DMV cannot issue, renew, transfer or upgrade a commercial driver's license with an HME until the driver completes a new application, fingerprinting and the background check is completed. The following questions address the new requirements.
Transportation Worker Identification Credentials (TWIC) are issued by the Department of Homeland Security and are not available through DMV.
It is standard operating procedure for TSA
to notify drivers of the results via U.S. mail. However, TSA has
recently added a customer service support feature in the event
that a driver has not received such notification from TSA after
30 days. Drivers may now call 1-877-429-7746
to inquire whether their applications have been received or if
TSA has finished processing their
applications. A driver must provide identifying information such as name, social security number, or commercial driver license number to initiate a status inquiry. Status information will not be given to others affiliated with the drivers, such as associates, family members, spouses, or employers. Additionally, no specific information that indicates whether or not a driver may pose a security threat will be provided over the phone.
Fingerprinting and background checks for Hazardous Material Endorsement
How has the federal USA PATRIOT Act affected holders of a Commercial Driver License (CDL) with a Hazardous Materials Endorsement (HME)?
The USA Patriot Act regulations require that all persons who have, renew and apply for a CDL with a HME must undergo a security threat assessment by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). The TSA has set criteria to determine if a driver is ineligible to transport hazardous materials. A list of disqualifying criteria is located below.
What is a security threat assessment?
The security threat assessment of HME holders is a name-based FBI criminal history records check and a check of federal databases (occurring internally by associated federal agencies).
Starting on January 31, 2005 individuals who apply for or renew after May 30, 2005 the HME on their CDL must complete a HAZMAT application and provide fingerprints that will be used to check criminal history. Other checks will include citizenship status and international and federal databases for persons who:
Driver's who are found to be ineligible cannot have a HME on their CDL. Drivers may apply for a waiver under the rule. Information on obtaining a waiver is available by calling TSA at 571-227-3200.
What is the permissible immigration status to hold a HME?
An applicant for a hazardous material endorsement must be one of the following:
Why did the Transportation Security Administration TSA establish these requirements?
The TSA established security measures to help protect the national transportation system by adding more safeguards to who can transport the most dangerous commercial products. These measures help the TSA fulfill its obligation under the USA PATRIOT Act by ensuring the secure transportation of a range of products from chlorine to gasoline.
Who is affected by the Transportation Security Administration TSA requirements?
Only commercial drivers transporting hazardous materials are required to undergo a background record check. These requirements do not apply to drivers or applicants for a CDL that do not apply for a hazardous materials endorsement (HME).
What are the circumstances that make a driver ineligible for a hazardous materials endorsement HME?
List of criminal disqualifiers for the TSA security threat assessment for HME and TWIC applicants, as of February 5, 2007.
An applicant will be permanently disqualified from holding a TWIC or a HME on a CDL if he or she was convicted or found not guilty by reason of insanity for any of the following felonies:
Part B: Interim Disqualifying Offenses
A driver will be disqualified from holding a TWIC or a HME on a CDL if he or she was convicted or found not guilty by reason of insanity within the previous seven years or was released from prison in the last five years for any of the following felonies:
Part C: Under Want or Warrant:
A driver will be disqualified from holding a TWIC or a HME on a CDL if he or she is wanted or under indictment in any civilian or military jurisdiction for a felony listed under Part A or Part B until the want or warrant is released.
Where can I get additional information about commercial driving and transporting hazardous materials?
Additional information may be found at www.tsa.gov or by calling Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at (571) 227-3200.
What does it cost to surrender a hazardous materials endorsement (HME)?
Driver's whose CDL is not up for renewal may surrender the HME to the nearest driver licensing office and obtain a duplicate CDL for $15.00. If the driver license is due to expire within the next 12 months the current renewal fee of $100.00 will be due.
How early can I renew my CDL?
Approximately one year in advance. Example: License expires on 1/9/2008. You may renew on 1/10/2007.
Will a driver or applicant be informed why they are ineligible for a HME?
If the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) determines that the background records check information is sensitive or may compromise national security, the information cannot be released. However, if the information is not sensitive, TSA will release the information to the driver.
Will employers be informed that a driver is not eligible to transport hazardous materials?
No, not directly. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) determines the driver's eligibility for a HME and then notifies DMV whether the driver may or may not be issued an HME. DMV updates a driver's permanent driving record with the results of the TSA background check (i.e. eligible or not eligible). If an employer requests a driver's permanent driving record it will indicate whether a driver is eligible or not eligible to transport hazardous materials.
How is the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) assessing the risk to security of CDL HME holders?
The TSA will use records in the national CDL information system to identify all HME drivers. TSA will check for a criminal record on these drivers and any records that are found are reviewed against a list of approximately 21 serious crimes. When the criminal record check shows that a CDL HME holder has committed a serious crime, the driver and state licensing authorities are notified that the driver must surrender the HME.
Are all holders of a Commercial Driver License (CDL) required to get a background records check?
Only CDL holders applying for an original, renewal or transfer with a HME are required to have a background records check and be fingerprinted.
How many Alaskan CDL's with HME's are there?
Approximately 36,000 drivers have an HME on their Alaskan CDL.
How long can drivers keep their CDL and HME before they have to get a background records check?
The CDL and HME are valid until the expiration date on the license. A background records check and fingerprinting must be completed and approved before license renewal can occur. However, current HME holders will be reviewed by the TSA in order to determine whether or not the driver can retain their HME.
Who reviews and approves the background records check?
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has the responsibility for receiving, screening and approving or rejecting each background records check.
Will it take up to five years before all CDL HME holders have to submit a background records check?
No, current HME holders will be reviewed by TSA in order to determine whether or not the driver can retain their HME or if it should be cancelled.
If my CDL doesn't expire for another year, do I still need to do the background records check now?
No, the background records check is not required until your license is due for renewal. It is required that drivers begin the HME application process at least 30 days before their license expires
What other governmental entities are involved?
TSA is coordinating efforts at the national level with the Department of Justice, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
How long will it take to complete the process, start to finish?
When the program starts, HME holders will be notified at least 60 days prior to the expiration of their CDL. HME holders must allow at least 30 days to make application to TSA and complete the background records check.
Who pays for the cost of the background records check and fingerprinting?
The driver, or his or her employer, is responsible for paying all fees collected by the TSA agent for the background records check and for fees charged for fingerprint collection.
What if I refuse to submit to the background records check or fingerprinting?
If you refuse or fail to complete the background records check you are ineligible for a HME. You will be prohibited from transporting hazardous materials until the background records check is approved and the HME is added to your CDL.
Can I transport hazardous materials while the background records check is underway?
Current HME holders whose license is valid while the background records check is being conducted may continue transporting hazardous materials. Beginning January 31, 2005, first time Alaska HME applicants will be prohibited from transporting hazardous materials until DMV receives notice from TSA that the driver is eligible.
Can I get a waiver or exemption from fingerprinting and the background records check?
No. Anyone required to have a CDL to transport hazardous materials will be required to be fingerprinted and complete a background records check in order to be issued a HME.
If I am denied a HME as a result of the background records check, can I appeal?
Yes, a driver may appeal a decision that makes the driver ineligible for an HME. Information regarding an appeal can be obtained by contacting TSA at 571-227-3200.
Please click on the following for available locations.
Cost for fingerprinting and background check will be $86.50. If you go to https://universalenroll.dhs.gov/ and complete an application prior to visiting the print location, you can pay by credit card. If you state that you will be paying by money order or cash, you will not be able to pay by credit card at the print location.
Transportation Security Administration . . . . (866) 289-9673
Waiver and Appeal Information . . . . . . . . . . (571) 227-3200