The Truckers reported that The Hazardous Material Endorsement (HME) holders whose endorsements have expired or will expire before the end of the calendar year will temporarily be excluded from the TSA Security Threat Assessment requirement. For every motorist applying for, renewing, and transferring a hazardous materials endorsement on a state-issued commercial driver’s license, the HME Threat Assessment Program conducts a threat assessment.
According to a news release, TSA “determined that it is in the public interest to grant a temporary exemption for commercial truck drivers renewing their HME. Those drivers have previously passed the threat assessment. Supply chain requirements have increased the demand for drivers with a valid HME, and increased HME enrollments have extended adjudication times for some drivers. “
“This announcement supports motor carriers and the trucking industry who require qualified operators to transport hazardous materials. Also, this announcement eases the requirement that current HME holders renew their threat assessment before the expiration of their current HME.”
Acting TSA Administrator David Pekoske said the exception enables state licensing organizations to continue to properly license people with expired or recently expired hazardous material endorsements to transport hazardous materials at this time. “The commercial truck drivers impacted by this decision are subject to recurrent vetting during the exemption period, and their businesses will continue to provide safe and efficient transportation,” he added.
There are about 250,000 truck drivers that will have expired by the end of 2022. That’s an average of 22,500 expirations a month. According to The Trucker, states may extend the expiration date for all HME credentials that expire between July 1, 2022, and December 27, 2022 for the length of this exemption by up to 180 days. To give regulatory relief during the COVID-19 pandemic and ensure that the entire complement of authorized drivers were available to support an uninterrupted supply chain, TSA released a comparable temporary exemption for HME renewals on April 8, 2020.