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State of Alaska

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Alaska Department of Administration, Divison of Motor Vehicles
Administration >  Motor Vehicles >  Hazardous Materials Endorsement (HME) for CDL                                             
 

     

Hazardous Materials Endorsement (HME) for CDL

Patriot Act | Disqualifying Offenses | Fingerprints
Background Checks | More Information

The State of Alaska, Department of Administration, Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is complying with the provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act (Public Law 107-56 enacted by Congress on October 25, 2001) that apply to commercial drivers transporting Hazardous Materials. The primary impact to drivers is the need for a background records check before a hazardous materials endorsement (HME) can be issued. ALL HAZMAT drivers renewing their endorsements must have completed a background records check and must be approved before DMV can renew the endorsement. An agent will be responsible for collecting the application and a valid set of fingerprints for submittal to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). TSA approves or disapproves the driver for a HME.

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.

USA PATRIOT Act

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.

  • Ineligible drivers are required to immediately surrender their HME at any driver licensing office.
  • Beginning January 31, 2005 the Division of Motor Vehicles will not issue any new Alaska licenses with a HME unless the driver has a TSA security clearance or waiver.
  • Beginning May 31, 2005 DMV will not renew any HME unless the driver has a TSA security clearance or waiver.

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:

  • have been convicted of certain felonies;
  • are not U.S. citizens or are not lawful permanent residents;
  • have been adjudicated as mentally incompetent or involuntarily committed to a mental institution; or
  • who present a threat of terrorism or a threat to national transportation security.

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:

  • A citizen of the U.S. who has not renounced his/her U.S. citizenship
  • A lawful permanent resident of the U.S. as defined in section 101(a)(20) of the Immigration and Nationality Act
  • A lawful nonimmigrant in possession of valid, unrestricted employment authorization
  • A refugee admitted under section 8 U.S.C. 1157 in possession of valid, unrestricted employment authorization
  • In asylum status under section 8 U.S.C. 1158 in possession of valid, unrestricted employment authorization

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.

Part A: Permanently Disqualifying Criminal Offenses:

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:

  • Espionage
  • Sedition
  • Treason
  • A federal crime of terrorism as defined in 18 U.S.C. 2332b(g), or comparable State law .
  • A crime involving a transportation security incident.
  • Improper transportation of a hazardous material under 49 U.S.C. 5124 or a State law that is comparable.
  • Unlawful possession, use, sale, distribution, manufacture, purchase, receipt, transfer, shipping, transporting, import, export, storage of, or dealing in an explosive or explosive device.
  • Murder
  • Making any threat, or maliciously conveying false information knowing the same to be false, concerning the deliverance, placement, or detonating of an explosive or other lethal device in or against a place of public use, a state or government facility, a public transportation system, or an infrastructure facility.
  • Violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, 18 U.S.C. 1961, et seq., or a State law that is comparable, where one of the predicate acts found by a jury or admitted by the defendant, consists of one of the offenses listed in Part A of this section.
  • Conspiracy or attempt to commit any of these crimes.

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:

  • Unlawful possession, use, sale, manufacture, purchase, distribution, receipt, transfer, shipping, transporting, delivery, import, export of, or dealing in a firearm or other weapon.
  • Extortion
  • Dishonesty, fraud, or misrepresentation, including identity fraud
  • Bribery
  • Smuggling
  • Immigration violations
  • Distribution of, intent to distribute, or importation of a controlled substance.
  • Arson
  • Kidnapping or hostage taking
  • Rape or aggravated sexual abuse
  • Assault with intent to murder
  • Robbery
  • Fraudulent entry into a seaport as described in 18 U.S.C. 1036, or a comparable State law.
  • Violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, 18 U.S.C. 1961, et seq., or a State law that is comparable, other than the violations listed in paragraph (j) of Part A: Permanently Disqualifying Criminal Offenses.
  • Conspiracy or attempt to commit the any of these crimes.

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.

Where do I go to get fingerprinted?

Please click on the following for available locations.

How much will the background records check and fingerprinting cost?

Cost for fingerprinting and background check will be $86.50. If you go to www.hazprints.com 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.

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For more information;

Transportation Security Administration . . . . (866) 289-9673

Waiver and Appeal Information . . . . . . . . . . (571) 227-3200

REV.  1/09/09