Government to Fingerprint Hazmat Truckers

WASHINGTON (AP) - Starting Monday, truck drivers applying for licenses to haul hazardous materials are being fingerprinted as part of an effort to prevent terrorist attacks, the government announced.

The FBI will use the fingerprints to check each driver's criminal background and immigration status.

The Transportation Security Administration has already conducted background checks on the 2.7 million hazmat drivers, based on their names, to find out if any presented a potential terrorist threat.

On May 31, drivers who want to renew or transfer hazmat licenses will have to undergo a background check based on their fingerprints.

The USA Patriot Act prevents states from issuing, renewing or transferring hazmat licenses unless the TSA has assessed whether the drivers are security risks.