Why do I have to provide my fingerprints every four years?

The Federal USA PATRIOT Act established in 2005 requires fingerprints be taken and a federal background records check be completed before issuance of a new or renewed hazardous materials endorsement.  Transportation Security Administration (TSA) approval for a hazardous materials endorsement is valid for 5 years from the date TSA issued their approval.  The TSA's length of approval must meet or exceed the expiration date of a 4-year MI driver's license. If it does not, TSA and the Secretary of State will require a new BRC be completed and pay the required background record check fees.

Requiring new fingerprints provides an additional measure of security. For example, if someone stole your identity, getting fingerprints would prevent that person from renewing a hazardous materials endorsement. If fingerprints were not taken with each renewal, that person could renew the endorsement using your good record.

In addition, the FBI and the other agencies involved do not normally store the fingerprints that are sent to them for routine background records checks. The FBI will keep fingerprints of people who have been arrested or work in certain high-security or highly sensitive areas. You must be fingerprinted with every renewal of your hazardous materials endorsement because every renewal requires a new background records check, and the new check is starting from scratch.  

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