CDL HazMat Endorsement Delays & How The PPA Can Help


Drivers seeking to renew or obtain a hazardous material endorsement (HME) must undergo a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) security threat assessment. The security threat assessment includes driver security and criminal background checks and fingerprinting. Typically, the threat assessment process takes 45 days. However, TSA is recommending that all applicants for hazardous material endorsement (HME) renewals or first-time enrollments submit their applications and fingerprints at least 60 days prior to their expiration date. The TSA is experiencing increased demand for HME renewals and new enrollments and the processing times for applicants are exceeding the normal 45-day turnaround period. Drivers applying for renewal outside the 60-day processing period risk temporary loss of their authority to haul hazardous materials.

Pennsylvania Delays & Membership Guidance 

The PPA has received reports from multiple companies in the past 12 months indicating a prolonged wait period for hazardous material endorsement (HME) application approval. Since PennDOT administers its own HME testing program (as a TSA Non-Agent State) rather than relying on TSA federal processing center, PennDOT is responsible for notifying the driver (as defined here). In some scenarios, there has been a breakdown in the PennDOT approval process which a.) never generated a notification to the driver and/or b.) significantly delayed the necessary update in the Commercial Driver’s License Information System (CDLIS) for TSA processing.

If You Or Your Driver Is Experiencing An HME Delay

  1. Use the following resources to check the HME status through TSA
    • Drivers may check the status of their HME application online.
    • Drivers may call the TSA Hazmat Customer Service phone number for Non-Agent States at (833) 848-4759.
  2. It could be possible that the HME was processed by TSA but not communicated by PennDOT
    • Drivers may go to a local DMV to verify the status of their renewal if you have not received mail communication.
  3.  If you are not able to confirm the status of the renewal through TSA or PennDOT then contact the Pennsylvania Petroleum Association for assistance.
    • The PPA can reach out to both federal and state agencies to assist on your behalf. Email Ted Harris at tharris@papetroleum.org and include the following information:
      • General explanation of issue
      • Driver name
      • Driver license number
      • Original IdentoGO fingerprints submission date

PPA Action & Membership Feedback

In September, representatives from the PA Petroleum Association and the PA Propane Gas Association met with government officials to express concern on the current TSA/PennDOT delays. The meeting included PennDOT representatives as well as Rep. Kerry Benninghoff (Republican Chair of House Transportation Committee) and members of his staff. The PPA/PAPGA provided specific examples to PennDOT outlining where the manual renewal process broke down. The PPA would like to continue to provide feedback to PennDOT. If your company employs drivers currently waiting 2+ months for HME application approval (or experiences this issue in the future) please contact Ted Harris directly at tharris@papetroleum.org