According to press reports, the Transportation
Security Administration has decided to delay the implementation of
fingerprint-based background checks that eventually will be required of
commercial drivers who haul hazardous materials.
TSA did not say how long the delay would be, but in
July this year, the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, which
has worked closely with TSA on the issue, suggested the deadline be moved from
Nov. 3, 2003, to Nov. 3, 2004.
TSA did not respond to several Land Line requests about information on the length of the delay.
AAMVA said in a July letter to TSA that
while it supports the overall goal of TSA and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety
to improve CMV safety and security, "the ability of the states and federal
government to implement the requirements in the time frame (is in question)
given many unanswered questions about procedures and the huge unfounded
mandates expressed or implied in the rules."
Among AAMVA's concerns:
TSA didn't provide technical specifications and standards
for the credentialing and background check procedures. Also, no guidelines were
provided regarding the fingerprint collection process and where and how to send
In addition, AAMVA said federal funding was not available to
pay for the required upgrades for purchasing fingerprinting machines if motor
vehicle agencies are expected to take the fingerprints. Manufacturers have told
AAMVA they cannot produce the needed 3,000 to 4,000 live scan units to meet the
implementation date if motor vehicle agencies must take the prints.
Meanwhile, it has not been determined whether the Department
of Justice will accept a third-party provider of fingerprints or if
clearinghouses will need to be used, AAMVA said.
And finally, FMCSA says states will not be required to
comply with the requirements until Nov. 3, 2003, while TSA says as of 120 days
following the rule's publication, any CDL holder who does not meet the security
threat assessment standard is not authorized to hold or obtain a hazmat
"Which date is correct?" AAMVA