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USA Patriot Act Frequently Asked Questions

Requirements for CDL Holders with a HAZMAT Endorsement


1. What is the USA PATRIOT Act?
2. Who is affected?
3. How much will it cost?
4. When did it go into effect?
5. What is requested?
6. How often will someone need to apply for a security Threat Assessment?
7. How will I know when it’s time to apply?
8. Where can I get more information?

1. What is the USA PATRIOT Act?
The Uniting & Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (USA PATRIOT) Act is a Federal law that addresses terrorism and national security. Under the law, commercial drivers who transport hazardous materials (HAZMAT) are required to have their fingerprints taken and undergo an extensive criminal background check.

2. Who is affected?
All commercial drivers who apply for an initial HAZMAT endorsement on their CDL or renew their CDL with a HAZMAT endorsement are affected by these changes.

3. How much will it cost?
In addition to the State fees, Federal fees will be required if you are applying for or renewing a CDL with a HAZMAT endorsement. Although these are Federal fees, the check is made payable to PennDOT; PennDOT then forwards the fees to the appropriate Federal agency. Refer to our Driver License Fee Chart Fact Sheet.

4. When did it go into effect?
January 31, 2005 for customers were applying for an initial HAZAT endorsement. May 31, 2005 for customers who are renewing the HAZMAT endorsement on their Pennsylvania issued CDL or transferring and out-of-state CDL (that has a HAZMAT endorsement) into Pennsylvania.

5. What is requested?
In general, CDL Drivers who apply for a HAZMAT endorsement or renew their CDL with a HAZMAT endorsement are required to provide proof of U.S. citizenship or proof of appropriate immigration status, complete a Federal Security Threat Assessment application, pay additional Federal fees, have their fingerprints taken and successfully complete a Federal criminal history background check.

6. How often will someone need to apply for a security Threat Assessment?
Every time a HAZMAT endorsement is initially issued or renewed.

7. How will I know when it’s time to apply?
PennDOT will include the new Federal requirement information with the HAZMAT recertification notice that is issued to drivers renewing their CDL with a HAZMAT endorsement is to expire.

8. Where can I get more information?
Information is also available by contacting the Federal Transportation Security Administration (TSA) by email at patriotact@dhs.gov or by phone at (866) 289-9673.


You may review the USA PATRIOT Act Requirements or visit our Forms and Publications to download the necessary forms.


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