After reviewing comments made to its interim rule, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has issued an interim final rule regarding security threat assessments of commercial truck drivers who transport hazardous material. The rule will take effect May 31, 2005. Among the changes is more flexibility in who holds information on the drivers. Under the interim rule, the TSA would have held all application and fingerprint information. Under the interim final rule, states may opt to hold such information. States need not forward all driver applications to the TSA, as was required under the prior rule, but the state must retain the applications for review for at least one year. The new rule also changes eligibility requirements. For example, TSA is removing the felony offense of simple drug possession as a disqualifying factor and adding the unlawful purchase, receipt, transfer, shipping, transporting, and storage of a firearm or explosives as a disqualifying factor. The TSA has also simplified the rules that allow drivers to travel through states without obtaining a separate background check to receive a license in each new state. @ To read the entire interim final rule, visit SM Online.