By Jami Jones, managing editor
One-stop shopping. That’s what a bill recently passed out of the House Homeland Security Committee is seeking to make the Transportation Worker Identification Credential enrollment process easier.
TWIC has enrolled 2.1 million truck drivers, longshoreman and other port workers. It is a biometric-capable identity card that can be read by remote devices to check fingerprints, residency documents and other information. It allows card holders access to secure areas within ports.
Currently, truckers seeking the credential are forced to make multiple trips to enrollment centers, many without truck parking and often hundreds of miles from drivers who do not live in metro centers.
The SMART Port Security Act, HR4251, recently passed out of the committee. The bill, if passed into law, would mandate a single trip to enrollment locations for TWIC applicants.
The bill also would require the Secretary of Transportation to issue a final rule that would set the deadline for installation of the biometric card readers. Currently, many ports and other locations that require the credentials only visually inspect the cards – rendering them basically “flash cards.” LL