Agencies must agree on hazmat dates

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An interim final rule requiring Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations to stay in agreement with the Transportation Security Administration’s hazmat endorsement compliance date was published in the April 29 Federal Register.

The purpose of the rule is to ensure FMCSA’s regulations always remain current with any hazmat-related changes made by TSA.

This rule relates to a FMCSA interim final rule published two years ago that bars states from issuing, renewing, transferring or upgrading a commercial driver’s license with a hazmat endorsement unless the TSA has determined that the applicant poses no security threat.

The rule also reduces the amount of advance notice states must give drivers that a security threat assessment will be performed when they are renewing a hazardous materials endorsement.

A Nov. 24, 2004 rule requires that states must tell drivers 60 days before their hazmat endorsement expires that they must pass TSA’s security threat assessment no later than 30 days before the expiration date. The previous notification deadline was 180 days, and assessment timeline was 90 days.

This rule was first declared in 2001 by the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act. The USA PATRIOT Act requires the FMCSA and the TSA to oversee the rule.

TSA established the security threat assessment protocols – security risk factors, citizenship/immigration requirements for hazmat endorsement, fingerprinting options, fees and compliance dates. The FMCSA required state licensing agencies to comply with TSA’s security threat assessment process.