Legal Update HeaderThe Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has extended the exemption for renewal of the hazardous materials endorsement (HME) security threat assessment (STA) for certain individuals through Dec. 31, 2020.

The exemption applies to commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers who transport hazardous materials and whose HME must be renewed or issued.

STA and HME Requirements

Individuals who transport hazardous materials by CMVs must undergo an STA that consists of criminal, immigration and terrorist checks and is conducted by TSA. States must receive a “Determination of No Security Threat” for the individual from TSA following the STA to issue or renew an HME. The STA and HME are valid for five years once completed.

TSA Exemption

Under the exemption, states may extend the expiration date of HMEs that expire on or after March 1, 2020, for 180 days due to business closures and restrictions caused by COVID-19. These closures may affect the ability of CMV drivers to present themselves in-person to a licensing agency or TSA enrollment center for the collection of fingerprints and applicant information.

States are not required to grant extensions to drivers. However, if a state grants an extension, it must notify the driver that the state is extending the expiration date of the HME, the date the extension ends and what the individual’s responsibilities are. If it is not practicable for the state to give individualized notice to drivers, it may publish a general notice (for example, on an appropriate website).

Driver Responsibilities

Drivers must initiate the renewal process of their STA for the HME 60 days prior to the end of the granted extension. The process of initiating an STA requires the individual to submit required information and fingerprints either to the state licensing agency or a TSA enrollment center.

The extension applies to CMV drivers who transport hazardous materials and need to have their HME renewed or issued.

Important Dates

April 8, 2020

TSA published the initial exemption, which was set to expire on July 31, 2020.

July 31, 2020

TSA extended the exemption until Oct. 29, 2020.

Oct. 28, 2020

TSA extended the exemption through Dec. 31, 2020.


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