DHS rolls out TWIC enrollment schedule for truckers, port workers

| 11/7/2007

Truckers that have long awaited enrollment for the Transportation Worker Identification Credential program can rest assured. The federal government has released a schedule for enrollment at 147 U.S. ports.

Enrollment began last month in Wilmington, DE, and last week at Corpus Christi, TX. Next week enrollment is scheduled to begin in Baton Rouge, LA; Houston, TX; Providence, RI; Tacoma, WA; Honolulu, HI; Oakland, CA, and Beaumont, TX.

On Nov. 15 enrollment is scheduled to begin at ports in Chicago, IL; Port Arthur, TX; and Savannah, GA. In late November TWIC enrollment is scheduled to begin at Baltimore/Dundalk, MD; Kahului and Maui, HI; Lake Charles, LA; Minneapolis, MN; and St. Paul, MN.

A full list of the scheduled port enrollments is available on the TWIC Web site here. Just click on the “latest schedule” link to see the most recent schedule updates.

The TWIC program is designed to enhance port security by checking the backgrounds of an estimated 750,000 port employees, longshoreme, mariners, truckers and others before they are granted unescorted access to secure areas of maritime facilities and ships. Workers will have a card with a chip that stores information such as fingerprints and documentation of residency that can be read remotely by port security.

Maurine Shields Fanguy, TWIC administrator for the Transportation Security Administration, told the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee in early October that TWIC enrollment would have to be open at all sites for several months before enforcement of the new credential would begin. The U.S. Coast Guard requires 90 days of notice, Fanguy said at that time.

The standard TWIC fee was recently reduced from $137.25 to $132.50 after the FBI reduced its criminal background system checks by $4.75. Workers with a current hazmat endorsement, Merchant Mariner Document, or Free and Secure Trade credential may obtain a TWIC card for $105.25.

In December, TWIC enrollments will hit ports in Boston, MA; Charleston, SC; Cleveland, OH; Detroit, MI; Port Fourchon, LA; Brownsville, TX; Hilo, HI; Indiana Harbor, IN; Mobile, AL; Albany, NY; Brunswick, GA; Long Beach and Los Angeles, CA; Milwaukee, WI; Philadelphia, PA; Seattle, WA; Tulsa, OK; Joliet, IL; Kansas City, MO; Kauai, HI; New York/New Jersey and Peoria, IL.

– By Charlie Morasch, staff writer