The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recently issued a final rule on proposed changes to the issuance of commercial drivers licenses (CDLs) and hazardous materials endorsements (HMEs), incorporating joint recommendations from National Tank Truck Carriers (NTTC) and American Trucking Associations (ATA).
These changes will allow drivers seeking an HME to use a Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) to satisfy background check requirements, NTTC said.
NTTC and ATA argued that recent changes in regulation have allowed for the possibility that a driver seeking an HME in their state could forgo the legally mandated background check if they already held a TWIC, which requires a commensurate background records check. However, as this change came without direction on how to determine the validity of TWICs, they were widely unused for that purpose. As a federal body, FMCSA is in a position to provide guidance to state licensing organizations by setting standards in this area.
FMCSA agreed, the associations said.
The agency will update regulations to define a TWIC as being the transportation security card issued by the Transportation Security Administration so states can utilize the credential to meet the HME background check requirement.
“A national standard makes for a more secure and consistent experience for the workers in our industry,” NTTC maintained. “It will save drivers seeking HMEs time and money by streamlining the process.”