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What Is TWIC And Who Needs It?

If you are researching transportation credentials and you heard about “TWIC” you might be a bit confused. This article will help you understand the basics of the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) program.

Sample TWIC card via Wikipedia

What Is TWIC?

The Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) is a credential that is required by personnel who need to enter the secure areas of any US maritime facility or vessel.

The TWIC requirement was put into law by the Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA) of 2002. The TWIC was created as a response to the September 11th attacks on the United States, so as to increase the security around the nation’s transportation systems.

The TWIC presents itself as a card that stores certain information about the license holder on it. This is both biometric (like fingerprints) and biographic (like name and date of birth) information that is used to validate the identity of the licensee against that of the person holding the security card.

The card has a small computer chip on it that sorts this information. The information can be retrieved using a ICC reader, which may require a card swipe or can be contactless with newer readers.

How Do You Get A TWIC?

In order to get a TWIC you must apply through the TSA. The agency will conduct a background check in order to assess any threats an individual might seem to pose. If the threat assessment deems you eligible then the credential will be issued.

To get a TWIC you might be a United States citizen or of known immigrant status. You will need to pay about $125 every 5 years.

Who Needs A TWIC?

The requirement for a TWIC is common with the US Coast Guard (USCG), but that’s not the only agency that requires it. Workers in certain ports, shipping facilities, and manufacturing plants that are regulated by the MTSA may also require a TWIC. Additionally many merchant mariners require a TWIC due to the merchant marine being regulated by the USCG.

Can I Lose My TWIC?

Yes. If something happens that would disqualify you from having a TWIC you have to report this and mail your card back to the TSA. There is a mailing address printed on the back of the TWIC card for exactly this purpose. A TWIC disqualifying condition might be if you are found guilty of a crime involving transportation security or certain felonies.

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