TWIC Facts

  • TWIC – Transportation Worker Identification Credential is a common identification credential for all personnel requiring unescorted access to secure areas of MTSA-regulated facilities and vessels, and all mariners holding Coast Guard-issued credentials. Individuals who meet TWIC eligibility requirements will be issued a tamper-resistant credential containing the worker’s biometric (fingerprint template) to allow for a positive link between the card and the individual.
  • We anticipate that over 1.2 million individuals will apply for a TWIC. This includes Coast Guard-credentialed merchant mariners, port facility employees, long shore workers, truck drivers, and others requiring unescorted access to secure areas of maritime facilities and vessels regulated by MTSA.
  • TWIC information and resources are available on the official TWIC Program web site ( and through the TWIC help desk (1-866-DHS-TWIC), at no additional cost to the enrollment fee. All information about the TWIC Program, including the enrollment process, can be found at this web site, which was recently revamped based on stakeholder feedback, and the official TWIC help desk. These resources enable applicants to pre-enroll, schedule appointments for both enrollment and activation, locate a convenient enrollment center, and access comprehensive frequently asked questions – all at no additional cost, with minimal effort and time. We encourage applicants to take advantage of these resources in order to save time and to provide you with the official information on the TWIC Program.
  • Facility and vessel owners/operators are required to notify employees of their responsibility to possess a TWIC based on their need to have unescorted access to secure areas of vessels and facilities. Notification should be provided in a timely manner to give individuals sufficient time to complete the entire enrollment process by the compliance date.
    Owners/operators are encouraged to provide this same information to personnel who are not facility or vessel employees (e.g. contractors, truck drivers). Coast Guard Captains of the Port (COTP) will also be working with the local Area Maritime Security Committees (AMSC) to inform individuals of TWIC requirements and compliance dates.
  • TWICs remain valid for five years, unless the expiration date was based on a comparable credential (Free and Secure Trade (FAST) card, Merchant Mariner Document/ License, or Hazmat Endorsement). The expiration date is displayed on the face of the TWIC. TWIC holders are responsible for knowing when to begin the renewal process. For individuals who pay the reduced fee, the expiration date of their TWIC will be five years from the date listed on the credential associated with the comparable security threat assessment.
  • Workers who require unescorted access to secure areas of maritime facilities and vessels and all U.S. credentialed mariners must enroll for a TWIC no later than April 15, 2009. Workers will be required to possess and facilities will be required to check for a TWIC on a gradual basis, by Captain of the Port zone (COTP). The compliance date for each COTP zone will be published via notice in the Federal Register 90 days prior to the compliance date.
  • All applicants must certify that they need a TWIC to perform their job. Applicants either have to currently be, or are applying to be, a port worker requiring unescorted access to secure areas of maritime facilities and vessels regulated by MTSA; or they are a commercial HME driver licensed in Canada or Mexico. Applicants also certify that the information they provide during the enrollment process is true, complete, and correct. If required, civil or criminal action may be taken if an individual provides false statements (per 49 CFR 1570.5 and 18 U.S.C. 1001).
  • Ports enforcing TWIC  include:

    • Baton Rouge, LA;
    • Houma, LA;
    • Lafayette, LA;
    • Morgan City, LA;
    • New Orleans;
    • Port Fourchon, LA;
    • South Louisiana (in LaPlace, LA);
    • Key West, FL;
    • Miami, FL;
    • Palm Beach, FL;
    • Port Everglades, FL;
    • Port Manatee, FL;
    • Tampa, FL;
    • Peoria, IL;
    • St. Louis, MO;
    • Newport News, VA;
    • Norfolk, VA;
    • Kansas City, MO.
    • Anacortes, WA
    • Everett, WA
    • Longview, WA
    • Pasco, WA
    • Seattle, WA
    • Tacoma, WA
    • Vancouver, WA
    • Coos Bay, OR
    • Portland, OR
    • Benecia, CA
    • Eureka, CA
    • Oakland, CA
    • Richmond, CA
    • Sacramento, CA
    • San Francisco, CA
    • Stockton, CA

    What are the disqualifying offenses? What are the waiver policies for each type of offense?

    Parts A and B provide a comprehensive list of disqualifying offenses and the waiver policies for each.

    Part A – Permanent Disqualifying Offenses
    Conviction for one of the following felonies is disqualifying regardless of when it occurred, and the applicant is not eligible for a waiver.

    1. Espionage or conspiracy to commit espionage.
    2. Sedition, or conspiracy to commit sedition.
    3. Treason, or conspiracy to commit treason.
    4. A federal crime of terrorism as defined in 18 U.S.C. 2332b(g), or comparable State law, or conspiracy to commit such crime.

    Conviction for one of the following felonies is disqualifying regardless of when it occurred, and the applicant may apply for a waiver.
    5. A crime involving a transportation security incident. A transportation security incident is a security incident resulting in a significant loss of life, environmental damage, transportation system disruption, or economic disruption in a particular area, as defined in 46 U.S.C. 70101. The term “economic disruption” does not include a work stoppage or other employee-related action not related to terrorism and resulting from an employer-employee dispute.
    6. Improper transportation of a hazardous material under 49 U.S.C. 5124, or a State law that is comparable.
    7. Unlawful possession, use, sale, distribution, manufacture, purchase, receipt, transfer, shipping, transporting, import, export, storage of, or dealing in an explosive or explosive device. An explosive or explosive device includes an explosive or explosive material as defined in 18 U.S.C. 232(5), 841(c) through 841(f), and 844(j); and a destructive device, as defined in 18 U.S.C. 921(a)(4) and 26 U.S.C. 5845(f).
    8. Murder.
    9. Making any threat, or maliciously conveying false information knowing the same to be false, concerning the deliverance, placement, or detonation of an explosive or other lethal device in or against a place of public use, a state or government facility, a public transportation’s system, or an infrastructure facility.
    10. Violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, 18 U.S.C. 1961, et seq., or a comparable State law, where one of the predicate acts found by a jury or admitted by the defendant, consists of one of the crimes listed in Column A.
    11. Attempt to commit the crimes in Part A, items 1 – 4.
    12. Conspiracy or attempt to commit the crimes in Part A, items 5 – 10.

    Part B – Interim Disqualifying Offenses
    Conviction for one of the following felonies is disqualifying if the applicant was convicted, pled guilty (including ‘no contest’), or found not guilty by reason of insanity within 7 years of the date of the TWIC application; OR if the applicant was released from prison after conviction within 5 years of the date of the application. The applicant may apply for a waiver.

    1. Unlawful possession, use, sale, manufacture, purchase, distribution, receipt, transfer, shipping, transporting, delivery, import, export of, or dealing in a firearm or other weapon. A firearm or other weapon includes, but is not limited to, firearms as defined in 18 U.S.C. 921(a)(3) or 26 U.S.C. 5 845(a), or items contained on the U.S. Munitions Import List at 27 CFR 447.21.
    2. Extortion.
    3. Dishonesty, fraud, or misrepresentation, including identity fraud and money laundering where the money laundering is related to a crime described in Columns A or B. Welfare fraud and passing bad checks do not constitute dishonesty, fraud, or misrepresentation for purposes of this paragraph.
    4. Bribery.
    5. Smuggling.
    6. Immigration violations.
    7. Distribution of, possession with intent to distribute, or
    importation of a controlled substance.
    8. Arson.
    9. Kidnapping or hostage taking.
    10. Rape or aggravated sexual abuse.
    11. Assault with intent to kill.
    12. Robbery.
    13. Fraudulent entry into a seaport as described in 18 U.S.C.
    1036, or a comparable State law.
    14. Violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt
    Organizations Act, 18 U.S.C. 1961, et seq. , or a comparable State law, other than the violations listed in Part A, item 10
    15. Conspiracy or attempt to commit felonies listed in Part B.

    What options are available to me if I am denied a TWIC?

    Applicants who are initially determined to be ineligible for a Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) will be provided with TSA’s justification for denial, and instruction for how to apply for an appeal or waiver. The process is straight forward, and no legal knowledge is needed, nor is legal representation necessary. Requests may be typed or handwritten.

    Appeal — If you believe you that you should not have been determined to be ineligible for a TWIC (i.e. you may think the decision was based on incorrect court records or incorrect information provided at enrollment), you may request an appeal. You may request copies of the materials that TSA used to make the determination to assist you in deciding whether a correction must be made to your court records and/or what information must be provided to justify your appeal.

    Waiver — If you have a disqualifying offense, meet the description of mental incapacity, or are an alien under temporary protected status, you may request a waiver. When completing a waiver request, the applicant should describe why he/she no longer poses a security threat. Information that assists TSA with this determination includes:

    • The circumstances surrounding the conviction.
    • The length of time the applicant has been out of prison if sentenced to incarceration.
    • The applicant’s work and personal history since the conviction.
    • Whether the applicant made restitution or completed mitigation remedies, such as probation or community service.
    • References from employers, probation officers, parole officers, clergy, and others who know the applicant and can attest to his/her responsibility and good character.
    • If denied due to mental incapacity, court records or official medical release documents that relate to the applicant’s mental health may also be included with the waiver request.
    • If an alien under temporary protected status, information attesting to that.

    What is the process and time-frame for appealing a disqualification? Applying for a waiver?

    Applicants must send appeal requests to TSA within 60 days of receiving TSA’s initial determination of ineligibility letter. If an applicant needs more than 60 days to request an appeal, the applicant should send a letter to TSA asking for an extension.

    Applicants must send waiver requests no later than 60 days after the date of the initial determination of ineligibility letter, unless the applicant requested and received an extension of time to respond. If the applicant does not respond to TSA within 60 calendar days, TSA’s decision regarding the applicant’s eligibility for a TWIC automatically becomes final (a final determination of ineligibility) and the applicant is disqualified from holding a TWIC.

    Correspondence must be mailed via U.S. Postal Service (note: Registered Mail is accepted) to:
    Transportation Security Administration
    TSA TWIC Processing Center
    P.O. Box 8118
    Fredericksburg, VA 22404-8118

    When will I be required to have a TWIC?

    Workers will be required to possess a TWIC by the compliance date set for their specific Captain of the Port (COTP) zone.

    What areas will require individuals to possess a TWIC?

    Secure areas have been designated to meet specific security measures in accordance with a Coast Guard approved security plan and are specific to the vessel and facility security plans at each port.

    Does TWIC apply to mutual aid, first responders, etc. in the event of an emergency?

    State and local emergency responders are exempt from the requirement to have a TWIC when they are responding to an emergency. Additional guidance has been included in the U.S. Coast Guard Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular (NVIC).

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