The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will temporarily exempt the TSA Security Threat Assessment (STA) requirement for Hazardous Material Endorsement (HME) holders whose endorsements expired or will expire before the end of calendar year.
The HME Threat Assessment Program conducts a threat assessment for any driver seeking to obtain, renew and transfer a hazardous materials endorsement on a state-issued commercial driver’s license. TSA determined that it is in the public interest to grant a temporary exemption for commercial truck drivers renewing their HME. Those drivers have previously passed the threat assessment. Supply chain requirements have increased the demand for drivers with a valid HME, and increased HME enrollments have extended adjudication times for some drivers. This announcement supports motor carriers and the trucking industry who require qualified operators to transport hazardous materials. Also, this announcement eases the requirement that current HME holders renew their threat assessment before the expiration of their current HME.
“This exemption allows state licensing agencies to permit those with expiring, or recently expired hazardous material endorsements to remain fully authorized by TSA to transport hazardous materials during this time period,” said TSA Acting Administrator David Pekoske. “The commercial truck drivers impacted by this decision are subject to recurrent vetting during the exemption period, and their businesses will continue to provide safe and efficient transportation.”
Currently, there are 250,000 truck drivers with security threat assessments that have expired or are set to expire in 2022. About 22,500 truckers’ security threat assessments expire each month. For the duration of this exemption, states may extend the expiration date for a period of up to180 days for all HME credentials that expire between July 1, 2022 and December 27, 2022.
TSA published a similar temporary exemption for HME renewals on April 8, 2020 to provide regulatory relief during the COVID-19 pandemic and ensure full capacity of authorized drivers were available to support an uninterrupted supply chain.