Hazmat fingerprint rules slated

| 10/20/2004

The Transportation Security Administration said that by the end of October, it plans to issue rules on how states should proceed with fingerprint background checks on commercial drivers renewing hazardous materials endorsements – despite obstacles in other quarters.

Concerns linger about the short time between October, when approved methods for conducting the checks are due to be unveiled, and the Jan. 31, 2005, deadline for implementing the checks.

Specifically, the states have said they may not have sufficient money, equipment, locations or time to perform the checks. One suggestion that drew considerable criticism from the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association was that truck stop employees could perform the checks.

Meanwhile, in a letter to ATA, TSA recently said it “will do everything possible to assist all states in complying with provisions of the USA Patriot Act related to hazmat drivers.”