Layers of Security
The TSA Hazardous Materials Endorsement Threat Assessment Program conducts a security threat assessment for any driver seeking to obtain, renew, or transfer a hazardous materials endorsement (HME) on a state-issued commercial drivers license (CDL).
The program was implemented to meet the requirements of the USA PATRIOT Act (pdf, 848Kb), which prohibits states from issuing a license to transport hazardous materials in commerce unless a determination has been made that the driver does not pose a security risk. The Act further requires that the risk assessment include checks of criminal history records, legal status, and relevant international databases.
If you seek to obtain, renew, or transfer an HME on your CDL, you must apply for a security threat assessment. TSA rules require you to begin applying for the security threat assessment at least 30 days prior to the expiration of your CDL.
- This program does not apply to drivers who do NOT hold an HME or a CDL.
How to Apply
To apply, you are required to have the following:
- Valid CDL license number or CDL permit
- Proof of legal status
- Proof of identity
Click here to read the eligibility rules.
If you are renewing an HME on a CDL, you are required to begin the application process no later than 30 days prior to the expiration of your CDL.
New applicants are encouraged to apply prior to completing the requirements for an HME so that results may be returned to the state in advance of other requirements. States are not authorized to issue an HME until they have received the results of the threat assessment from TSA.
If you have completed a threat assessment before, and you are transferring your HME to another state, you may not have to go through another assessment for the transfer if your new state can issue an HME that expires within 5 years of your last assessment. Check with your new state for their procedures.
HME applicants’ biographical and biometric (fingerprint) information must be forwarded to TSA in an approved and established format to facilitate the security threat assessment process. TSA allows states to perform the biographical and biometric collection, or utilize a TSA-contracted agent to perform these functions on their behalf. To date, 12 states collect the required biographical information and biometric data through their individually established and maintained programs. The remaining 38 states and the District of Columbia utilize the TSA-contracted agent.
If you are a driver in a state serviced by the TSA Agent, you may apply online at http://hazprints.tsa.dhs.gov, or contact a customer service agent, who can complete the application over the telephone, between 7am-9pm Eastern Monday-Friday at (877) 429-7746.
If you are a driver in a state not serviced by the TSA Agent, follow the instructions by your state licensing agency.
After TSA receives your application and results of the FBI fingerprint check, TSA begins the security threat assessment and typically returns notification to you within 30 days. There are three possible results in a security threat assessment notification, or Preliminary Determination of Ineligibility (PDI) letter (see Appeals & Waiver section for more information):
- You are eligible. You and your state will be notified if you are eligible for an HME. You may receive a notification from TSA, but this letter is a courtesy communication, and is not accepted as proof of a valid security threat assessment by any state. States are notified directly by TSA.
- You are initially found to have one or more disqualifying criteria. TSA will send a letter to you and provide details of the potentially disqualifying factor. You have 60 days to respond to the letter. At this time, your options include: 1) do nothing and forego receiving an HME; 2) request an appeal; 3) request a waiver; or 4) request a time extension. A time extension is automatically granted if it is requested.If no response is provided to TSA in the allotted time, you will be disqualified, and your state will be notified. No additional letter will be sent to you. The state will revoke the HME if you hold one, or not issue the HME if you are applying for or transferring an HME.
- If no response is provided to TSA in the allotted time, you will be disqualified, and your state will be notified. No additional letter will be sent to you. The state will revoke the HME if you hold one, or not issue the HME if you are applying for or transferring an HME.
- If a response is provided to TSA in the allotted time, TSA will process the response and provide the results to you and the state.
- If you submit appeal or waiver materials and you are still denied, you may appeal TSA's decision to an Administrative Law Judge. Instructions will be provided in the denial letter.
You are found to be an imminent threat to transportation security. You and your state will be notified if you are ineligible for an HME. The state will immediately revoke your HME if you hold one. You may apply for redress as indicated in paragraph two above, but may not hold an HME in the interim.
Paperwork Reduction Act Notice
Statement of Public Burden: TSA is collecting this information to determine your eligibility for a hazardous materials endorsement on a commercial driver’s license (CDL). TSA estimates that the total average burden per response associated with this collection for enrollment is approximately 3.25 hours. An Agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a valid OMB control number. The control number assigned to this collection is 1652-0027, which expires 02/28/2013.