TSA begins third phase of driver background checks
Jun 15, 2005 1:45 PM
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has begun its third and final implementation phase of the Hazmat Threat Assessment Program with the fingerprinting of truck drivers that are applying to renew or transfer the hazardous materials endorsement on their commercial driver licenses (CDL).
During phase one of the program, TSA conducted name-based security threat assessments on all 2.7 million licensed hazmat drivers to determine whether any presented a potential terrorist threat.
Phase two augmented that effort by adding a fingerprint-based FBI criminal history records check and immigration status check for new hazmat endorsement applicants.
The third and final phase, which began June 1, 2005, requires drivers seeking to renew or transfer their current hazmat endorsements to undergo fingerprint-based security threat assessment.
Under the USA PATRIOT Act, a state may not issue a license to transport hazmat in commerce unless TSA determines that the driver does not pose a security risk warranting denial of the license.
Driversí fingerprints and biographical information are forwarded to TSA for vetting.
If TSA disqualifies an HME applicant, the driver can appeal the finding or seek a waiver from TSA.
Drivers must renew the hazmat endorsement at least once every five years, although a state may require more frequent renewals.
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