• TSA Approves 90-day HME Exemption

    TSA has approved an extension of the HME Exemption that allowed states to issue an extension of up to 180 days for HMEs expiring between March 1, 2020 – July 31, 2020.  The 90-day extension makes the new exemption period for HMEs that would otherwise expire between March 1, 2020 – October 29, 2020.  This message serves as advance notification to stakeholders.

    TSA will provide an update with a link to the actual exemption posted to the Federal Register when it becomes available.  Below are some frequently asked questions (FAQ) on the exemption.

    Please contact TSA Hazmat at HME.question@tsa.dhs.gov if you have questions not answered in the FAQ.

    Q: Why is TSA granting this exemption?

    A: TSA determined it is in the public interest to grant an exemption from certain process requirements in 49 CFR part 1572 related to STA HMEs, given the need for commercial drivers with an HME to continue to work without interruption during the current National Emergency created by the COVID-19 virus.

    Q: Has the U.S. Department of Transportation (DoT) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration provided guidance for States, CDL Holders and Interstate Drivers Operating Commercial Motor Vehicles?

    A: Yes.  On March 24, 2020, DoT FMSCA granted a waiver from certain regulations applicable to commercial driver's license and learner's permit holders.  DoT's waiver extended the maximum period of CDL validity and waived knowledge or skills test as well as certain medical examination and certifications for drivers. For more information, please visit: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov.

    Q:  Do Drivers need to take any action(s) to extend their Security Threat Assessment?

    A: Drivers should refer to their State driver's license entity for more information or questions regarding their CDL validity. A state may grant an HME extension of up to 180 days to an individual who had a current, valid HME STA as of March 1, 2020.  Also, a state must notify each individual holding an HME that expired on or after March 1, 2020, that the state is extending the expiration date of the HME.  Notification may be via a State website in some instances determined by different circumstances in each State. 

    Q: Does this exemption compromise national or transportation security?

    A: The risk to transportation security associated with this Exemption is low. TSA maintains the ability to recurrently vet HME holders and take action to revoke a HME if derogatory information becomes available, regardless of the expiration date.

    Q: Where can I find more information on TSA's temporary exemption?

    A: The exemption will be posted to the Federal Register in coming days.  For additional information, states may contact the TSA Hazardous Materials Threat Assessment Program at: HME.Question@tsa.dhs.gov.

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