.
Drivers must renew the hazmat endorsement at least every five years, although a state may require more frequent renewals.
TSA has selected a vendor to assist in the collection of applicant fingerprints and information for states that have elected to use a TSA agent for this purpose.
Seventeen states have elected to complete these tasks using state resources. In either case, the drivers’ fingerprints and biographical information will be forwarded to TSA for vetting.
If TSA disqualifies an applicant, the driver can appeal the finding or seek a waiver from TSA.
Drivers who do not wish to transport hazardous materials do not need a hazmat endorsement, and drivers who surrender an endorsement will not be required to complete a security threat assessment.
To see endorsement applications, click here for the TSA Web site.