The COVID-19 pandemic has forced a variety of industries to postpone or suspend many routine activities. One activity that’s especially important for fuel businesses and the companies that transport their products is the renewal of hazardous material endorsements. An HME makes it possible for commercial drivers to transport materials deemed “hazardous” by the federal government.
At the beginning of March, the Department of Homeland Security’s Transportation Security Administration adopted an extension designed to last through July 29. Now that that date has come and gone, the TSA decided to extend the exemption even further, through Oct. 29.
This is great news for WPMA members and our industry as a whole. Due to COVID-19 related closures and operational delays, it’s nearly impossible to acquire HME renewals via the traditional route. Many state motor vehicle licensing agencies are working remotely or closed altogether, throwing a wrench in the normal renewal process.
Over the course of the past few months, the Petroleum Marketers Association of America worked closely with the TSA to obtain the extension. However, it isn’t a blanket extension for expired HMEs. Each state motor vehicle licensing agency has the sole discretion to decide whether or not they will honor the extension. Additionally, the extension is only good for HMEs that expire between March 1 and Oct. 29.
If you live in a state that doesn’t extend the validity of an expiring HME, it’s crucial that you participate in a TSA security threat assessment as a precondition for renewal.
Since every state and motor vehicle division is different, it’s important to do some investigating on your own. If you have a question about the HME extension, or you want to know if your state is accepting the extension, contact your local Department of Motor Vehicles office. To learn more about TSA’s hazardous materials endorsement extension, click here. Hopefully, this extension makes your life just a little bit easier.