TSA Tweaking Hazmat Endorsement Application Form

Collecting optional additional information, including U.S. passport numbers, will help state programs forecast driver retention, transfer rates, and drop rates, the agency predicts.

The Transportation Security Administration asked for comments by Oct. 29 on its plan to make minor changes in the application form filed when someone seeks a hazardous materials endorsement (HME) on a commercial motor vehicle driver's license. Collecting optional additional information -- including State Department forms showing birth abroad to U.S. citizens, a U.S. passport number, and whether this is a new applicant or an HME renewal or transfer -- will help state programs forecast driver retention, transfer rates, and drop rates, TSA said. TSA is removing items relating to military service.

About 300,000 drivers apply for the endorsement annually, and TSA estimates they spend 975,000 hours on the application and background check process.

Information is collected for HME applications approximately every five years. A driver must submit personal data (e.g., height, weight, eye and hair color, date of birth); information concerning legal status; mental health defects history; criminal history; and fingerprints.

TSA said the proposed changes also make the HME application process comparable with other federal background checks, including the Transportation Workers Identification Credential.

E-mail comments to TSAPRA@dhs.gov or deliver them to the TSA PRA Officer, Office of Information Technology, TSA-11, Transportation Security Administration, 601 South 12th St., Arlington, VA 20598-6011.

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