On May 5, 2003, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) published a rule to secure the transportation of hazardous materials (Hazmat), including explosives, by requiring threat assessments for all individuals who apply for, renew, or transfer a Hazardous Materials Endorsement (HME) on their Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). TSA issued the rule as a result of requirements in the USA PATRIOT Act (Public Law 107-56, Section 1012) and the Safe Explosives Act (Public Law 107-296, Sections 1121-1123). Only commercial drivers who wish to transport hazardous materials requiring vehicle placards under DOT regulations must undergo threat assessments.
This rule does not apply to applicants for or holders of a CDL who do not wish to transport hazardous materials.
TSA will require the collection of fingerprints from all HME applicants effective May 31, 2005 from drivers who wish to apply for a new, renew, or transfer of a Hazmat Endorsement.
How does a person initiate the process to apply for a new, renewal, or transfer of a HAZMAT endorsement in Maryland?
- If you are applying for your first (new), renewal or transfer of a HAZMAT Endorsement (with an out-of-state CDL with HAZMAT), you will need to schedule an appointment to come into the MVA to complete an electronic HAZMAT Endorsement application and submit your fingerprints to start the TSA Hazardous Materials Background Record Check (BRC). To initiate the background check process, you must schedule an appointment. Click here and follow the directions provided to make an appointment at one of the following MVA offices: Bel Air, Glen Burnie Headquarters (Building B), Frederick, Salisbury or Waldorf.
Note: HAZMAT BRC appointments can no longer be made by phone.
- HAZMAT applications will ONLY be processed at the Bel Air, Glen Burnie Headquarters (Building B), Frederick (Tuesday through Friday only), Salisbury, and Waldorf MVA offices. An appointment is required. You must report to one of these five locations where you have made an appointment on your scheduled date/time to begin the CDL licensing process and or the fingerprint/background check. You must complete the electronic HAZMAT application, and present your driver's license and proof of U.S. Citizenship or lawful permanent resident status. Acceptable sources of proof are:
- U.S. Citizen
- Valid, unexpired U.S. Passport
- Certified copy of a birth certificate filed with a State Office of Vital Statistics or equivalent agency in the individual's State of birth, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
- Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) issued by the U.S. Department of State.
- Certificate of Naturalization issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
- Certificate of Citizenship issued by DHS.
- Lawful Permanent Resident
- Valid, unexpired Permanent Resident Card, issued by USCIS or INS.
- Valid, unexpired Permanent Resident Card, issued by USCIS or INS.
- U.S. Citizen
- Original or certified copy of a U.S. birth certificate filed with a State Office of Vital Statistics (OVS) or equivalent agency in the applicant's state of birth (U.S. or territorial)*
Note: Birth documents issued by a hospital, notifications of birth registration, birth registration cards and foreign birth certificates are not accepted.
- The process involves two separate transactions: the HAZMAT application will be processed by MVA staff; the fingerprint background record check and fee collection will be processed by the Department of Public Safety & Correctional Services (DPSCS) staff at the Bel Air, Glen Burnie (Building B), Frederick, Salisbury or Waldorf locations.
- Your fingerprint records will be forwarded by the DPSCS to the Criminal Justice Information Systems for a Federal and State criminal background check. Your Hazardous Materials Endorsement application will be forwarded to the Department of Homeland Security, Transportation Security Administration for checks against numerous federal databases and watch lists.
- For new HME applicants: The TSA determines the final security threat assessment of all HAZMAT applicants. You will be notified by letter from the TSA of the disposition of your threat assessment usually within 4 to 6 weeks after submitting your fingerprints. If you are approved by TSA, you usually must report to the nearest full-service MVA to take the Hazmat knowledge test and obtain the HAZMAT endorsement. You do not need to schedule an appointment for this step. You will be required to bring your TSA letter, driver's license and valid DOT physical card with you.
Note: You must obtain the HME within 6 months from the date of the TSA letter or you may be required to begin the HAZMAT application process over and pay the required fees, which includes your submitting a new set of fingerprints.
- For Maryland renewals and out-of-state CDL transfers of HMEs:
- On your appointment day, you must complete the electronic HAZMAT application, submit your fingerprints and pay the required fee as well as pass the HAZMAT knowledge test. You must present your driver's license, a valid DOT physical card and proof of U.S. Citizenship or lawful permanent resident status. Out-of-State CDL transfers please review the Sources of Proof for additional document requirements.
- If you comply with the above you will receive your CDL with HME. You can expect to receive an approval letter from TSA within 4 to 6 weeks after submitting your fingerprints. If you pass the background record check (BRC) and are approved by TSA, you do not need to come back into the MVA until your next renewal period. You will then be required to complete a new BRC and retake the HME knowledge test when you renew your CDL if you wish to keep your HME. If TSA's letter states that you currently fail to meet the requirements to hold an HME, you must surrender your CDL with HAZMAT immediately to any full service MVA office. The TSA will also notify the Maryland MVA and your HME will be immediately canceled.
When will the TSA Threat Assessment Expire?
- If you are adding the HAZMAT Endorsement to your current Maryland CDL as a correction, then the TSA Assessment will expire on the "SAME" date as your current CDL. For example, if your license is only valid for 2 more years, then the assessment will only be valid for 2 more years. You will be required to complete a new TSA Threat Assessment and retake the Hazmat knowledge test each time you renew your CDL, if you choose to keep Hazmat.
- If you are renewing your Maryland CDL with HAZMAT or transferring your Out-of-State CDL with HAZMAT to Maryland, the new TSA Threat Assessment will expire on the "SAME" date as your Maryland CDL. This could amount to up to 5-years and 6-months depending on when you renew your license or when you transfer your out-of-state CDL.
What are the costs associated with this process?
MVA Commercial Driver's Licensing - Fees
All Commercial Driver's License fees are paid at the time of license issuance and are in addition to the fingerprint/background check fee. MVA will accept the following forms of payment: Cash, Check, Money Order, Master Card, American Express, or Visa. Checks must be made payable to the MVA.
Effective March 19, 2012, the state and federal fingerprint/background checks and the TSA processing fee of $93.25, will be reduced to $90.50.
All fingerprint/background record check fees are paid at the time your fingerprints are captured. The DPSCS only accepts the following forms of payment: Check, Money Order, Master Card, Visa and Discover credit cards. Checks and Money Orders must be made payable to the CJIS Central Repository. Cash is not accepted.
Note: The Salisbury office does not currently accept DISCOVER credit cards. .
How will current CDL holders be notified of new TSA requirements?
The MVA mailed notices to all CDL holders summarizing the new requirements for Hazardous Materials Endorsements. Specific detailed information will be included with all commercial driver's license renewal notices.
For more information to questions on the CDL-HAZMAT Fingerprint Based/Background requirements please go to the Transportation Security Administration website and in search type in HAZMAT or call 1-410-768-7000.