Proposed rulemaking on worker ID program coming

| 5/11/2006

The Transportation Security Administration has unveiled some details of its proposed rulemaking for the Transportation Worker Identification Credential, or TWIC, program.

In a press release issued Wednesday, May 10, the department said it planned to issue the proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register in a matter of days, after which it will be open to the general public for a 45-day comment period.

According to the release, the proposed rulemaking states that TSA will collect biographic information from workers, including fingerprints; name; date of birth; address and phone number; alien registration number, if applicable; a photo; employer name; and job title.

Any workers who require unescorted access to secure areas of port facilities and vessels will be required to have a TWIC card, including truckers, longshoremen, port operator employees and rail workers.

TSA said that background checks for the cards will include a review of criminal history records, checks against terrorist watch lists, and a check of legal immigration status and any outstanding warrants.

As for the card itself, TSA’s proposal is to use Smart Card technology that would include the worker’s photo, name and biometric information such as a fingerprint.

Under the proposed rule, funding for the program would come from the workers themselves, who would be expected to pay $139 to receive the card, workers with current, compatible background checks – including hazmat endorsements – would be charged $105. Cards would be valid for five years.

No deadlines for implementing the program were mentioned in the initial press release, but may be in the proposed rulemaking when it appears in the Federal Register.