The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) today published an interim final rule (IFR) in the Federal Register [RIN 1652-AA17] that amends the standards by which HazMat truck drivers are assessed for security threats. TSA is accepting comments until December 27 electronically at dms.dot.gov.

The following changes have been enacted:

  • standards to permit certain aliens qualified to hold a CDL to apply for a security threat assessment
  • simple drug possession is removed from the list of disqualifying crimes
  • unlawful purchase, receipt, transfer, shipping, transporting, import, export, and storage of a firearm or explosive is added to the list of disqualifying crimes
  • individuals convicted of the most serious of crimes, such as treason, are prohibited from applying for a waiver
  • response time limits for appeals and waivers have been increased
  • the process of transferring a HazMat endorsement from one state to another has been simplified so that in some instances, drivers don’t have to undergo a new background check when obtaining a license in a new state
  • the start date of the fingerprint-based checks for transfer and renewal applicants has been moved to May 31, 2005
  • reduction in the amount of advance notice the states must provide drivers who hold HazMat endorsements regarding the need for a security threat assessment upon renewal

    The IFR was issued without prior notice or public comment under section 4(a) of the Administrative Procedures Act.