Q:

What is the HAZMAT fingerprinting process?

A:

Quick Answer

The HAZMAT fingerprinting process is a method of screening applicants so that they may be endorsed to transport hazardous materials. It is overseen by the Department of Homeland Security or by individual states that are set up for digital fingerprinting under the HAZMAT Endorsement Threat Assessment Program.

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Full Answer

Applicants must have a commercial driver's license, or CDL, must be a U.S. Citizen or a legal resident with right to work documentation and may not have a criminal record. After this biographical part of the application is complete, and any state testing requirements are met, the applicant must schedule a biometric fingerprinting appointment. Biometric fingerprints are done by scanning the entire hand or the individual fingers and thumbs into a computer.

As of March, 2015, 12 states do their own fingerprint collecting and applicant assessments. Applicants in states that do not conduct their own tests may apply online at the Transportation Security Administration, or TSA. Those in states with their own application setups must follow state procedures. In Texas, for example, the Department of Public Safety, or DPS, uses MorphoTrust USA for testing. Applicants make appointments directly with the vendor.

During the appointment, the applicant presents a Texas CDL, has a digital photograph taken, is digitally fingerprinted, pays the nonrefundable fee and is provided with a case tracking number. The fingerprints are forwarded to the FBI for background checks. Applicants should receive a response within 30 days of the test. If approved, the DPS will send the endorsed CDL, which is valid for five years. If the application is denied, an appeal process is available through the TSA.

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