Transportation Worker Identification Credential | TWIC
TRANSPORTATION WORKER IDENTIFICATION CREDENTIAL
TRANSPORTATION WORKER IDENTIFICATION CREDENTIAL – THE “TWIC”
TWIC is the Transportation Worker Identification Credential now required to gain access to secure areas of Maritime Transportation Security Act regulated facilities and vessels.
All mariners holding Court Guard issued credentials are required to possess a TWIC. As a practical matter almost every seaman and diver working in the United States will be required to obtain a TWIC card.
The card is a tamper resistant credential containing the seaman’s biometric finger print template and other identifying information to allow for a positive link between the card and the individual.
TWIC cards are to be visually inspected by employers and operators of regulated facilities and vessels. The Coast Guard will conduct vessel inspections and use hand held readers during spot checks to ensure credentials are valid and identity is verified.
Generally TWIC’s are valid for 5 years and are the property of the seaman not the employer.
To be eligible for a TWIC an individual must be a U.S. Citizen or fall into an eligible immigration category and cannot have been convicted of certain crimes, connected to terrorist activity or lack mental capacity. Crimes that will disqualify an applicant are divided into three categories. Those crimes that are permanent disqualifications include espionage, sedition, treason and a federal or state crime of terrorism.
Individuals convicted of a crime involving a transportation security incident, improper transportation of a hazardous material, possession, sale or distribution of an explosive, murder, bomb threats or RICO violations are permanently disqualified but may apply for a waiver in certain circumstances.
Individuals convicted of firearms related charges, extortion fraud, bribery, smuggling, immigration, distribution or possession of a controlled substance, arson, kidnapping, rape or sexual battery, assault, or robbery are disqualified for 7 years and 5 years from a release from prison.
Applicants who are initially determined to be ineligible for a TWIC will be provided with TSA’s justification for denial and instruction for how to apply for an appeal or waiver.
TWIC information and resources are available on the official web site www.tsa.gov/twic and through the TWIC help number 1-866-DHS-TWIC. A diver can pre enroll online but must visit an enrollment center to obtain his TWIC.