Homeland Security says TWIC enrollment slow but steady

| 1/21/2008

Nearly 1 million truck drivers and port workers have been told they will need a Transportation Worker Identification Credential card, but only a small percentage of eligible applicants have signed up since the program started taking enrollments in November 2007.  

As of Jan. 16, only 48,873 workers have signed up for the TWIC program and 108,766 have pre-enrolled, according to statistics from the Department of Homeland Security.

That’s a far cry from TSA’s stated ability to process 5,000 enrollments each day.

TWIC cards include an individual’s biometric data and residency information, and is designed to be remotely read by port security and warehouse operators through the use of radio frequency identification. Hundreds of ports throughout the nation will require TWIC for unescorted access into areas the individual port defines as “secure.” TWIC will also be required at inland ports at cities such as St. Louis, MO, Louisville, KY, and Cincinnati, OH.

The cards are good for five years and cost $132.25, unless applicants can show they have already had background checks for hazmat.

An informational form called TWIC Dashboard showed that 25,366 TWIC cards had been printed, and 11,795 had been activated as of Jan. 14. The average enrollment time took 10.61 minutes

TWIC enrollment opened up last week in Texas City, TX, Pittsburgh, PA, and Green Bay, WI. For more information about TWIC enrollment, go to: http://www.tsa.gov/what_we_do/layers/twic/index.shtm.

TWIC’s compatibility with hundreds of ports throughout the country means truckers enrolled in the program are more marketable, said Darrin Kayser, a TWIC spokesman for TSA.

“By having one card for the entire country, there really is a very significant commercial advantage there,” Kayser told Land Line in early January.

– By Charlie Morasch, staff writer