Hazmat CDL endorsement and Background Checks
Two rules that have been in place since 2003 and 2005 were recently finalized by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and went into effect on November 1, 2019. The rules concern the passing of a mandatory background check for truck drivers interested in adding or renewing a hazmat endorsement on their CDL.
As mentioned above, the background checks are mandatory and are administered by the Department of Homeland Security, with two exemptions, including state drivers with a valid transportation security card or Transportation Worker Identification Card (TWIC).
Rule #1: Hazmat background check
A provision to the final rule was published in 2003 prohibiting states from issuing, renewing, transferring or upgrading a CDL with a hazmat endorsement for truck drivers that have not successfully passed a background check by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) that clears them as a security risk.
Rule #2: Background check notice
In 2005, another provision to the final rule was published, reducing the amount of required notice a state must provide a truck driver that a background check will be performed for a hazmat endorsement renewal.
For example, if a driver’s hazmat endorsement is up to expire in the coming year, a state must notify the driver of the required background check at least 180 days, or 6 months, before the date of expiration for the CDL or hazmat endorsement.
Do you already have your hazmat endorsement?
Current drivers need not worry about the finalization of these rules as it has no bearing on current drivers or carriers, since the rules have been in place since 2003 and 2005.
Hazmat and DOT Training
There are many rules, regulations and requirements in each state for authorities to keep track of when it comes to hauling hazardous material. If you are not DOT compliant, it could be detrimental to your company, as fines and penalties can be upwards of $180,000.