Senators Wicker, King, Fischer, Tester Cut Red Tape on TSA Security Clearance

Senators Introduce the Transportation Security Screening Modernization Act

March 14, 2024

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Roger Wicker, R-Miss., Angus King, I-Maine, Deb Fischer, R-Neb., and Jon Tester, D-Mont., introduced legislation to standardize the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Security Clearance Process which is used by transportation workers nationwide. The applicants often have to apply for more than one security clearance program using the same background check paperwork and fees.

“This legislation will cut through the red tape and streamline the process so workers can get back to moving goods across America, not wasting time and money,” Senator Wicker said.

“In the midst of a nation-wide truck driver shortage – we must be doing everything in our power to simplify the credentialing process for these essential workers in our supply chain,” Senator King said. “The Transportation Security Screening Modernization Act would streamline the application process and fees for applicants undergoing redundant background and security checks. As we look to keep our supply chain rolling and workforce strong, we must support our truck drivers by modernizing the credentialing process while keeping our trucking industry safe.”

"Truckers and other transportation professionals often need a variety of security certifications to do their job. However, maintaining so many different credentials takes time, money, and can be complicated. To ease that burden, our bill will streamline the TSA's certification process without sacrificing security,” Senator Fischer said.

“Montana’s truckers and transportation workers fuel our economy – and forcing those folks to face expensive and redundant security certifications is a waste of time and money,” Senator Tester said. “Streamlining that process is a no-brainer, plain and simple. Together, we’ll keep working until we get this bipartisan bill across the finish line.”

The bill has been endorsed by the American Trucking Associations, National Propane Gas Association, Transportation Trades Department, Border Trade Alliance, National Tank Truck Carriers, Mississippi Trucking Association, Association of the American Railroads, American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association, and National Energy and Fuels Institute.

"Subjecting essential supply chain workers to the same exact background check multiple times in order to receive different credentials from the same agency does nothing to enhance security,” ATA President and CEO Chris Spear said. “This system only serves to pad government coffers by forcing truckers and other transportation workers to pay duplicative fees for a background check they’ve already cleared.  Congress should not allow the inefficiencies of government bureaucracy to impede the efficiency of our supply chain. We applaud Senators Wicker, Tester, Fischer, and King for introducing this commonsense, bipartisan bill to support the hardworking men and women who keep our economy running."

“The Mississippi Trucking Association thanks Senator Wicker and his colleagues for introducing this vital bill to eliminate redundant background checks and streamline the enrollment/renewal processes for the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) and Hazmat Endorsement (HME) programs. This removal of duplicative screening will minimize the time and fees required by transportation professionals to obtain credentials without reducing any safety or security measures. We appreciate the fact that this bipartisan group of Senate leaders sees the importance of removing unnecessary barriers from the supply chain workers so that they can keep America moving,” President of the Mississippi Trucking Association Hal Miller said.


Current TSA policies often require separate applications for required credentials like the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) and Hazardous Materials Endorsements (HME), even though TSA conducts a Security Threat Assessment (STA) for each program. Requiring applicants who have already enrolled and paid for a credential to do so again for another credential represents a duplicative cost. This legislation would standardize the process so applicants can enroll at a TSA enrollment center only once and use it for multiple credentials. These reforms do not make any modifications to the backend security assessment conducted on individual applicants.

The full text of the legislation can be found here.