Hazardous Materials Endorsement
If you were denied a Hazardous Materials Endorsement (HME), you should contact the experienced HME appeal lawyers today at National Security Law Firm. At National Security Law Firm, we understand the HME appeal and waiver process and will put together a comprehensive appeal and/or waiver application on your behalf.
Often times, the TSA bases its preliminary determination of ineligibility on either inaccurate or incomplete information. In these cases, we recommend that you appeal that determination. At National Security Law Firm, if we determine that an appeal is necessary, we will gather documentation relating to the underlying disqualifying criminal offense and submit them to the TSA to show either one or more of the following:
- That your disqualifying open warrant was either: (1) issued by mistake; (2) resolved; or (3) did not result in a disqualifying felony criminal conviction.
- That you are no longer under indictment for a disqualifying felony criminal offense.
- That you were not convicted of a disqualifying felony criminal offense and instead, you were either: (1) found guilty of a lesser misdemeanor offense; (2) you were found not guilty of the felony offense; or (3) the felony charges were dismissed.
- The felony conviction was overturned on appeal or you were issued a pardon or expungement with respect to that offense.
- For some felony offenses (see list of disqualifying criminal offenses below), that you were released from incarceration more than 5 years ago and it has been more than 7 years since your felony conviction.
If we determine that the information that the TSA based its preliminary determination of ineligibility on is correct, and that you were convicted of a disqualifying offense, the experienced HME waiver lawyers at National Security Law Firm will file a waiver on your behalf. In doing so, we will work to gather and submit various documentation in an order to demonstrate that you have been rehabilitated and that you are eligible to hold an HME. The kinds of documents we will submit include:
- Any documentation concerning the circumstances surrounding the disqualifying offense.
- Any documentation concerning your sentence and the successful completion of your sentence.
- If your offense involved alcohol or drugs, any documentation showing completion of substance abuse or treatment programs.
- Court documents relating to the conviction such as transcripts, the indictment, the judgment of conviction, and sentencing documents.
- Correspondence from your probation or parole officer indicating successful completion of your sentence.
- Character reference letters from employers, friends, family members, or others.
- Copies of degrees, awards, or certificates you have earned.
You should note that you have 60 days from the date you receive the preliminary determination of ineligibility letter to file an appeal or waiver. If you fail to file your appeal within that timeframe (or to request an extension), you will not be granted an HME.
Experienced HME Appeal Lawyers
If you are interested in appealing or applying for a waiver of your HME application, contact National Security Law Firm today for a free consultation.
What is a Hazardous Materials Endorsement?
The TSA’s Hazardous Materials Endorsement (“HME”) Threat Assessment Program performs a threat assessment for any applicant attempting to obtain, renew, or transfer a HME on a state-issued commercial driver’s license. Drivers are required to apply for a HME if they have a state-issued CDL and they are required to transport materials that require placarding under the Department of Transportation hazardous materials regulations.
You are eligible for a HME so long as you are either a United States citizen, lawful permanent resident, naturalized citizen, or a non-immigrant alien, asylee or refugee who is in lawful status and has a CDL issued by a U.S. state.
You will be ineligible for a HME due to either:
- Incomplete or false application information; or
- Disqualifying criminal offenses and factors.
If you were issued a Preliminary Determination of Ineligibility, you should check with an experienced HME endorsement appeal attorney to see if applying for an appeal or a waiver makes sense in your case. An appeal is advised when you were either not convicted of a disqualifying offense (i.e., the TSA based its preliminary determination on inaccurate or incomplete information) or if you were convicted of a disqualifying offense a long time ago. A waiver, on the other hand, is usually advised when the information the TSA made its preliminary determination on is correct, but you have otherwise been rehabilitated and are able to hold a HME. You can request both an appeal and a waiver of your preliminary determination of ineligibility.
The offenses TSA considers disqualifying are listed below. Depending on the type of offense and the age of your conviction, however, you may still be eligible to apply for an appeal, a waiver, or both.
Please note that the TSA does not consider a felony to be a disqualifying criminal offense if your conviction was overturned on appeal, you were pardoned, or if the offense was expunged. Thus, if you receive a preliminary determination of ineligibility due to a conviction that was overturned on appeal or that was pardoned or expunged, you should appeal that determination.
Offenses Eligible for Both Appeal and Waiver
If you have been convicted of one of the felonies listed below, you are eligible to apply for both an appeal and a waiver, if you meet certain requirements. You can apply for an appeal of the preliminary determination of ineligibility if:
- You were convicted more than 7 years before you applied for the HME; and
- You were released from confinement more than 5 years before you applied for the HME.
Moreover, even if you do not meet the criteria above, you can still apply for a waiver for any of the offenses listed below. Those offenses include:
- The unlawful possession, use, manufacture, or sale of a firearm;
- Dishonesty, fraud, or misrepresentation, including identity fraud or money laundering (welfare fraud and passing checks do not count here);
- Immigration violations;
- Distribution or importation of a controlled dangerous substance;
- Rape or aggravated sexual abuse;
- Assault with intent to kill;
- Fraudulent entry into a seaport;
- Violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act; and
- Conspiracy or attempt to commit any of these offenses.
Waiver-Only Eligible Offenses
If you have been convicted of any of the following felonies, although you are not eligible to apply for an appeal, you may still request a waiver. These offenses include:
- Any crime involving a transportation security incident;
- Improper transportation of a hazardous material;
- Unlawful possession, sale, manufacture, or transfer of an explosive or explosive device;
- Making any threat concerning explosives or other lethal device in a place of public use;
- Violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act; and
- Conspiracy or attempt to commit the above offenses.
Offenses Never Eligible for Appeal or Waiver (Permanent Disqualifying Offenses)
If you have been convicted of one of the following felonies, you are not eligible for an HME, regardless of how old the conviction is. Thus, if you have been convicted of one of the following felonies, you are not eligible for an appeal or a waiver. Those offenses include:
- A federal crime of terrorism; and
- Conspiracy or attempt to commit any of the above offenses.
- The regulations relating to the HAZMAT appeal and waiver process are located at 49 C.F.R. § 1515 et seq., and the list of disqualifying offenses is located at 49 C.F.R. § 1572.103. A list of disqualifying offenses can also be viewed at the TSA’s HAZMAT website.
- A list of FAQs regarding the TSA HAZMAT application, appeal, and waiver process is posted on the TSA’s HAZMAT website.
- The TSA HAZMAT Program can reached at 855-347-8371 (weekdays from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. E.S.T.), while HAZMAT Customer Service can be reached at 855-257-2993.
The lawyers at National Security Law Firm handle Military Discharge Upgrades throughout the United States.
HAZARDOUS MATERIALS ENDORSEMENT DENIED OR REVOKED?
If you are appealing a hazardous materials endorsement, it is imperative that you obtain experienced legal representation. Doing so will provide you with the best opportunity to obtain or maintain your clearance.
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