A Little Bit About TWIC. Do I Need It And How Do I Get It?

A Little Bit About TWIC

Some workplaces require employees to have a special type of ID. For example, hospitals, biomedical facilities, airports, transportation centers and federal buildings. If you work in the trucking industry, you may need a TWIC.

What Is A TWIC?

A TWIC is a Transportation Worker Identity Card. This document is issued by the U.S. Transportation Security Administration and the U.S. Coast Guard. People must get a TWIC to access protected marine facilities. These include ferries, ships, customs offices of ports and wharves. Person who needs access to Coast Guard merchant transport vessels or ships must have this card.

TWIC are issued to employees after providing biometric information and passing a security threat assessment conducted by a TSA officer. 

Who Needs TWIC?

TWIC is necessary for various kinds of professionals.Generally, TWIC is only needed by those involved with marine transportation systems, but there are exceptions.

Why Do Truck Drivers Need TWIC?

Truck drivers often pick up and deliver cargo from ports, which often involves traveling outside of areas allowed to civilians. Truck drivers are required to coordinate with port personnel and ensure that all cargo is accounted for. Once cargo is loaded into their trailers, they are tasked with delivering it to its destination point. Truck drivers must haveTWIC to drive in safe areas within the port area.

Do I Need A TWIC?

If TWIC is required of you, your employer must tell you before or soon after you are hired.But if your employer does not require you to have TWIC, you may still decide to get this credential to enhance your professional qualifications because having TWIC may make you a more attractive candidate for some employers. If you are currently working in the trucking industry or just planning to start your career there may be wondering how to get a TWIC card.

TWIC Requirements

To qualify for TWIC, you must be:

  • A U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident, naturalized citizen, or nonimmigrant alien or refugee in lawful status
  • Present proof of identity and residency
  • Able to pass a background and security check
  • Not guilty of a serious crime

How Do I Apply For TWIC?

You can apply online on the TSA website or you can make an application in person at an application center. To shorten your waiting time, it’s a good idea to make an appointment in advance. Afterwards  verifying your documents and identity, a staff member at the center will take your picture and fingerprints. Based on this information, they will conduct a background check on you. If you meet all the requirements and standards, you can get your TWIC in the home mai or pick it up from the office. Federal agencies recommend a 12-week review period for TWIC applications.

How Much Do I Have To Pay For TWIC?

There is a one-time fee to receive TWIC which currently is $125.25. If you have a valid hazardous materials permit or a Free and Safe Trade card, your fee will be lower: $105.25. If you wish to pay the discounted fee, you must present your HME or FAST card to the officer when you make your application.

When Does The TWIC Expire?

Transportation Worker Identity Cards are valid for a period of five years after their issuance.To renew, you need to visit the TWIC application center or the TSA website again. Because this credential depends on a background check and threat assessment, you will have to complete the same online application, make an appointment, and bring the same documents to prove your identity as you did when you filled out your first application. It is recommended to renew your TWIC  before it expires so that your clearance will always remain valid as long as you are working.