TSA unveils TWIC prices, enrollment options for port workers, drivers

| 5/22/2007

Truckers who enroll in the Transportation Workers Identification Credential program can’t pay with cash or a personal check, but the federal government does accept Visa and Mastercard.

The Transportation Security Administration recently released enrollment procedures for the TWIC program, which is expected to enroll 770,000 port workers, truck drivers and others who want unescorted access to major U.S. ports.

TSA plans to have 130 enrollment stations, including many mobile enrollment stations where applicants will be digitally photographed, fingerprinted and pay the enrollment fee.

The agency recently outlined four steps in the process, including pre-enrollment, gathering of personal documents needed to enroll, enrollment and picking up TWIC card.

While enrolling, TWIC applicants will need either one document from “List A”, or two documents from list “B”. List A includes documents such as an unexpired passport, unexpired FAST card, Merchant Mariner Document, while List B includes a voter’s registration card, birth certificate, U.S. military ID, an expired U.S. passport, Social Security card, civil marriage certificate and other documents.

Applicants that are disqualified during the application process will be notified of an appeal and waiver process, though their employer may be notified, according to a TSA brief on TWIC.

TWIC cards include specific biometric data such as fingerprints and a computer chip that will allow the data to be read remotely by port security.

A TWIC card will cost most workers $137.25, though holders of a Merchant Mariner License, Hazardous Material Endorsement or Free and Secure Trade card may obtain TWIC for $105.25.

In April, the Government Accountability Office said the government had spent $79 million on TWIC. TSA Administrator Kip Hawley admitted in April that TWIC may not meet a congressional deadline to begin handing out credentials to 10 ports by July.

For more information or to pre-enroll, visit the TWIC Web site by clicking here or call 1-866-DHS-TWIC.

– By Charlie Morasch, staff writer