SPECIAL REPORT: Illinois to cancel CDLs because of processing snafu

| 8/2/2006

More than 500 truckers in the process of renewing the hazmat endorsement on their CDLs are in jeopardy of losing their licenses.

The state of Illinois sent letters to 506 hazmat endorsement renewal applicants 10 days ago informing them that because the process of completing the background checks had not been completed, their CDLs will be cancelled on Friday, Aug. 4.

Terry Montalbano with the Illinois Department of Motor Vehicles told Land Line the background check applications are not completed for a variety of reasons.

Up until July 27, Illinois used its own third-party vendors to collect the fingerprints for the TSA required background checks for hazmat endorsements. Truckers who applied for new or renewed endorsements had to fill out the paperwork at a state DMV office and have their fingerprints collected at a third-party facility contracted by the state.

Montalbano said that the fingerprinting portion of the process was not completed for the 506 truckers. He said the reasons the process was not completed ranged from truckers not reporting to the third-party facility to clerical errors on the submissions and in some cases "bad prints."

If prints are submitted that cannot be matched up with an existing application or are unreadable, the process of either granting or denying the application is not completed, Montalbano.

The applicants who had glitches with the fingerprint portion of the background check were notified and asked to resubmit their prints. Montalbano said in many of those cases the third-party vendors charged a fee for the resubmission, because the FBI charged the vendor.

Because the process is not completed for 506 applicants, Montalbano said the state will cancel the CDLs if the applicants do not call the DMV and have the hazmat endorsement request dropped.

He said once the request is dropped, truckers can go and complete the background check process to have the endorsement added to the license.

Illinois CDL holders with questions should call the state DMV at (217) 875-1778.

- By Jami Jones, senior editor