Frequently Asked Questions

Commercial Driver License

HazMat and Background Checks

Do I have to take the HazMat test every three years?

No. The three-year testing requirement is a federal regulation for employers transporting hazardous materials to test their drivers every three years.

The Arizona HazMat test is required only when applying for an original CDL, adding the H endorsement to an existing CDL, renewing a CDL or transferring an out-of-state CDL to Arizona while retaining the H endorsement.

Why is a background records check (BRC) now required before getting a hazardous materials endorsement (HME)?

The requirement is a result of the U.S. PATRIOT Act (Public Law 107-56, Section 1012), the Safe Explosives Act (Public Law 107-296, Section 1121-1123), ARS § 28-3103(A)(2) and 49 CFR 1572.

Is everybody now required to get a BRC before an HME can be issued?

Currently, federal regulations require that all new commercial driver license (CDL) applicants or current CDL holders who are requesting an HME successfully complete a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) fingerprint-based BRC prior to issuance of the endorsement.

We will implement the new federal regulations using this phased-in approach:

  • Jan. 31, 2005: All new HME applicants will be subject to the BRC requirement.
  • May 31, 2005: All CDL renewals and transfers with HMEs will be subject to the BRC requirement.

Can I apply for my new HME at any MVD location?

New HME applications will be processed only at the following MVD CDL offices: Casa Grande, Flagstaff, Goodyear, Holbrook, Kingman, Mesa Southeast, Prescott, Safford, Show Low, Sierra Vista, Tucson CDL and Yuma. For specific locations and hours, see our CDL Office Locations page.

At what point during the application process do I submit fingerprints and start my BRC?

You may begin the BRC process only after MVD has determined that you have fully qualified for the endorsement by successfully completing all required CDL and HME written tests.

How do I begin the BRC process once I pass my written tests?

Upon successful completion of the written tests, MVD will provide you with a HazMat Background Check Authorization form to present to a TSA authorized fingerprint collection site identified below.

Where do I go to be fingerprinted for my BRC?

Apply to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) with all of the information requested on the Driver License Hazardous Materials Endorsement Application to be submitted in one of two ways:

  • Online through the TSA at hazprints.com
  • By phone (toll-free) through the TSA HazMat Call Center at 877.429.7746
TSA will not accept handwritten HME applications.

What do I need to take with me when I go to be fingerprinted?

Prior to visiting a TSA-authorized fingerprint collection site, you must provide TSA with all of the information requested on the Driver License Hazardous Materials Endorsement Application to be submitted one of two ways:

  • Online through the TSA website

  • By phone (toll-free) through the TSA HazMat Call Center at 877.429.7746

TSA will not accept handwritten HME applications.

How much does the BRC cost?

Please visit hazprints.tsa.dhs.gov for current fee information.

How long will the BRC process take?

The Transportation Security Administration indicates that the BRC may take from one to eight weeks to complete.

How will I know when to return to the MVD CDL office for my CDL with the HME?

The TSA will notify you of the BRC results by mail whether approved or disapproved for the HME. If approved for the HME, the applicant may return to the MVD CDL office for issuance of the CDL reflecting the HME.

What if I already have my CDL and just want to add the HME?

All applicants for a new HME are now subject to the federal BRC requirement, which includes current CDL holders without a valid HME applying to upgrade their CDL by adding the HME.

If I need a CDL right away, can I just get my CDL without the HME and use it until the results of my BRC arrive?

After completing all required road/skills tests, you may choose to receive a CDL without the HME for use until the TSA approval is received. However, once TSA approval is received, you will need to return to the MVD CDL office and apply for the HazMat-endorsed CDL. Because the endorsement fee was already paid, there will be no additional fee charged when exchanging a CDL issued in the interim, for the CDL reflecting the HME.

How often do I need to get a BRC?

Upon successful completion of the BRC, the TSA will only approve issuance of your HME for up to five years. It is the responsibility of the driver to arrange for a new BRC no later than 30 days prior to the expiration of the current TSA approval to avoid cancellation of the CDL.

What should I do if I already know I don’t meet the TSA HME qualifications?

Current holders of a Class A or B CDL with an HME that do not meet the qualification requirements established by the TSA — but are otherwise qualified to hold a CDL — must visit an MVD office to relinquish the endorsement. There will be a $12 fee for the reissuance of a Class A or B CDL without the HME.

Because current Arizona law requires either a HME or a passenger endorsement on a Class C CDL, only the drivers that currently hold a valid passenger endorsement will qualify for the $12 CDL replacement when relinquishing the HME. All affected holders of a Class C CDL without a valid passenger endorsement must choose one of the following options and all appropriate application and testing fees will apply:

  • Apply for a passenger (P) endorsement to keep the Class C CDL.
  • Apply for a class A or B CDL upgrade and drop the HME.
  • Apply for a noncommercial Class D CDL.

What must I do if I receive a letter from the TSA indicating I am no longer qualified to carry my HME?

If you receive notification from the TSA indicating that you do not meet the established qualifications for carrying an HME, you must immediately surrender your endorsement to MVD. If otherwise qualified to hold a CDL, you may remove the HME and apply for a duplicate CDL for a $12 fee.

Where can I find more information about the federal requirements for getting a new HME?

Additional information about the new federal HME application and BRC requirements may be found on the TSA website (search by keyword "hazmat"), or you may call the TSA Contact Center toll-free at 866.289.9673.