Federal HazMat Requirements
Any person applying for or renewing a California commercial driver license (CDL) with a hazardous materials (HazMat) endorsement is required to undergo a federal Transportation Security Administration (TSA) security threat assessment (background check) before the endorsement can be issued. The program was implemented to meet the requirements of the USA Patriot Act of 2001.
USA Patriot Act of 2001
The USA Patriot Act was enacted by Congress to deter and punish terrorist acts in the United States (U.S.) and around the world, to enhance law enforcement investigatory tools, and for other purposes.
Original HazMat Endorsement
To apply for an original HazMat endorsement, you will need to start a CDL application with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), be at least 21 years of age, and submit all required documentation and fees. A commercial learner’s permit (CLP) and/or temporary license will be issued after the appropriate law tests have been passed. The CLP and/or temporary license will state “Not valid for carrying hazardous materials.” After TSA completes the background check, one of the following will happen:
- You will be notified by TSA that you are ineligible for a HazMat endorsement. If this happens you will receive a new CDL without a HazMat endorsement. To request an appeal hearing, refer to the Hearing Procedures section of this publication.
- DMV will send you a new CDL with a HazMat endorsement when all applicable tests are completed. If this happens, simply destroy all prior licenses and carry the CDL with the HazMat endorsement.
You must preenroll for the security threat assessment before you visit a Universal Enrollment Services (UES) center to complete the application process. The preenrollment may be done online at universalenroll.dhs.gov or by calling the TSA UES call center at 1-855-347-8371. After completing the preenrollment, you must visit a UES center to provide fingerprints, identity documents, citizenship/immigration documents, and payment in order to complete the HazMat endorsement application.
HazMat Endorsement Renewal Requirements
DMV will send a reminder letter approximately 90 days prior to the expiration of your HazMat endorsement. You must begin the threat assessment renewal process with TSA at least 30 days before your HazMat endorsement expiration date to avoid possible ineligibility to transport hazardous materials while awaiting the results. The renewal application process is similar to the requirements for an original HazMat endorsement. After completing the threat assessment application and paying the required fee, you must contact a TSA agent to be fingerprinted.
HazMat Requirements for Noncitizens
If you are not a U.S. citizen, you may hold a HazMat endorsement when all other requirements are met and your status is one of the following:
- A lawful permanent resident of the U.S. as defined in the Immigration and Nationality Act in United States Code (U.S.C.), Title 1 §101(a)(20).
- A refugee admitted under U.S.C., Title 8 §1157 and in possession of a valid, unrestricted employment authorization document.
- An asylum status under U.S.C., Title 8 §1158 and in possession of a valid, unrestricted employment authorization document.
Outstanding Wants or Warrants
You will be disqualified from holding a HazMat endorsement on a CDL if you are wanted or under indictment in any civilian or military jurisdiction for a felony listed as temporary or permanent until the want or warrant is released.
Temporary Disqualifying Criminal Offenses
You will be disqualified from holding a HazMat endorsement if you were convicted or found not guilty by reason of insanity within the previous seven years, or were released from prison in the last five years for any of the following crimes:
- Unlawful possession, use, sale, manufacture, purchase, distribution, receipt, transfer, shipping, transporting, delivery, import, export of, or dealing with a firearm or other weapons.
- Dishonesty, fraud, or misrepresentation, including identity fraud.
- Immigration violations.
- Distribution of, intent to distribute, or importation of a controlled substance.
- Kidnapping or hostage taking.
- Rape or aggravated sexual abuse.
- Assault with intent to murder.
- Fraudulent entry into a seaport as described in U.S.C., Title 18 §1036, or a comparable state law.
- Violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act in U.S.C., Title 18 §1961, et seq., or a comparable state law, other than the violations listed in paragraph (j) of Part B: Permanently Disqualifying Criminal Offenses.
- Conspiracy or attempt to commit any of the above crimes.
The disqualification period is seven years from the last conviction date for any of the above violations or five years from the prison release date.
Permanent Disqualifying Criminal Offenses
You will be permanently disqualified from holding a HazMat endorsement if you were convicted or found not guilty by reason of insanity for any of the following crimes:
- A crime listed in U.S.C., Title 18, Chapter 113B, such as terrorism, or a comparable state law.
- A crime involving a transportation security incident.
- Improper transportation of hazardous material (U.S.C., Title 49 §5124) or a comparable state law.
- Making any threats, or maliciously conveying information known to be false, concerning the deliverance, placement, or detonation of an explosive or other lethal device in or against a place of public use, a state or government facility, a public transportation system, or an infrastructure facility.
- Violations of the RICO Act in U.S.C., Title 18 §1961, et seq., or a comparable state law, where one of the predicated acts found by a jury or admitted by the defendant, consists of one of the offenses listed in Part B of the RICO Act.
- Conspiracy or attempt to commit any of the above crimes.
DMV does not become involved with TSA hearings, appeals, and/or waivers. All security threat assessments and subsequent hearings, if any, will be conducted by TSA. If TSA finds potentially disqualifying information; TSA will send you a letter with instructions on how to proceed. If you have received a Preliminary Determination of Ineligibility (PDI) letter, you may request a waiver and/or an appeal in writing at the address below.
Since the address is a post office (PO) box, it can only receive U.S. Postal Service mail. No other types of correspondence will be processed at this address.
Correspondence may be submitted to TSA as follows:
Transportation Security Administration
TSA HAZMAT Processing Center
PO Box 8117
Frederick, VA 22404-8117
For further information, call TSA at 1-855-347-8371 or e-mail TSA at firstname.lastname@example.org.
TSA Agent Names and Addresses
TSA agent names and addresses are available online at universalenroll.dhs.gov or by calling 1-855-347-8371. An appointment is not required if the TSA agent is located in California.