Virginia Highway Safety Office News ReleasesFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Media Contact: Melanie Stokes
Department of Motor Vehicles
More Options for Truckers to Get Hazardous Materials Endorsement
Fingerprinting Equipment Now Available at 20 DMV Locations
RICHMOND - Beginning this month, truckers have more options to obtain or renew their hazardous materials endorsements through the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, and the process will now takes much less time.
Truckers permitted to carry hazardous materials (HAZMAT) must go to a DMV office every five years to fulfill requirements by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), including a background check and fingerprinting. DMV recently added six more locations to provide HAZMAT fingerprinting services, bringing the total to 20 DMV offices offering the service. "We located the additional fingerprint equipment at some of our high-volume offices in heavily-traveled areas near our interstates," said DMV Commissioner Richard D. Holcomb. "Not only did we add six more sites, but all 20 sites are now using new, faster machines."
The previous fingerprinting machines required a "slap and roll" for each finger. The new machines are nicknamed "slap and go" because customers can put four fingers down at once, and then their thumbs, with no rolling required. "The new equipment cuts the fingerprinting time in half, and the machines capture prints perfectly, eliminating do-over's," Holcomb said.
The six additional DMV customer service centers that now offer fingerprinting capabilities are Charlottesville, Emporia, Hampton, Harrisonburg, Martinsville and Norton. All except the Emporia office have Saturday hours from 8 a.m. to noon. The customer service centers with existing fingerprinting capabilities that now have updated equipment are Abingdon, Farmville, Fredericksburg, Manassas, Onancock, Portsmouth, Richmond Central, Roanoke, South Boston, Staunton, Tyson's Corner, Virginia Beach-Hilltop, Winchester and Wytheville. For more information on office locations and hours, visit www.dmvNOW.com.
"Offering more conveniently located fingerprinting sites, and upgrading the existing sites, is one more example of DMV's commitment to providing excellent customer service to motor carriers," Holcomb said. "We want to keep trucking companies moving and doing business, which benefits us all through the movement of commerce."
The United States Patriot Act requires individuals applying for, or renewing, a commercial driver's license with a HAZMAT endorsement to be fingerprinted and complete a background records check. Examples of hazardous materials include transporting fuel or explosives. Truckers with a HAZMAT endorsement are required to answer additional questions on the DMV commercial driver's license knowledge exam, including the proper procedures for loading and transporting hazardous materials.