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Federal Hazardous Materials Requirements - USA Patriot Act of 2001

Federal HazMat Requirements

Any person applying for, or renewing, a California commercial driver license (CDL) with a Hazardous Materials (HazMat) endorsement is required to undergo a federal Transportation Security Administration (TSA) security threat assessment (background check) before the endorsement can be issued. The program was implemented to meet the requirements of the USA Patriot Act of 2001.

USA PATRIOT Act of 2001

The USA Patriot Act was enacted by Congress to deter and punish terrorist acts in the United States and around the world, to enhance law enforcement investigatory tools, and for other purposes.

Original HazMat Endorsement

To apply for an original HazMat endorsement, you will need to start a commercial driver license application with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and submit all required documentation and fees. An instruction permit will be issued after the appropriate law tests have been passed. The permit will state “Not valid for carrying hazardous materials.” After TSA completes the background check, one of two things will happen:

  1. You will be notified by TSA that you are ineligible for a HazMat endorsement. If this happens, you will receive a new photo license without a HazMat endorsement. If you wish to request an appeal hearing, refer to the Hearing Procedures section.
    OR
  2. DMV will send you a new photo license with a HazMat endorsement. If this happens, you simply destroy all prior licenses and carry the one with the HazMat endorsement.

TSA’s Process

You may apply for the security threat assessment online at hazprints.tsa.dhs.gov or contact a TSA customer service agent at 1-877-429-7746. The customer service agent will complete your application over the telephone and collect the required fee. After you complete the application process, the TSA service agent will refer you to a TSA agent for fingerprinting. You must complete the TSA application process before contacting a TSA agent for fingerprinting.

You must provide the TSA agent with a DMV Commercial Instruction Permit and one of the following identification documents:

  1. A California driver license and/or California identification card.
    OR
  2. An out-of-state driver license.
    NOTE: If you pay your fees at a TSA agent site, money orders are the only form of payment accepted.

HazMat Endorsement Renewal Requirements

DMV will send a reminder letter approximately 90 days prior to the expiration of your HazMat endorsement. You must begin the threat assessment renewal process with TSA at least 30 days before your HazMat endorsement expiration date to avoid possible ineligibility to transport hazardous materials while awaiting the results. The application process is similar to the requirements for an original (see above). After completing the threat assessment application and paying the required fee, you must contact a TSA agent to be fingerprinted.

HazMat Requirements for Non-Citizens

If you are not a United States (U.S.) citizen, you may have a HazMat endorsement when all other requirements are met and your status is one of the following:

  • A lawful permanent resident of the U.S. as defined in section 101(a) (20) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
  • A refugee admitted under section 8 U.S.C. 1157 in possession of valid, unrestricted employment authorization.
  • Have asylum status under section 8 U.S.C. 1158 in possession of valid, unrestricted employment authorization.

Outstanding Wants or Warrants

You will be disqualified from holding a HazMat endorsement on a CDL if you are wanted or under indictment in any civilian or military jurisdiction for a felony listed as temporary or permanent until the want or warrant is released.

Temporary Disqualifying Criminal Offenses

You will be disqualified from holding a HazMat endorsement if you were convicted or found not guilty by reason of insanity within the previous seven years, or were released from prison in the last five years for any of the following crimes:

  • 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 (RICO) under 18 U.S.C. 1961, et seq., or a comparable state law, other than the violations listed in paragraph (j) of Part B: Permanently Disqualifying Criminal Offenses.
  • Conspiracy or attempt to commit any of these crimes.

NOTE: The disqualification period is seven years from the last conviction date for any of the above violations or five years from the prison release date.

Permanent Disqualifying Criminal Offenses

You will be permanently disqualified from holding a HazMat endorsement if you were convicted or found not guilty by reason of insanity for any of the following crimes:

  • Espionage.
  • Sedition.
  • Treason.
  • A crime listed in 18 U.S.C. Chapter 113B—terrorism, or a comparable state law.
  • A crime involving a transportation security incident.
  • Improper transportation of a hazardous material (49 U.S.C. 5124) or a comparable state law.
  • Murder.
  • Making any threats, or maliciously conveying false information knowing the same to be false, concerning the deliverance, placement, or detonation 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 RICO Act under U.S.C. 1961, et seq., or a comparable state law, where one of the predicated acts found by a jury or admitted by the defendant, consists of one of the offenses listed in Part B of this section.
  • Conspiracy or attempt to commit any of these crimes.

Hearing Procedures

DMV does not become involved with TSA hearings, appeals, and/or waivers. All security threat assessments and subsequent hearings, if any, will be conducted by the TSA. You must provide documentation in writing, directly to TSA. You may request a waiver and/or an appeal in writing. Send your request via Federal Express to:

TSA Headquarters
Attn: HazMat Program Manager, TSA-19
HazMat Waiver/Appeal Process
601 South 12th Street
Arlington, VA 22202

For further information, call the TSA at (866) 289-9673. You may send email inquiries to TSA at patriotact@dhs.gov.

To review the entire regulations, visit the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website at www.fmcsa.dot.gov or the TSA website at www.tsa.gov.

TSA Agent Names and Addresses

TSA agent names and addresses are available online at hazprints.tsa.dhs.gov or by calling 1-877-429-7746. An appointment is not required if the TSA agent is located in California.

FFDL 29 (Rev 3/2010)