What New Drivers Need To Know About Criminal Background Checks:
CDL drivers will be required to submit to a criminal background check in order to get their Hazmat endorsement or TWIC cards.
Background checks will be administered by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
The drivers criminal history, as well as wanted or warrant status, and terrorist watch list status, will be checked.
There are two levels of offenses that can disqualify a driver from getting a Hazmat endorsement or TWIC.
Higher level 'A' offenses will permanently disqualify a driver, while lower level 'B' offenses disqualify a driver temporarily.
Part A: What Can Permanently Disqualify A Driver From Getting A TWIC Card or Hazmat Endorsement?
Reasons or criminal offenses that the TSA may use to permanently disqualify a truck driver from getting a TWIC card include: From the TSA document: "An applicant will be disqualified if he or she was convicted, pled guilty (including ‘no contest’), or found not guilty by reason of insanity for any of the following felonies regardless of when they occurred:"
- Espionage or conspiracy to commit espionage.
- Sedition or conspiracy to commit sedition. Sedition, by definition, is: "the crime of saying, writing, or doing something that encourages people to disobey their government"
- Treason or conspiracy to commit treason.
- A federal crime of terrorism, or conspiracy to commit such crime.
- A crime involving a TSI (transportation security incident). Defined by the TSA as: "A transportation security incident is a security incident resulting in a significant loss of life, environmental damage, transportation system disruption, or economic disruption in a particular area, as defined in 46 U.S.C. 70101. The term “economic disruption” does not include a work stoppage or other employee-related action not related to terrorism and resulting from an employer-employee dispute."
- Improper transportation of a hazardous material under 49 U.S.C. 5124 or a comparable state law. 5124 generally sets penalties for violating regulations prohibiting tampering, altering, removing, or destroying markings, labels, packaging, etc. of a hazmat load.
- Making false bomb threats.
- Unlawful possession, use, sale, distribution, manufacture, purchase, receipt, transfer, shipping, transporting, import, export, storage of, or dealing in an explosive or explosive device.
- Violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, or a comparable State law, where one of the acts found by a jury or admitted by the defendant, consists of one of the permanently disqualifying crimes.
- Attempting to commit any of the above crimes.
Part B: What Can Temporarily Disqualify A Driver From Getting A TWIC Card or Hazmat Endorsement?
Convictions for any of the following is disqualifying if the applicant was convicted, pled guilty (including 'no contest'), or found not guilty by reason of insanity within the past 7 years, OR if the applicant was released from prison after conviction within the last 5 years:
- Unlawful possession, use, sale, manufacture, purchase, distribution, receipt, transfer, shipping, transporting, delivery, import, export of, or dealing in a firearm or other weapon.
- Dishonesty, fraud, or misrepresentation, including identity fraud and money laundering, where the money laundering is related to a crime (except welfare fraud and passing bad checks).
- Immigration violations.
- Distribution, possession w/ intent to distribute, or importation of a controlled substance.
- Fraudulent entry into a seaport as described in 18 U.S.C. 1036, or a comparable State law.
- Kidnapping or hostage taking.
- Rape or aggravated sexual abuse.
- Assault with intent to kill.
- Voluntary Manslaughter.
- Conspiracy or attempt to commit crimes in this section
- Violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), or a comparable State law, other than any permanently disqualifying offenses.
Part C: Applicants Under Want, Warrant, or Indictment:
A person will be disqualified if he or she is wanted or under indictment in any civilian or military jurisdiction for a felony listed under Part A or Part B until the want or warrant is released or the indictment is dismissed.