Hazmat checks OK'd in Illinois

| 7/28/2005

A new rule in Illinois brings the state into compliance with the USA Patriot Act’s provisions on background checks for hazmat drivers.

 Gov. Rod Blagojevich signed a bill into law July 21 that sets up the state to conduct its portion of the fingerprint-based background checks now required of hazmat drivers, a process being led by the federal Transportation Security Administration.

 The measure – SB1825 – won widespread support from state legislators.

While the effort winded its way through the Legislature, Illinois officials went ahead and started gathering fingerprints and other information for the security threat assessments. Dave Druker, press secretary for Secretary of State Jesse White, said the state started taking information from new applicants for hazmat endorsements Jan. 31, the same date that process started in the rest of the country. The checks for renewal and transfer hazmat applicants began May 31.

The Secretary of State’s Office requested the bill.