Anyone applying for or renewing a commercial driver’s license (CDL) with a hazardous materials endorsement (HME) must meet federal requirements issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
If you are applying for an HME for the first time, it may take more than 45 days for TSA to complete your security assessment and notify DMV of the outcome.
To receive or renew an HME, all applicants must:
2. Provide acceptable documentation showing proof of U.S. citizenship or immigration status.
3. Complete a fingerprint-based background check at one of the DMV customer service centers equipped to process your application. There is a non-refundable $83 fee.
*Save time by completing the Background Check Application before your appointment.
Make a Background & Fingerprint Check Appointment
TWIC Card Holders
You are exempt from the fingerprint-based background check if you hold a valid Transportation Worker's Identification Credential (TWIC), and the TWIC can be verified by DMV when submitted with your HME application.
If you apply for a HME using TWIC comparability, the HME expiration date will expire no later than the current expiration date of the TWIC. The non-refundable reduced fee is $41. You may visit any DMV customer service center to process your reduced fee application.
What is TWIC comparability?
TWIC comparability means the TSA has determined that the security threat assessments (fingerprinting and background check) performed on applicants for a TWIC are comparable to those performed on applicants for the HME. As a result, TSA exempts HME applicants from the background and fingerprint check if a valid TWIC card is submitted with the HME application.
Out-of-State CDL Holders
If you are transferring a CDL with an HME from another state, you will receive an HME on your Virginia CDL if:
- You currently hold the endorsement on your out-of-state CDL
- DMV can verify your eligibility with your current state
- You pass the HAZMAT knowledge test in Virginia
If you have not completed a TSA-based background and fingerprint check in your current state, or your eligibility cannot be verified by DMV, you may be issued a Virginia CDL with an HME only if you apply for and pass the fingerprint-based background check and HAZMAT knowledge test in Virginia.
Processing the Application
DMV sends your application information to TSA, which will perform background checks, make security assessments and notify us whether the application is approved or denied. The fingerprint-based background check is valid for up to five years.
If approved, DMV will send you a letter of approval. You may then return to DMV to be photographed and apply for your CDL with the HME, provided you have successfully completed the HAZMAT knowledge test.
If denied, DMV will send you a notification of denial by TSA.
If your driving privilege or CDL is suspended, canceled or revoked, you will still be able to complete the background check, but you will not be able to hold a CDL until your privilege is restored.
DMV will mail you a renewal notice approximately 90 days before your HME expiration date. It's important to begin the renewal process at this time so TSA can approve you before your HME expires.
If you do not intend to keep your HME, visit any customer service center before your HME expires to have your CDL reissued or renewed without the HME. If the HME expires before you remove it, your CDL will be canceled until you remove the HME.