New law outlines reasons for TWIC applicant rejections

| 8/6/2007

President Bush signed a major anti-terrorism bill into law Friday, Aug. 3, and the bill has several implications for truck drivers and applicants for the Transportation Worker Identification Credential.

The bill includes the first direct outline for permanent disqualification of eligibility for the TWIC card program, a biometric data-based card that will allow port security to remotely access port workers’ original document info and fingerprints.

Enrollment in TWIC has been delayed twice, and is tentatively planned to begin at a few small ports this fall.

Applicants will be permanently disqualified if they’ve been convicted or found not guilty by reason of insanity for the following offenses:

  • Espionage or conspiracy to commit espionage;
  • Sedition or conspiracy to commit sedition;
  • Treason or conspiracy to commit treason;
  • Federal terrorism, a crime under a comparable state law or conspiracy to commit terrorism;
  • Improper transportation of a hazardous material or a comparable state law;
  • Unlawful possession, use, sale, distribution, manufacture, purchase, receipt, transfer, shipment, delivery, import, export or storage of explosive or explosive devices;
  • Murder; and
  • Making any threat, maliciously conveying false information concerning deliverance or detonation of an explosive or other device against a place of public use, any state or government facility, public transportation system or infrastructure facility.

Applicants will be disqualified for an unspecified interim period if they’ve been convicted or found not guilty by reason of insanity for several felonies within seven years of applying for the TWIC card, or if they’ve been incarcerated for the felonies within five years of applying for TWIC.

Those crimes include:

  • Unlawful possession, use, sale, manufacture, purchase, distribution, receipt, transfer, shipment, transportation, delivery, import, export or storage of or dealing in a firearm;
  • Extortion;
  • Dishonesty, fraud or misrepresentation, including identity fraud and money laundering;
  • Bribery, smuggling or immigration violations;
  • Distribution or possession with intent to distribute or importation of a controlled substance;
  • Arson, kidnapping or hostage taking;
  • Rape or aggravated sexual abuse;
  • Assault with intent to kill;
  • Robbery;
  • Fraudulent entry into a seaport or a comparable state law;
  • Violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act or a comparable state law; and
  • Any person who is wanted, under warrant or indictment for any of the crimes previously listed.


HR1, a bill that carries out several recommendations of the 9/11 Commission, previously had been approved by the House and Senate before Bush’s signature last week.

– By Charlie Morasch, staff writer